The Devendra Fadnavis led Maharashtra government has given a clean chit to Sambhaji Bhide, the founder of Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan over his alleged role in the Bhima Koregaon violence, this January. As per reports, CM Fadnavis on Tuesday made a statement in the state assembly, that there was no proof of Bhide being involved in said Bhima Koregaon violence perpetrated on 1st January.
The violence chiefly broke out in the Pune district, prior to the 200th celebration of a British victory over the Peshwas. This ‘victory’ has been spun by leftist historians as a ‘victory of Dalits’, owing to the British army supposedly comprising of Dalits and other lower castes while the ruling Peshwas were Brahmins.
While replying during a debate on law and order situation in Maharashtra, Fadnavis also stated that Bhide and his associates hadn’t visited the violence-stricken area in the last six months and also wasn’t in contact with people in the area via phone during the strife.
As per Fadnavis, a woman had claimed that she had witnessed Bhide and Milind Ekbote instigating riots at Bhima Koregaon but this claim was negated during the resulting violence.
Other reports have quoted Fadnavis as asserting that, “There is not a single document or evidence to substantiate the role of Sambhaji Bhide in the Koregaon Bhima incident”. Until now the investigative agencies have checked the call records of Bhide for the past six months and his, his aides’ movements too were probed to ascertain their possible involvement in the violence.
Despite all this Fadnavis claimed that the inquiry has been kept open-ended, with any fresh information getting probed in the future.
Such a virtual clean chit for Bhide comes after a section of so-called journalists have intensely maligned him and also PM Modi via association:
Extreme right (no pun intended) with PM Modi is Manohar Bhide, main accused in attack on Dalits at Bhima Koregaon. Strange how people who are photographed with Modi consistently escape the law pic.twitter.com/IvFl9m6YgN
— Aditya Menon (@AdityaMenon22) February 19, 2018
— nikhil wagle (@waglenikhil) February 7, 2018
It remains to be seen whether, in light of a lack of evidence against Bhide, these journalists would now tender an apology to him for jumping the gun and maligning his image.