Mumbai, March 26 (IANS) Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh President Prakash Ambedkar on Monday charged the BJP-led Maharashtra government of not arresting rightwing Hindutva leader Sambhaji Bhide alias ‘Guruji’ as he “enjoys the backing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.
Addressing a huge gathering of Dalits and other parties’ activists here this evening, Ambedkar – the grandson of the Architect of Indian Constitution B. R. Ambedkar – without mincing words, said “it is a well-known fact that Modi considers Bhide as his Guru.”
“We are not interested in fighting with Modi. However, if action is not initiated against Bhide by Maharashtra government, then we know how to deal with it at the appropriate time,” he warned.
Ambedkar made it clear that everybody will have to bow before the wishes of the people and “we know how to make the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister (Devendra Fadnavis) bend before the masses.”
“If the law is not implemented, and Bhide is not arrested within eight days, we shall chalk out our future strategy. Why should the law not be equal for everybody? If (another Hindutva leader) Milind Ekbote can be arrested, what has prevented Bhide’s arrest since he is the prima accused in the Bhima-Koregaon incidents,” he said.
He also demanded the arrest of Maharashtra BJP chief Raosaheb Patil-Danve for his social media comments on the Bhima-Koregaon caste riots.
Ambedkar and others who led Monday’s procession, said they had given an ultimatum to the Maharashtra government on March 15 to arrest Bhide Guruji by March 26, but it was not done.
In the ongoing season of protests, Mumbai witnessed another huge congregation of Dalits and other parties, spearheaded by BBM which paralysed parts of south Mumbai, to seek Bhide’s arrests for his role in the January 1 caste riots in Bhima-Koregaon.
The protest was the second major one to hit Mumbai after the Long March from Nashik by over 35,000 farmers and tribals to the city on March 12.