Molestation charge added against 14 ‘dalit protesters’ in the aftermath of Bhima Koregaon violence

Caste fault lines were glaringly exposed in parts of Maharashtra at the start of 2018, after the 200th celebration of the Bhima Koregaon battle on 1st January, resulted in large scale violence. This battle, which resulted in a the British victory over the Peshwas, has been spun by the so called historians to be a victory of the Dalits over Brahmins, which prompts such annual celebrations.

This year, what added another angle to this whole affair, was the invitation extended to controversial Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani and anti-national sloganeer Umar Khalid to attend the main ‘celebrations’ where as per media reports, Mevani was allegedly seen inciting people to indulge in ‘street battles’.

In the initial violence on the day of the ‘celebrations’, mobs destroyed at least 75 cars and resulted in the death of one person. The violence which was initially confined to regions in Pune district, soon spilled over to Mumbai, with protesters damaging many buses and disrupting road, rail traffic.

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In the resulting action by the administration, at least 100 protesters were detained in the Maharashtra capital. The Mumbai police had subsequently filed 25 FIRs against the supposedly dalit protesters.

Now the police has modified the FIRs to include a molestation charge against a section of these aggressors.

As reported, 14 such protesters have been booked by the police over the charges of, “outraging the modesty of a woman” and going by the FIR some of them allegedly manhandled women police officers.

This molestation charge has been added to already present accusations of rioting and causing hurt to public servants while they were discharging the duty. The accused regarding this case have already been arrested by the police and sent to judicial custody. This incident in question allegedly took place on 2nd January.

As per the senior inspector of Chembur police station, some women police officers were manhandled by these protesters in Chembur. Two of them were allegedly pushed and one was hit on the head by the protesters.

The police are now investigating video footage in order to build their case, which includes monitoring CCTV footage and clips captured by cops on their mobile phones.

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