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Bhima Koregaon – Before the Law

Bhima Koregaon – Before the Law

Monthly Review / by Saroj Giri

In “Before the Law,” Franz Kafka portrays a countryman who can only be forever “before the law,” but never entering. “It is possible” to gain entry, says the doorkeeper, “but not at the moment.” The man gets old and is about to die—and only now does he understand that the gate was meant for him! “No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it.“
… Bhima Koregaon is, in terms of its empirics, so loaded with historical memory and the legacy of caste oppression that the so-called progressive left would rather take cover in the past-erasing, rarefied realms of the futuristic non-world of the constitution and the rights and innate liberties it supposedly guarantees to all citizens. Before the law, any day!
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Also read/watch:
The Bhima Koregaon Arrests and the Resistance in India (Monthly Review / April 2022)
Let’s Remember the Lesson of Bhima Koregaon: Down with the New Peshwai (Sanhati, by Sudhir Dhawale │ March 2018)

● Documentary: The battle of Bhima Koregaon – an unending journey

multiple Indian languages / en subtitles │ 50 min │ 2017

By pedestrian pictures

Direction and Camera – Somnath Waghmare
Editor – Deepu (Pradeep K P)

About the film
History speaks about great wars fought, brave warriors and clever kings and emperors. What history doesn’t do is justice to the wars, warriors and leaders of the oppressed. This documentary is about the 500 Mahar soldiers who offered to fight alongside their countrymen, against the colonisers. Rejected by the ruling class they joined forces with the colonisers and fought in the ‘Bhima Koregaon Battle’, defeating the Brahminical rule of the Peshwas. Just as history did, so do the media and ruling class today conveniently forget to acknowledge them. On​ the 1st of​ January, every year, 20 lakh (2 million) people gather at Bhima-Koregaon, Pune, Maharashtra to commemorate that battle. No national or local media covers the largest annual gathering in the region. The documentary captures the history of Bhima Koregaon and its relevance to contemporary Dalit issues and politics in the country. It tells the history of the​ ​Bahujans through the coverage of the events of this gathering.
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The Uses (and Abuses) of Investigative Agencies

The Uses (and Abuses) of Investigative Agencies

The Wire / by Ajay K. Mehra

A critical look at the three central agencies show how and why they were conceived and how they are being used today.
It has been over a decade since Supreme Court Justice R.M. Lodha described the Central Bureau of Investigation as a “caged parrot” that speaks in “its master’s voice” in 2013, highlighting disconcerting trends of the misuse of federal probe agencies.

National Investigation Agency
The NIA’s political overreach was seen for the first time in June, 2020, when the Union Ministry of Home Affairs transferred the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case to it from the Maharashtra Police, which was conducting the investigation of the case from the inception. Human rights activists campaigning against the BJP’s Hindutva agenda congregated on December 31, 2017.
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Also read:

● PUCL Report: UAPA – CRIMINALISING DISSENT AND STATE TERROR

Study of UAPA Abuse in India, 2009 – 2022
Published: Sep 28, 2022
41 pages
PUCL’s study on the use and abuse of UAPA covering the period between 2009 and 2022, with special emphasis on the NIA.
Download report

Struggling to find evidence in Bhima Koregaon case, NIA is now resorting to outright bullying (Scroll.in / Sep 2020)
Dubious decision: On NIA takeover of Bhima Koregaon case (The Hindu / Jan 2020)
Bhima-Koregaon case transferred to NIA to compromise independent probe: Front Line Defenders (Sabrangindia / Jan 2020)

Police officer who probed case files affidavit before Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry

Police officer who probed case files affidavit before Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry

The Indian Express / by Chandan Haygunde

Senior police officer Shivaji Pawar, who is currently the deputy director (administration) of Maharashtra Police Academy, Nashik, is likely to be called before the commission to record his evidence.
Senior police officer Shivaji Pawar, who had investigated the Elgaar Parishad case in Maharashtra, submitted his affidavit before the Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry on Monday, advocate Shishir Hiray, who represents the state, said.
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Also read:
Report links Pune cop to hacking bid on Bhima Koregaon accused (Hindustan Times / June 2022)
Police Linked to Hacking Campaign to Frame Indian Activists (Wired.com / June 2022)
As Bhima Koregaon case completes its fourth anniversary, State reprisal is writ large in its twists and turns (The Leaflet / June 2022)

Bhima Koregaon Commission of Inquiry seeks affidavit by officer who probed Elgaar case

Bhima Koregaon Commission of Inquiry seeks affidavit by officer who probed Elgaar case

Koregaon Bhima panel seeks affidavit by officer who probed Elgaar case

17/07/2022

The Indian Express / by Chandan Haygunde

Pune City Police has claimed that the conclave was organised according to the strategy of the banned CPI-Maoist. According to police, speeches delivered at the conclave and previous campaigns for the event were among factors that caused the violence in Koregaon Bhima on January 1, 2018.
The Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry has directed the lawyer representing the Maharashtra government to file an affidavit by police officer Shivaji Pawar, who had investigated the Elgaar Parishad case when he was attached to Pune City Police.
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Bhima Koregaon Hearings: IO Asked To File Affidavit

15/07/2022

Rediff.com / by Jyoti Punwani

ACP Shivaji Pawar has been asked to file his affidavit by August 15.
As the hearings in the Bhima Koregaon Commission of Inquiry near their end, the Elgar Parishad has started becoming the focus of the proceedings.
On Friday, the Commission ordered Assistant Commissioner of Police Shivaji Pawar, the investigating officer in the case in which the ‘Bhima Koregaon 16’ have been behind bars since 2018, to file an affidavit before the Commission.
Read more


Also read:
Police Linked to Hacking Campaign to Frame Indian Activists (Wired.com / June 2022)
As Bhima Koregaon case completes its fourth anniversary, State reprisal is writ large in its twists and turns (The Leaflet / June 2022)

Commission of Inquiry: Elgaar Parishad activist questioned over Anand Teltumbde’s article

Commission of Inquiry: Elgaar Parishad activist questioned over Anand Teltumbde’s article

The Indian Express / by Chandan Haygunde

During the cross-examination before the Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry, activist Harshali Potdar was questioned about an article written by Anand Teltumbde in memory of Sridhar Srinivasan, the alleged central committee member of the banned CPI-Maoist.
Alleged to be a top urban operative of the banned organisation, Sridhar was arrested along with his aide Vernon Gonsalves by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in 2007. 
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Also read:
Witness Before Probe Panel Accuses Sambhaji Bhide & Milind Ekbote Of Instigating Bhima Koregaon Riots (Live Law / Oct 2021)

Koregaon Bhima inquiry commission gets another extension / Elgaar Parishad organiser questioned on her TISS research

Koregaon Bhima inquiry commission gets another extension / Elgaar Parishad organiser questioned on her TISS research

Koregaon Bhima inquiry commission gets another extension till December 31

25/06/2022

Indian Express / by Chandan Haygunde

The commission was initially given four months to submit its report, but its tenure had to be repeatedly extended to allow it to complete its work.
Maharashtra government has granted yet another extension to the Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry. An order to this effect has been issued by the home department on June 20. As per this order, the commission has been given an extension of six months till December 31, 2022.
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Elgaar Parishad organiser questioned on her TISS research related to Maoist movement

23/06/2022

The Indian Express / by Chandan Haygunde

During cross examination, Harshali Potdar claimed that she interacted with villagers, media persons, police and government officers, contractors and social activists in the Gadchiroli region for the purpose of her research.
The cross-examination of a witness, Harshali Potdar, who is among the organisers of the ‘Elgaar Parishad’ held in Pune on December 31, 2017, continued before the Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry on Wednesday. Potdar is an alumnus of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and an activist of the Republican Panthers Jatiantachi Chalwal, often referred to as RP.
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Elgar Parishad organiser questioned about her research on Maoist movement

23/06/2022

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The Pune Police had claimed that the 16 persons arrested in the case were conspiring with CPI (Maoist) members to overthrow the Narendra Modi government.
A judicial commission investigating the Bhima Koregaon violence case on Wednesday questioned Harshali Potdar, one of the organisers of the Elgar Parishad event in Pune held in December 2017, about her research on the Maoist movement, The Indian Express reported.
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Joint commissioner of police Nangre Patil, DIG, CBI Mohd Suvez Haque depose at Koregaon Bhima Inquiry commission

23/06/2022

The Times of India / by Swati Deshpande

Joint commissioner of police (Law and Order) Vishwas Nangre Patil, 48, and Mohd Suvez Haque, DIG, CBI, Mumbai– former superintendent of Police, Pune (rural)–, deposed on Thursday before the Koregaon Bhima commission of Inquiry
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Bhima Koregaon: If Collector Had Acted On Time …

Bhima Koregaon: If Collector Had Acted On Time …

Bhima Koregaon: If Collector Had Acted On Time …

09/06/2022

Rediff.com / by Jyoti Punwani

‘This shows how casually these officials approached a dispute simmering for years which finally erupted into violence.’
„Nero fiddling while Rome burnt.”
That’s how Advocate B G Bansode described the actions of Saurabh Rao, who was collector of Pune district when the January 1, 2018 riot at Bhima Koregaon took place.
Rao is currently divisional commissioner, Pune.
Bansode’s remarks came as Rao was deposing on June 6 before the Bhima Koregaon Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice J N Patel in Pune.
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Bhima Koregaon Probe Panel Orders Summons to Chiefs of Six Political Parties in Maharashtra

09/06/2022

The Wire / by pti

The Koregaon Bhima Commission, probing the January 1, 2018 violence near a memorial in Maharashtra’s Pune district, has ordered to issue summons to heads of six political parties in the state, including the Shiv Sena, Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on an application stating that their presence will be helpful to suggest measures to avoid incidents of violence in the future.
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Also read:
Witness Before Probe Panel Accuses Sambhaji Bhide & Milind Ekbote Of Instigating Bhima Koregaon Riots (Live Law / Oct 2021)
Casting a Veil – What we miss by ignoring Maratha caste politics in the Bhima Koregaon case (The Caravan / Dec 2020)

As Bhima Koregaon case completes its fourth anniversary, State reprisal is writ large in its twists and turns

As Bhima Koregaon case completes its fourth anniversary, State reprisal is writ large in its twists and turns

The Leaflet / by Nihalsing Rathod

As we have completed four years since the first arrest in the Elgar Parishad case, a quick recap of how 16 renowned human rights activists were jailed may be useful.
There is much more than meets the eye. Maybe we will have a few answers after the trial ends, but not all. It would be difficult to say what exactly caused the arrest of these 16 eminent persons, but we can definitely relook at the turn of events and try to understand what really happened.
Read more


Also read:
‘We are all prisoners of conscience’, say those facing trial in Bhima Koregaon case on the occasion of fourth anniversary of their arrests [read letter] (The Leaflet / June 2022)
3 years after Bhima Koregaon: How criminal law was violated (The Leaflet / June 2021)

Koregaon Bhima Panel summons Pune divisional commissioner to appear as witness

Koregaon Bhima Panel summons Pune divisional commissioner to appear as witness

The Indian Express / by Chandan Haygunde

The two-member commission, headed by retired judge Justice J N Patel, is probing into the cause of violence in the Koregaon Bhima area on January 1, 2018, in which one person had died and several others were left injured.
Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry has summoned IAS officer Saurabh Rao, who is currently the divisional commissioner of Pune, to appear as a witness during the hearings on June 6 and 7.
Read more


Also read:
Bhima Koregaon: Is Milind Ekbote Being Protected? (rediff.com / Feb 2022)
Let’s Remember the Lesson of Bhima Koregaon: Down with the New Peshwai (Sanhati│ by Sudhir Dhawale │ March 2018)

Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry calls for Elgaar Parishad video

Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry calls for Elgaar Parishad video

Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry calls for Elgaar Parishad video

09/02/2022

The Indian Express / by Chandan Haygunde

The two-member commission headed by retired justice J N Patel is probing the cause of the violence in the Koregaon Bhima area of the Pune district on January 1, 2018, in which one person had died and several others were left injured.
The Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry has asked special public prosecutor Shishir Hiray to obtain and submit the video of the Elgaar Parishad held in Pune in December 2017.
Read more


Podcast: Disha Wadekar talks about Ambedkarite history in Pune City, Bhima Koregaon in 2018 …

09/02/2022

By Anurag Minus Verma Podcast


en | 1h39min | 2022
Listen to the podcast

Anurag Minus Verma Podcast in Conversation with Disha Wadekar (#44 Disha Wadekar)
Disha is an advocate practicing in the Supreme Court. She has also headed a legal resource centre and is co-founder of CEDE.

Topics Discussed in the podcast: Rarely discussed Ambedkarite history about Pune City; What happened at the Bhim Koregaon in 2018; Vimukta identity and criminal act; Delta Meghwal rape case and struggle of the family for justice; Community for the Eradication of Discrimination in Education and Employment (CEDE), a network of lawyers, law firms, judges, and other organizations and individuals, who are committed to reforming the Indian legal profession.

Also read:
Bhima Koregaon: Is Milind Ekbote Being Protected? (rediff.com / Feb 2022)
Witness Before Probe Panel Accuses Sambhaji Bhide & Milind Ekbote Of Instigating Bhima Koregaon Riots (Live Law / Oct 2021)