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Elgar Parishad organizer detained in charge of promoting enemity

Elgar Parishad organizer detained in charge of promoting enemity

Eastern Times, New Delhi: Ms. Harshali Potdar, one of the organizer of Elgar Parishad and activist of Republican Pathers Jaatiantachi Chalval (Caste Annihilation Movement) has been detained by Pune Police along with an activist Mohsin Shaikh on Monday.

Harshali’s anticipatory bail was denied by session court on Wednesday, by additional judge AA Nandgaonkar. She has been charged with Section 153A (1) (a) of Indian Constitution, that pertains to promoting or attempting to promote enmity between different groups.

“We have arrested Harshali Potdar, a leader-activist of Republican Panther, and Mohsin Shaikh, who had written the post,” said an police official from MRA Marg police station.

The case was filed against her for sharing an allegedly communal social media post in first week of April 2020. She had allegedly shared a Facebook post written by Mohasin Shaikh, that criticised government for targeting Tablighi Jamaat and Muslim community for spreading corona. The case was filed at MRA during lockdown

Bhima Koregaon Shaurya Prerna Din Abhiyan, the organising body of progressive organisations from Maharashtra has criticised the arrest.

Kishor Kamble, Coordinator from State Coordination Committee of Bhima Koregaon Shaurya Prerna Din issued a statement saying, “On one hand, the government is protecting the culprits of the riots at Bhima Koregaon even when the evidence is available against them while on other hand they detained the activists who are trying to protest constitutional values under false charges.”

According to the organisers of Elgar Parishad, the case is made to defame the activists and an attempt to disorganise the Elgar Parishad, which is scheduled on January 30th, 2021 at Ganesh Kala Krida Manch, Pune.

Before arrest, Harshali Potdar denied the charges, stating “I have no idea why I am being arrested. I have not shared any communal posts. “

Previously, Harshali Potdar was also arrested by the Pune police for her alleged role in organising the Elgar Parishad at ShanivarWada, Pune on December 31, 2017.

A joint statement was made by emenent personalities in support of Harshali Potdar, stating “Harshali had not shared any communal post as she is very responsible social media user and well known for her commitment towards Constitution. The government is unwilling to arrest the true culprits as Sambhaji Bhide and falsely attacking our activists to hide their institutional failure. We condemn the arrest and demand her immediate release. The attempts of government to foil the Elgar Parishad will not work this time.”

The joint statement was made by Justice B.G. Kolse Patil, Ret., Bombay High Court; Kishor Kambale, Bahujan Ekta Parishad; Dr. Sangram Maurya; Ravi Gaikwad, People’s Voice; Ganapat Pise, Lal Sena; Sitaram Gangawane, Bhim Army; Nitin Ghodake; Ramdas Unhale, Kabir Kala Manch; Rahul Gaikwad, Chief Secretory, Maharashtra & Mumbai Pradesh, Samjwadi Party; Sharad Gaikwad, Republican Pathers Jati-Antachi Clalva; Sagar Alhat, Shetkari Kamgar Party; Manjoor Khan, State Secretary, Jamat-e-Islami; Yaseen Pirzaade, Popular front of India; Praveen kankute, Bheem Prahar Saghatana and Susheel Bhise, Bhartiya Jansangharsha Sena.

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