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Day after the police in Maharashtra’s Amravati district filed a case against right-wing activist Sambhaji Bhide for making certain objectionable remarks against Mahatma Gandhi, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said that such statements against the Father of the Nation are inappropriate and will not be tolerated.

Condemning Sambhaji Bhide’s statements against Mahatma Gandhi, Devendra Fadnavis said, “I condemn the statement of Sambhaji Bhide. Mahatma Gandhi is the father of the nation. He is viewed as the leader of the history of India’s freedom struggle.”

Devendra Fadnavis also said that the state government will take appropriate action against Sambhaji Bhide. “Such a statement against him is inappropriate, people will not tolerate it. State Government will take appropriate action in this case. Insulting Mahatma Gandhi will not be tolerated under any circumstances,” he said.

While a case against Sambhaji Bhide has been registered, the state Congress has insisted that the right-wing activist must be arrested. Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole said the party would organise protests across the state against Sambhaji Bhide.

Bhide, the founder of Shri Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan outfit, is accused of making offensive remarks about the Father of the Nation in his speech during a programme at Bharat Mangal Hall in Badnera Road area in Amravati district on Thursday, July 27.

The Rajapeth police in Amravati booked Sambhaji Bhide under Indian Penal Code section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), an official said.

Meanwhile, Nana Patole has alleged that Sambhaji Bhide was getting protection from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “The relationship between Sambhaji Bhide and the BJP-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is well-known and he is getting protection from them,” he said.

The state Congress chief also alleged that Sambhaji Bhide was an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case but was roaming free. The violence took place in the Koregaon Bhima area of Pune on January 1, 2018, near a war memorial revered by Dalits.

(With agency inputs)

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Updated: 30 Jul 2023, 03:06 PM IST

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