The Maharashtra Human Rights Commission has called on the Superintendent (SP) of the Pune Rural Police to seek a police status report on the case against Hindutva leader Sambhaji Bhide related to the violence of Koregaon Bhima, following a complaint from Aditya Mishra, a lawyer . According to the April 1st subpoena, the Commission asked the SP to appear before its court on April 5th.
In his complaint, Mishra referred to a newspaper report dated March 28, 2018 regarding the statement by then Prime Minister Devendra Fadnavis that there was no evidence against Bhide in the case.
Mishra stated in the complaint, “Can someone casually classify an XYZ as a defendant with no evidence based on hearsay?” He also called for a status report to be obtained from the police in the case of Bhide. Mishra has also obtained “necessary instructions under the law in the interests of justice” from the commission.
One person was killed and several others injured in violence in the Koregaon Bhima region on January 1, 2018. The day after the violence, Anita Sawale filed a complaint against Hindutva leaders Bhide and Milind Ekbote, accusing them of instigating the violence. Sawale is based in Pimpri-Chinchwad and is chairman of the Bahujan Republican Socialist Party.
Ekbote was arrested by the Pune Rural Police in this case after his application for early bail was denied by the Supreme Court but was later granted bail. The police never arrested Bhide on the basis of lack of evidence.