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Mumbai Police to examine contents of Hindutva leader Sambhaji Bhide's speech

Bhide, who is accused of inciting caste violence near Koregaon-Bhima village in Pune district earlier this year, was in the city Sunday.

Published: 18th December 2018 02:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th December 2018 02:36 AM   |  A+A-

Sambhaji Bhide (YouTube screengrab | Devendra Shirke)

By PTI

MUMBAI: The Mumbai Police Monday said they will examine the contents of a speech given by controversial Hindutva leader Sambhaji Bhide at a BMC school at Sewree in Central Mumbai.

Bhide, who is accused of inciting caste violence near Koregaon-Bhima village in Pune district earlier this year, was in the city Sunday.

"We will examine the contents of Bhide's speech, which was recorded by the Police and if we found anything inflammatory, action will be taken accordingly," an official said.

As the event was organised inside a school hall, it did not require police permission, he said, adding the organisers had obtained permission from the BMC for using the hall.

Initially, the event was scheduled to be held in Lalbaug in central Mumbai, but it was subsequently shifted to a school in Sewree (west) after police didn't grant a permission, a police official said.

"We also received an application from the Bhim Army, which sought an action against Bhide, organisers of the event, BMC officials and headmaster of the school for giving permission for Bhide's speech at the school hall," he said.

Supporters of Bhim Army had staged protests outside the hall, following which at least 28 of them were briefly detained under section 151 of CrPC, he said, adding no offence was registered against them.

Nitin Chougule, a senior leader of Shivapratisthan, had claimed that the protest were politically motivated.

"The violence near Pune had taken place almost a year back. No one could prove Bhide Guruji's involvement in it, still he has been frequently accused of being anti-Dalit," he had said.

Bhide was booked by the Pune rural police in the wake of caste clashes near Koregaon-Bhima village in January this year.

The violence had broken out when dalit activists had assembled to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Koregaon-Bhima battle in which Army of the Peshwas was defeated by the British forces, which according to some History accounts, comprised a large number of Dalit soldiers.

The Mumbai police had denied permission for Bhide's lecture on "history of forts" in January this year, immediate after the Bhima Koregaon violence, the official said.



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