Bhima-Koregaon protest: ‘The violence was planned to wreck celebrations… want to see them behind bars’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/the-violence-was-planned-to-wreck-celebrations-want-to-see-them-behind-bars-5011096/

Bhima-Koregaon protest: ‘The violence was planned to wreck celebrations… want to see them behind bars’

Demanding arrest of the two Hindutva leaders, Sawale and Gaikwad said they would not withdraw their complaints. ''They should pay for what they have done...we want to see them behind bars."

Bhima Koregaon, Anjana Gaikwad, Anita Sawale, Mumbai violence
Anjana Gaikwad and Anita Sawale.

The women who have filed the FIRs against Hindutva leaders Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote, over the violence near Bhima Koregaon, on Wednesday insisted that their complaints were based on the “nightmare” they had gone through and they were not being directed by any political outfits.

”Our complaint is based on what we saw in Bhima Koregaon and Sanaswadi area on January 1. Our FIR was not filed at the instigation of any leaders but is based on the nightmare that we went through… We strongly feel the violence was pre-planned by the two Hindutva leaders to wreck our celebration,” said Anita Sawale, 39, who along with Anjana Gaikwad, 25, filed the first FIR against Ekbote and Bhide, accusing them of orchestrating violence during the 200th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon.

Sawale and Gaikwad described themselves as social activists. While Sawale stays at Kalewadi, Gaikwad lives in Ravet.

In the FIR registered on Tuesday, Sawale had said that she had seen the suspects named in the FIR “with her own eyes”. However, on Wednesday, the two women told The Indian Express that though they had not seen the Hindutva leaders on their own, their “inflammatory comments had led to mob violence”.

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“We did not see them, but much before our celebrations, they seemed to have planned it all. Their comments against the Elgaar Parishad (an event on December 31) are very much on social media…Our leaders like Prakash Ambedkar have also said that these two leaders are behind the violence,” said Sawale.

Demanding arrest of the two Hindutva leaders, Sawale and Gaikwad said they would not withdraw their complaints. ”They should pay for what they have done…we want to see them behind bars.”

On Wednesday, a second complaint was filed against these two leaders, this time by Sushma Andhare, a 35-year-old social activist who is an office-bearer of an organisation working for the welfare of nomadic tribes in Maharashtra. Her complaint would be attached with Sawale’s FIR, police said.

“These two leaders (Bhide and Ekbote) had incited all the violence through their supporters. Them not being there does not mean that they were not involved. We were attacked by a large mob when we were at the Shikrapur toll booth (near Bhima Koregaon). Some of us were injured in the attack,” Andhare told The Indian Express.