Bhima-Koregaon violence: FIR against Mevani, Khalid

RSTV Bureau
Sangli: Police officials patrolling after Dalits called for Maharashtra Bandh as a protest over Bhima Koregaon violence, at Sangli in Maharashtra, Jan 3, 2018. PTI

Sangli: Police officials patrolling after Dalits called for Maharashtra Bandh as a protest over Bhima Koregaon violence, at Sangli in Maharashtra, Jan 3, 2018.
PTI

An FIR has been filed against Gujarat Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani and student leader from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Umar Khalid for their alleged “provocative” speeches during an event in Pune on December 31.

in Mumbai was denied permission.

Both have been charged for allegedly creating a rift and spreading disharmony between the Maratha and Dalit communities, which led to the violence in Bhima Koregaon on January 1 that resulted in the death of one person.

Mevani, the newly elected MLA from Gujarat, and Khalid had attended the “Elgar Parishad”, an event organised to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima-Koregaon, at Shaniwar Wada in Pune.

The FIR was registered with Vishrambaug police station in Pune.

Based on the complaint, offences were registered against Mevani and Khalid under IPC sections 153 (a) (delivering speech to create disharmony or feelings of enmity), section 505 (giving statement conducing to public mischief) and 117 (abetting commission of offence by the public or by more than ten persons), the police said.

Meanwhile in Mumbai, both Mevani and Khalid were to address the ‘All India Students Summit 2018′ but police denied permission for the event. Several students who had assembled outside the venue in suburban Vile Parle, were detained.

On Wednesday, normal life was crippled in Maharashtra because of the bandh called by Dalit groups. Dalit groups allege that the state government did not do anything to stop the violence that erupted when they were celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle. In the 200-year-old battle, the British defeated the Peshwas of Maharashtra.

Dalit leaders commemorate the British victory as it is believed that soldiers from the Mahar community were part of the East India Company’s forces. The Peshwas were Brahmins, and the victory is seen as a symbol of assertiveness by Dalits.

(With inputs from PTI)