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Home India Newsmaker | Sambhaji Bhide: The right-wing leader with friends across parties cleared...

Newsmaker | Sambhaji Bhide: The right-wing leader with friends across parties cleared in Bhima Koregaon case


Bhide is a person with buddies in excessive locations, and a string of controversies behind him as a result of his speeches and statements. In his late 80s now, he was an lively full-time employee of the RSS earlier than he fashioned his personal Hindu right-wing outfit, Shri Shivpratishthan Hindusthan, within the Eighties. Based in Sangli, he has followers working into a number of lakhs throughout not simply the state however different components of the nation.

In January 2014, Narendra Modi, then the chief minister of Gujarat and a first-rate ministerial candidate of the BJP, had attended an occasion on the historic Raigad Fort organised by Bhide’s outfit as a key speaker. Bhide additionally had hyperlinks with the late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thakeray, which have continued along with his son and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and different Sena leaders, regardless of the Sena now being a part of a coalition with the NCP and Congress.

Besides, a number of fringe teams have a liking for Bhide’s appeals to the Hindu pleasure via celebration of the legacy of Maratha kings Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj. Every 12 months, hundreds of kids related along with his outfits, calling themselves “Dharkari”, take part in actions just like the “Gadkot Mohim”, the place a mountaineering expedition is held to historic forts associated to the Maratha Kingdom. Along along with his excessive views, Bhide maintains a easy dwelling. A bachelor, he walks with naked ft and sometimes travels on a bicycle.

Leaders of each the NCP and the Congress are additionally identified to take part in programmes of his outfit, such because the “Durga Mata Daud” occasion held in numerous components of the state each Navratri.

If this makes him a public determine with hyperlinks throughout events in Maharashtra, Bhide is as well-known for his controversial and sometimes abusive statements. In 2008, FIRs had been lodged towards him and his supporters for protests towards Bollywood movie Jodha Akbar; in 2009, members of his outfit have been stated to be linked to the Miraj, Sangli, riots which began over the erection of an arc depicting Shivaji Maharaj killing the Adilshahi commander Afzal Khan, in the course of the Ganesh pageant; in 2017, an FIR was lodged towards Bhide and activists for allegedly obstructing a procession in Pune. This case is pending earlier than the court docket.

In the Miraj case, police had later arrested an area NCP chief for masterminding the riots. Cases associated to the protest towards the Jodha Akbar movie have been dropped by the federal government.

Hidutva activists staged protest within the banks of Mutha river close to Shaniwarwada in March 2018 demanding withdrawal of alleged false instances towards Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote in reference to Bhima Koregaon violence on Jan 1. (Express photograph by Arul Horizon/File)

Following the violence in Koregaon Bhima space on January 1, 2018, Dalit political activist Anita Sawale had filed an FIR naming Bhide and another Hindutva leader Milind Ekbote, accusing them of instigating the violence, which claimed one life and left tons of injured.

On Thursday, whereas deposing as a witness earlier than the Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who had earlier blamed right-wing forces for the violence, stated he didn’t know Bhide in private however had examine him via media.

Bhide has persistently denied any position within the violence and stated he was open to any probe. He is presently hospitalised following an accident.





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