Here’s what Ekbote and Bhide had to say about the allegations made by Prakash Ambedkar against them.

During the last few days, mainstream media has proved itself irresponsible and absurd when it comes to blaming Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote for causing tension in Bhima-Koregaon. Most of the English media’s reports portray both of them in a negative picture while holding them responsible for riots in the state. Break India gang jokers are referred as heroes even if they give hate speeches and trigger riots, while Hindutvawadi leaders automatically become the villain. Perhaps, all this is a part of left’s propaganda.

Few Marathi channels have been fair and balanced enough to approach Ekbote and Bhide to know their side of the story. Two FIRs have been filed against them by activists linked with Dalit outfits. Now, the cops are investigating the matter.

While interacting with News 18 Lokmat’s editor, Sambhaji Bhide denied all the allegations and said he has nothing to do with Bhima-Koregaon riots. The 85-year old also said he believes country’s investigative agencies would find out the real culprits.

“Prakash Ambedkar is probably under the influence of Sambhaji Brigade (an outfit that spreads anti-Brahmin venom). I have never visited Bhima-Koregaon since the last few years, and I urge state’s cyber cell to find out who was spreading Whatsapp messages about my speeches. I have sufficient evidence to prove my whereabouts. On the day of riots, I was attending last rites and event organized after the death of former NCP minister Jayant Patil’s mother. Fake cases have been filed against me claiming that I was in Bhima-Koregaon. This is a well-planned conspiracy to target me,” said Bhide.

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Beef Mafia targeting Ekbote?

Often referred as Hindutvawadi and a gaurakshak, Milind Ekbote was twice elected as an independent corporator in the PMC. During the last twenty-five years, Ekbote has rescued thousands of cows. The anti-cow slaughter activist is also the chief of Akhil Bhartiya Krushi Gau Seva Sangh. His organization helps police in tracking and capturing vehicles transporting illegally slaughtered animals. Apparently, there are multiple cases registered against him by beef traders lobby.  On the other hand, his outfit has logged more than 200 lawsuits against slaughterhouses and beef traders.

He also made it into the limelight when he opposed glorification of Afzal Khan’s tomb near Pratapgad in Maharashtra.

Ekbote has recently exposed how cow slaughterers illegally export cow’s organs to Chinese medicine makers. This has irked the people linked to the business as well as some individuals in the administration.

Now, the 65-year-old claims he is intentionally being targeted by some individuals who are probably linked with beef mafias as well.

“I have several Dalit gaurakshaks who work with me. I respect the creator of our constitution, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. He is one of my idols.  I opposed the Yalgaar Parishad event at Shaniwar Wada as the historical monument cannot be used for political events as per PMC’s rules. I had asked the authorities not to allow Jignesh Mevani and Umar Khalid to give hate speech at Shaniwar Wada as it was a political event. As far as allegations are concerned, I have police protection due to threats that I receive from the butcher lobby. Wherever I go, the police accompany me. How can I cause riots? Police automatically keep track of all my activities every minute,” said Ekbote.

The right-wing activist has also challenged Prakash Ambedkar to prove all the charges legally against him or face a defamation case.

Prakash Ambedkar recently said the PMO is protecting Bhide and Ekbote. He is a lawyer and can quickly approach the court, submit all the evidence against Bhide, Ekbote and then force the state government to act. Merely making allegations on television won’t help, said an eminent HC lawyer who does not wish to be named.

Article Desk

Contributed by The Article staff