Case against Sambhaji Bhide, followers for 'obstructing' waari

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Pune: City police have registered a case against Sambhaji Bhide, founder of Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan, and his followers for allegedly obstructing the annual `waari' procession.

Case was registered against Bhide, popularly known as Bhide Guruji, whom the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had described as one of his inspirations, and others under sections 143 (unlawful assembly) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of IPC.

As per the police complaint, when Sant Dnyaneshwar's Palkhi was proceeding along Ferguson College Road yesterday, Bhide and around 1,000 of his followers obstructed it.

"They addressed the gathering through loudspeakers and shouted slogans and this led to a dispute between warkaris (devotees of Lord Vitthal who participate in waari, an annual march to Pandharpur) and Bhide's followers," said an officer from the Deccan Gymkhana police station.

Warkaris alleged that Bhide's followers disrupt the procession every year.

Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan denied the allegations.

Bhide, a staunch right-wing Hindu activist and an ardent admirer of King Shivaji, has a sizable following in western Maharashtra.

At an election rally in Sangli district in October 2014, prime minister Modi had said he had come to seek blessings of `Bhide Guruji' who had been an inspiration during the early days of his life.

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