Govt not looking at blanket withdrawal of cases in Bhima Koregaon violence, says Maha Minister Jayant Patil

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Dec 4 (ANI): Maharashtra Minister Jayant Patil on Wednesday said that the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government was not looking for a "blanket withdrawal" of cases in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence.

"We are not looking at any blanket withdrawal of cases. We are only talking of non-serious offences where commoners somehow got involved. We will consider such cases in which no serious offence is involved," Patil told reporters here.

"We are also reviewing the Maratha Reservation protest and the Dhangar reservations protest and decision will be taken accordingly," he added.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader further asserted that the final decision in this matter rested with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, till the time a Home Minister was appointed by him.

After assuming charge as the Chief Minister, Thackeray had ordered withdrawal of cases registered against protestors of the Aarey metro car shed works and Nanar Refinery projects.

Earlier yesterday, NCP MLC Prakash Gajbhiye wrote to Thackeray seeking withdrawal of cases filed against Dalits in Bhima Koregaon violence.

"False cases were registered against Dalits in the Bhima Koregaon riots. I have written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray requesting him to take back all these cases," Gajbhiye told ANI.

"In particular, the cases against the students should be taken back as it can affect their careers adversely," he added.

On January 1 last year, violence had erupted at an event to mark the 100 years of the Bhima-Koregaon battle, leaving one dead and several injured, including 10 policemen.

The police had filed 58 cases against 162 people during a state-wide shutdown in January following clashes in Bhima-Koregaon.

The then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had instructed the Maharashtra Police to appropriately act against all those involved in the violence, after which many people were arrested from across the state.

Later that year, the police filed a charge sheet against ten people including five arrested activists -- Roma Wilson, Shoma Sen, Sudhir Dhawale, Mahesh Raut and Surendra Gadling and five absconding accused -- Commander Dipak Milind Teltumbde, Kishanda Prashant Bose, Prakash Naveen Rituoam Goswami, Commanders Deepu and Manglu.

The police, in its charge sheet, alleged that Elgaar Parishad, which was organised at Pune's Shaniwar Wada on December 31, 2017, had aggravated the violence in Koregaon Bhima a day later.

The charge sheet further stated that a letter recovered from one of the arrested accused revealed that a conspiracy was being framed to plan a Rajiv Gandhi like assassination to take down Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (ANI)