Commenting on Uddhav Thackeray's decision to let go of the Bhima Koregaon violence cases, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Dr. Subramanian Swamy, on Wednesday, stated that Thackeray was careful to mention cases where no serious offenses were charged. He added that this has been routinely done by governments all over the country. He added that the cases where violence charges had been filed will not be allowed to drop by any court.
"I think he has been careful enough to say that there have been no serious charges against them. That means no charge of violence. That they were protesting and then taken into custody or section 144 violation. Those are cases where people around the country are routinely allowed to go. After the violation of section 144, people are usually allowed to go after taking them into custody," he said in conversation with Republic TV.
He added, "So I don't know what Mr. Thackeray means where those who do not have serious charges. But if there are charges of violence, no court will allow it to happen. As the charges have been put up in court, they have to make a strong case that the protesters were protesting democratically."
Earlier on Tuesday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has agreed to let go of the criminal cases filed against Dalit activists in the Bhima Koregaon case. Speaking to reporters, Thackeray clarified that the previous BJP-Sena government had ordered the dropping of charges against those who had not committed serious offenses. The decision was reportedly taken by the Thackeray in a meeting with the delegation of NCP leaders. Some NCP leaders like Jitendra Awhad, Dhananjay Munde, Prakash Gajbhiye have been demanding the withdrawal of the cases.
"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," he said.
Violence had erupted at Koregaon-Bhima village in Pune district on January 1, 2018, where supporters had gathered in the village to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon. The ensuing violence had resulted in the death of one person and several others had been injured. The police had then registered 58 cases against 152 people for the violence and a probe was ordered into all the aspects of violence by the Bombay High Court. In the related Elgar Parishad case, Pune police booked activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira, and Vernon Gonsalves, Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale and P Varavara Rao for allegedly inciting the Bhima Koregoan violence through their speech at the Elgar Parishad meeting on December 31, 2017, under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Currently, all accused are in jail after their bail pleas were rejected.