Speaking to the media on Wednesday, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury welcomed the decision of the Maharashtra government to withdraw the cases pertaining to the Bhima Koregaon violence. Violence had erupted at Koregaon-Bhima village in Pune district on January 1, 2018, where supporters had gathered to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon resulting in the death of one person and leaving several injured. Maintaining that many of the cases were false, he mentioned that some of the arrested individuals were still in custody. Moreover, he urged the Maharashtra government to conduct a fresh probe into the death of Justice Loya.
Sitaram Yechury remarked, “Many cases which are lodged are false. There should be some proof. Many people are still in custody after being arrested. We had said even at that time that there is a political motive behind these cases. There was a purpose- which is anti-Dalit. So it should be withdrawn. It is a welcome step that the cases have been withdrawn. It will also be a good thing if the Maharashtra government conducts a fresh probe into the death of Justice Loya.”
Earlier, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray agreed to withdraw the cases filed against Dalit activists after several NCP leaders petitioned him in this regard. However, he clarified that charges will be dropped only against those with less serious charges. Furthermore, Thackeray revealed that the previous government had also given an order on this issue. The police had registered cases against more than 150 people for the violence.
Uddhav Thackeray said, "On Bhima Koregaon case, the previous government had given an order. Has it been implemented? Those who did not have serious charges against them, the previous government itself had ordered to drop charges. I have given the order to probe whether that has been done or not.”