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FIRs against Sambhaji Bhide dropped 6 months before Bhima Koregaon violence

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Mumbai, Oct 1: Maharashtra government dropped FIRs against Sambhaji Bhide six months before Bhima Koregaon violence. Sambhaji Bhide, a familiar face in Maharahstra, is the founder of cultural organisation "Shri Shivpratishthan, Hindusthan"

Members of Shiv Pratishthan take part in a protest rally demanding the removal of all the allegations against Sambhaji Bhide in Bhima Koregaon violence in Satara. PTI file photo

As per RTI accessed by a private News18, four FIRs were lodged in 2008, two in 2009 against Sambhaji Bhide, the main suspect in Bhima-Koregaon violence. The Shiv Sena-BJP government wihthdrawn the FIRS in 2017. The RTI was filed by Shakeel Ahmed Shaikh.

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Also, the RTI revealed that 41 FIRs filed against political leaders withdrawn between 2017-18.

Anita Savale had filed pettion seeking arrest of Sambhaji Bhide in Bombay High Court on August 31st. Sambhaji Bhide is named as accused No. 1 in the FIR filed by her; however, only accused No. 2 Milind Ekbote, chief of Hindu Janjagaran Samiti, was arrested by the police. She alleged that the violence in Bhima Koregaon erupted at the behest of Bhide and Ekbote.

Bhima Koregaon incident refers to violence that broke out following an annual celebratory gathering at Bhima Koregaon to mark the 200th year of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon.

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The gathering consisted largely of Dalits, and interference by upper caste Maratha groups on the Dalit gathering resulted in escalation of an already tense gathering into violence. The aftermath consisted of various protests resulting in one death, 30 policemen being injured as well as over 300 people being detained.

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