Congress corners BJP for conflicting views on Bhima Koregaon violence’s accused

New Delhi: Congress on Friday targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre and Maharashtra government for holding divergent views on the accused arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told ANI, “Union MoS for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale clearly said that Dalit activists being arrested in Bhima Koregaon violence are injustice and that Elgar Parishad has no connection with the violence. But BJP government in Maharashtra calls Dalit activists ‘Maoists’.”

Putting Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government in a catch-22 situation, the Congress leader said, “If the activists are Maoists, will Modi ji take action against Ramdas Athawale who is a minister in his government? But if Ramdas Athawale is right, will Devendra Fadnavis and Maharashtra government clarify if they are doing injustice to Dalit activists?”

On the alleged Maoist email talking about the plot to kill Prime Minister Modi, Surjewala said it should be investigated that who is conspiring against the life of the prime minister.

“It should be investigated who is conspiring against the life of PM of the nation. But R Athawale, a minister in his cabinet, said arrests of Dalit activists is not fair, the same activists who are now being called ‘Maoists’ and accused of planning PM’s assassination,” Surjewala said.

Earlier in the day, Athawale said if the five people, arrested by the Pune Police in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence are followers of Ambedkar, then they should not be considered as Naxalites.

He also said he would try to help those arrested if it is not found that they have any connection with the Naxal movement.

Among those arrested include Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Jacob Wilson, Shoma Sen and Mahesh Raut.

A Pune court on Thursday sent all the arrested to police custody till June 14.

On January 1, the celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of Bhima-Koregaon battle took a violent turn when a youth died in clashes which had erupted after right-wing Hindutva groups opposed the same.

The violence left one dead and several injured, including 10 policemen. (ANI)