MUMBAI: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that the State government will withdraw all cases registered in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon riots except those pertaining to serious offences. He also assured that those who lost their properties in the riots will be duly compensated.
Fadnavis was speaking on the issue, which was raised by the Opposition in the legislative council.
The Opposition had demanded discussion on the Bhima-Koregaon episode and also wanted government’s reply on the whole issue, which was approved in the House.
While speaking on the points raised by the Opposition members, Fadnavis said, “The government will also form a committee under Additional Directorate General of Police (Law and Order) to evaluate the serious offences that were committed during the Bhima-Koregaon riots. The committee will submit its detailed report with recommendations to a cabinet sub-committee in next three months. On the basis of the report, the government will decide whether serious cases should be withdrawn or not.”
Congress group leader Sharad Ranpise informed the House, “Milind Ekbote, one of the accused in the riot case, had addressed a press conference two days before the violence. Still, no action was taken against him. Government is not holding the administration responsible for the negligence.”
Fadnavis denied the Opposition’s charge that the State government allowed Milind Ekbote, chief of Samasta Hindu Ekta Aghadi, a free run after the violence. He said, “The police had raided all hotels and lodges in Pune and Kolhapur in search of Ekbote. Combing operations were conducted, Ekbote’s followers were detained and more than 100 call records were examined to track the accused in the violence. However, they failed to locate him.”
“Meanwhile, Ekbote secured anticipatory bail from the Supreme Court,” Fadnavis said. “We have nominated the attorney general seeking his custodial interrogation from the Supreme Court,” he added. Fadnavis further assured that those who were responsible for the negligence will be dealt with strictly.
Ranpise alleged that Ekbote’ organisation has taken control of the samadhi (memorial) of Chhatrapati Sambhaji at Vadhu village. Fadnavis announced in his reply that the State government will take hold of the samadhi of Chhatrapati Sambhaji.
When NCP leaders Dhananjay Munde and Sunil Tatkare asked whether the State government will take action against Sambhaji Bhide of Shiv Pratishthan, Fadnavis said, “Those who are responsible for the violence will have to face action regardless of their caste, religion and ideology.”
There are around 350 serious offences registered against alleged rioters. A total of 622 cases were registered in this matter in which 1,119 people are accused. He added, “17 cases under Atrocities Act were registered whereas 2,053 people were taken into preventive custody. The government will not take back cases against history sheeters, who had taken advantage of the situation and indulged in loot.”