Hyderabad: The Bhima Koregaon Commission set up to investigate the 2018 violence has suspended all hearings until the Maharashtra government provides it with suitable accommodation in Mumbai.
A letter was sent by the secretary of the commission, VV Palnitkar to the Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary, and Principal Secretary of the state government. The letter stated that two separate pleas were sent in June and October of 2021 and an email was sent on October 26, 2021, for providing suitable accommodation on an emergency basis in Mumbai to hold hearings.
The Commission said that if the accommodation was not provided by October 29, they would suspend their hearings.
As there was no response from the government, the Commission suspended all future hearings till the government took any step, reported The Hindu.
In February 2018, The Maharashtra home department set up a fact-finding commission to investigate the Bhima-Koregaon violence. This Commission became operational in September 2018 and consisted of former Calcutta high court chief justice JN Patel and state chief information commissioner Sumit Mullick. Currently, the fact-finding committee is being led by Deputy Mayor Siddharth Dhende.
What is the Bhima Koregaon violence about?
On January 1, 1818, there was a battle between the Peshwa rulers and the Britishers wherein, the Peshwas were defeated. The winning army comprised of a large number of Dalit soldiers. A victory pillar known as Vijay Stambh had been installed by the East India Company in memory of those who fought for them in the battle. The first commemoration ceremony was conducted by Dr BR Ambedkar. Since then, on 1st January, Ambedkarites, Dalits, and Bahujans gather to celebrate their victory.
On December 12 in 2017, there was a public meeting by the name of Elgar Parishad organized in Pune at Shaniwar Wada.
As per every year on January 1 2018, a large crowd of Dalits and Bahujans gathered at the Vijay Stambh. They were attacked by armed mobs of over 1,000 people, most of them on motorbikes holding saffron flags and shouting religious slogans. The mobs engaged in violence including arson, stone-pelting, and attacks with swords and iron rods.
A total of 16 citizens including deceased tribal educator Stan Swamy and poet Varavara Rao were arrested and charged under several sections of the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) as accused in the Bhima-Koregaon violence.