Mumbai: Finally Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis gave a clean chit to Sambhaji Bhide, the prime accused in Koregaon-Bhima violence, saying that there is no direct evidence against Sambhaji Bhide. Fadnavis on Tuesday tried to put an end to the controversy regarding the arrest of Shiv Pratishthan President Bhide saying that Sambhaji Bhide is not involved in the Koregaon-Bhima violence case.
The chief minister gave this information in reply to the discussion on law and order. A woman filed a complaint against Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide in a complaint of violence in Koregaon-Bhima. However, Milind Ekbote was not arrested on the directions of the Supreme Court, he said the State government has made all possible efforts to arrest him.
Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh’s President Prakash Ambedkar had on Monday met the chief minister saying that he will give evidence of Bhide’s involvement in the case.
However, the chief minister said that the government will not spare any guilty in the riot cases. He said that the woman who had mentioned in her complaint that she saw Bhide pelting stone, has cleared the air. "She said she did not see Bhide and she also doesn't know Bhide. She had given the statement after hearing some discussion among the people," Fadnavis said.
According to the police they had checked all call data records of Bhide and prominent members of his organisations from last six months. "It shows that neither Bhide nor the prominent workers had visited the spot. They did not even talk to the locals over the phone in this period."
However, Fadnavis asserted that the investigation is not yet over. "If it is found that anyone had instigated the violence remotely, even if he is from my family, he will not be spared," he said.
Fadnavis called the attacks on Dalits in Koregaon-Bhima as a 'blot on the state'. He informed that the attacks and subsequently the riots took place because of misunderstanding between two groups. "A group had shouted slogans at a square in Koregaon-Bhima. Another group who was going to pay tribute to the war memorial thought they were shouting against them. It sparked the clashes," Fadnavis said.
He further denied the charges levelled by the opposition that the police were not aware of the situation and also failed to control it. However, he admitted that the police deployment at the parking site was not sufficient. That encouraged the rioters to torch vehicles parked there.
Fadnavis also informed the House of his meeting with Bharip-Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar regarding Bhide's arrest. He said Ambedkar has provided him with the content of a Facebook page that may lead to some evidence against Bhide.
"The police is still checking the facts and the evidence provided by Ambedkar," he said.