The Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) was informed by Pune Police that Hindu activist Sambhaji Bhide had been freed from the Bhima Koregaon case. This was mentioned in a letter issued to the MSHRC on Tuesday by Pune Rural SP Abhinav Deshmukh, after counsel Aditya Mishra filed a complaint with the human rights body demanding a status update in the case against Bhide.
An FIR was filed on January 2, 2018, based on a complaint filed by Pune-based activist Anita Sawale, accusing Bhide and Samasta Hindu Aghadi’s Milind Ekbote of instigating the Bhima Koregaon violence.
Unlike Ekbote, who was arrested and eventually freed on bond, Bhide has yet to be summoned. They were booked under Sections 307, 143, 147, 148, 149, 295A, 435, 439, 153A, 120B of the Indian Penal Code, sections of the Arms Act and the SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
According to the Pune Rural SP, Bhide’s name was withdrawn from the case since there was no proof against him, but a charge sheet was submitted against 41 co-accused in this case on September 22, 2021.
Bhima Koregaon Case:
On January 1, 2018, supporters gathered at Koregaon-Bhima hamlet in Pune district to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon when violence occurred. One person died as a result of this, while several others were injured. Following that, activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale, and P Varavara Rao were arrested by the Pune police for allegedly inciting Bhima Koregoan violence through their remarks at the Elgar Parishad meeting on December 31, 2017.
The police have filed charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, including “plot to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” “overthrow the government,” and “waging war against the Government of India” (UAPA). Some of the arrested people are also suspected of being active members of the banned CPI (Maoist) party. The matter was handed up to the National Investigation Agency in January 2020. (NIA).