Maharashtra CIC assaulted over demolition of Mumbai's Ambedkar Bhavan

Apr 18, 2017, 11:15 IST | Dharmendra Jore

Assaulters apparently upset over state chief information commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad's role in the demolition of Ambedkar Bhavan in Mumbai; cops arrest culprits

Gaikwad attempts to fend off the attackers until cops came to his defence
Gaikwad attempts to fend off the attackers until cops came to his defence

In a horrific breach of security, around five political workers of the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM), apparently miffed about the demolition of Mumbai's Ambedkar Bhavan, accosted state chief information commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad in Aurangabad and attacked him. The party is headed by Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of late Dr BR Ambedkar.

Also read: Did the Ambedkars know of the demolition plan?

Brazen public attack
According to sources, the attack took place at the government's Subhedari Guesthouse where Gaikwad was with his wife. Shockingly, the attackers approached him in full view of police force and media and brazenly took turns to beat the former chief secretary, and an Ambedkarite. In the attack, he suffered blunt injuries and was administered first aid before being escorted to the airport from where he boarded a flight back to Mumbai.

Beghum Peth police said that five people - namely Shrirang Sasane, Dinesh Salve, Shanta Dhule and Rekha Ujagare along with BBM district president Amit Bhuigal - were arrested from the spot.

Most probable cause
Primary reports suggest that the workers attacked Gaikwad because they were angry over his role in the historic Ambedkar Bhavan's demolition onJune 25 last year for redevelopment purposes. It has been public knowledge that large swathes of Ambedkar followers, including his grandsons Prakash and Anandraj, had blamed Gaikwad for it and accused him of destroying the history and Ambedkar's printing press. He was also named in the FIR field by Prakash.

Also read: Not a single stone to be moved from Ambedkar Bhavan, says Bombay HC

Gaikwad is adviser to People's Improvement Trust (PIT) that has been in a constant feud with the Ambedkar kin over ownership of the Bhavan as the PIT wants to build a 17-storey structure there, but has assured Prakash that his office will be retained, whereas Prakash is opposed to the update to the building. While Prakash did not respond to mid-day's call, Gaikwad remained unavailable for comment.

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