On Friday, the Supreme Court reserved its verdict in the case challenging the arrest of activists and lawyers in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence.
The matter was heard by a Bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkarand DY Chandrachud.
The arrests came based on a complaint by one Tushar Damgude, which led to an FIR on January 1 this year. As per his complaint, Damgude, who is 37 years old, is a post-graduate in History but has been engaged in the construction business for the past 4 years.
The FIR which sets out the complaint by Damgude is replete with tirades against the Kabir Kala Manch and Dalit activism.
It states that Damgude learnt from Facebook about an event of Elgar Parishad to be organized on December 31, 2017, at Shanivar Wada, Pune.
On this date, he went to the ground in front of Shanivar Wada, Pune for the Elgar Parishad Program at about 2 pm in the afternoon.
The complaint then speaks about the persons who were present for the program.
“Sagar Gorkhe, person who gave background of the program Sudhir Dhavale, artists who sung and performed dramas Jyoti Jagtap, Ramesh Gaichor, and others, and at the same time as speakers, Jignesh Mewani, Umar Khalid, Vinay Ratan Singh Prashant Dontha etc were there.”
The complaint proceeds to state about Kabir Kala Manch and how Damgude came to know about its members from social media.
“I have read the information about Kabir Kala Manch and its members in social media and newspapers. That’s why I know the members of Kabir Kala Manch.”
He gives details about the slogans and speeches which were made at the program.
“…Bhima Koregaon has given a lesson, bury this neo peshwayi in cemetery, break it to the size of mustard, bury peshwayi, this is a war cry of Sidnak. The Peshwayi has arrived in new form, she needs to be knocked off, o soldier, she needs to be knocked off… like slogans were shouted from time to time, thereby making an inflammatory statement inciting enmity within society.
The Peshwayi has arrived in new form, she needs to be knocked off, o soldier, she needs to be knocked off… sung this song again, also presented dance and street play on the same, thus made a inciteful presentation which would incite communal hatred in the society.”
Many speakers delivered inflammatory speeches, and objectionable and inflammatory books were also kept for sale at the place of the said program, Damkude alleges.
The complaint then makes allegations about how the CPI (Maoist), a banned organisation, misguides Dalits and propagates radical Maoist ideas of violence. He also alleges that Sudhir Dhavale, Harshali Potdar and other activists of Kabir Kala Manch have undergone inquiry on allegations of connection with Naxals.
“I say that, the policy of banned organization namely Communist Party of Iindia (maoist) is to misguide dalits community, and propogate radical Maoist ideas which is of violence and not that of constitutional means. As a part of this policy, Sudhir Dhawale of Kabir Kala Manch and their other activists, in the similar manner, at different places in Maharashtra State, inflammatory and communal hatred inciting speeches, misguiding history, again inflammatory speeches and streetplays were performed.”
As a result of this, stone pelting, violence, and arson erupted in Bhima Koregaon and abutting areas, Damgude concludes.
“And thereafter in Maharashtra, human loss and economic loss and communal hatred developed…..Hence my complaint is against (1) Sudhir Dhawale, anchor of the program (2)Sagar Gorkhe and his other artists, (3) Harshali”
Read the translated copy of the FIR below: