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Bhima-Koregaon violence: Maharashtra government to withdraw minor cases

Devendra Fadnavis. Photograph: (DNA)

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 13, 2018, 03.15 PM (IST)

 Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has announced the withdrawal of all cases, except for serious ones, in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence.

He also said that his government would compensate for the loss of Rs 13 crore incurred during the violence.

He said that their government will not spare anyone found responsible for the violence.

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Fadnavis added that the Maharashtra government would form a committee under Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) to examine serious offenses committed during the violence. The committee will submit recommendations to a cabinet sub-committee within three months deciding on the cases that should be withdrawn. 

Also read: One killed, 3 injured in clashes at Koregaon Bhima battle anniversary in Pune

Out of the total 622 cases registered in the violence, 350 were serious offenses, the CM said. 

He added that as many as 1,119 people were arrested after the violence. Seventeen cases were registered under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and 2,053 people were taken into preventive custody.

The chief minister also clarified that the government will not withdraw the cases against history-sheeters who took advantage of the situation and indulged in a shooting. 

The chief minister also denied Opposition's allegation that the government did not take immediate action against Milind Ekbote, chief of Samasta Hindu Ekta Aghadi. He also said that those responsible for negligence will be dealt with strictly.

Fadnavis announced that the state government will take control of the Samadhi (memorial) of Chhatrapati Sambhaji at Vadhu dismissing the allegation that Ekbote's organisation had taken control of the Samadhi.

An inquiry will also be conducted to examine the harassment against women during the combing operations in Aurangabad (to arrest rioters).

To mark the 200th anniversary of the battle of Koregaon, several Dalits on January 1 gathered around the victory pillar erected by the British at Koregaon-Bhima - 40 kilometres from Pune. The gathering was to commemorate the victory of British East India Company over the army of Peshawa Bajirao II.  It is widely believed that the Mahar community - then considered untouchable - played a key role in East India Company's win.

Soon, violence broke out and many vehicles were torched leading to the death of one youth.

Incidents of violence were reported from many parts of Maharashtra, including Ahmednagar, Jalgaon, Nagpur, Dhule, Beed, Akola, Nashik, Pune, Solapur, Thane and Palghar as Dalits protested against Monday's incidents in Koregaon-Bhima.

Many prominent Dalit outfits, including Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh, a party headed by BR Ambedkar's grandson Prakash Ambedkar, called for a 'Maharashtra bandh (shutdown) to express anger over violence.

(With input from agencies)

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