Pune: Dalit groups, which had come together under the banner of the Sanvidhan Sanrakshan Samiti, organised a sit-in protest outside the office of Member of Parliament Anil Shirole alleging complacency by him in the Bhima-Koregaon attacks. The Samiti had announced the dharna claiming that Bhide and Ekbote, who are the main accused behind the Bhima-Koregaon attacks, are getting partial treatment from the government.
On January 1 this year, thousands had gathered in a 200-year-old tradition at the Bhima-Koregaon victory pillar to commemorate the battle between the Mahar Regiment of the British army and the Peshwa army, in which, the Mahar Regiment had prevailed. The battle, which was turned into a symbol of the bravery of the downtrodden by Dr BR Ambedkar, has been increasingly used as a social assertion of the Dalits. People from fringe groups had attacked these visitors with stones and sticks.
After allegations of inciting the attacks, FIRs were registered against both Manohar Bhide of the Shiv Pratishtan and Milind Ekbote of the Samasta Hindu Aghadi. Both Bhide and Ekbote, are yet to be arrested.
The Samiti alleges that the Bhartiya Janata Party government has close ties with the two and is trying to protect them, even after there is clear evidence that they were behind the attacks.
The Samiti levelled accusations against Shirole of being complacent in the matter. “Shirole is a people’s representative. He has not been seen anywhere making a statement of any kind regarding the incident. He has failed us as a representative,” said Sanjay Bhimale of the Samiti, adding, “We want our representatives to take up our issues. That is why we are protesting against Shirole.”