The Mumbai Police on Friday denied permission to Sambhaji Bide, the prime accused of orchestrating violence in Maharashtra, from holding any event or rally in the state. Bhide heads the organisation called “Shivpratisthan Hindustan”. The organisation had submitted a letter to Mumbai Police to seek permission for Sunday’s event where Bhide was expected to address the gathering. After the clashes broke out in Maharashtra in the wake of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon, the pro-Hindutva leader was booked for inciting violence in the state.

He was accused of hatching a conspiracy to create clashes in Maharashtra. However, the 85-year-old leader said that he has nothing to do with it. He further said he never indulged in any acts to divide communities. “I have nothing to do with it. I have never indulged in any acts to divide communities. Some people want to include my name for political motives. There is a big conspiracy behind this,” said Sambhaji Bhide.

Bhide added that the allegations against him are nothing but to vitiate the atmosphere and take political mileage. “Allegations on me going there and inciting violence are as true as someone seeing a moon on amavas,” said Bhide.

The Pune police on January 2 registered a complaint against Bhide under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act and other various sections of the IPC. The complaint was filed by Anita Ravindra, who is a member of the Bahujan Republican Socialist Party. She said Bhide’s supporters were hurling stones at people and police was also being attacked.

Protests erupted in Maharashtra in the aftermath of the violence in Pune during the 200th-anniversary celebrations of the Bhima Koregaon Battle. More than sixty buses were torched and attacked, shops were burnt and a journalist working for a leading news channel was assaulted during the clashes.

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