Pune: Following the raids on April 17 by the Maharashtra police against prominent Dalit activists and members of Kabir Kala Manch (KKM), Bhima Koregaon Shauryadin Prerna Abhiyaan Rajya Samanvay Samiti (BKSPARSS) staged a protest outside the district collector’s office, demanding that the raids be stopped.
These raids were carried out in Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur and Delhi. Police officials had earlier said that the raids were related to Elgaar Parishad in Pune, which had organised an event a day before the Koregaon-Bhima riots on January 1.
Officials from Pune city police, Mumbai police, Nagpur police and sleuths from the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) swooped down at residences of activist Rona Wilson in Delhi, lawyer Surendra Gadling in Nagpur, who has fought on behalf of former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba, and those of Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) activists Sudhir Dhavale, Harshali Potdar, both from Mumbai, Jyoti Jagtap and her husband Ramesh Gaichor, both from Yerawada, Deepak Dengle from Pimple Saudagar and Sagar Gorkhe and his wife Rupali Jadhav from Wakad.
Members of BKSPARSS said that instead of taking action against Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote, who are accused of inciting the Koregaon-Bhima violence, the police are raiding homes of Dalit activists and members of KKM. Akash Sable, one of the protesters, said they will be handing over their demands to Resident Deputy Collector Rajendra Muthe, which includes the arrest of Sambhaji Bhide. The other demands included a detailed investigation in the alleged suicide case of Pooja Sakat, who was a witness and also a victim of the Koregoan-Bhima riots. The protesters demanded action against those trying to associate the Ambedkar Movement with the Naxal movement.