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Will Visit Koregaon Bhima Even if Govt Stops, Says Bhim Army Chief After Being Denied Permission for Rally in Pune

Azad was to address a rally at the SSPMS College ground here on Sunday evening, however, it was cancelled as the organisers failed to get required permissions.

PTI

Updated:December 30, 2018, 11:46 PM IST
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Will Visit Koregaon Bhima Even if Govt Stops, Says Bhim Army Chief After Being Denied Permission for Rally in Pune
File photo of Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad.
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Pune: Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad reached Pune amid heavy police security on Sunday, after being allegedly detained in Mumbai on Saturday.

Azad was to address a rally at the SSPMS College ground here on Sunday evening, however, it was cancelled as the organisers failed to get required permissions.

His supporters had alleged on Saturday that he was "detained" at his Mumbai hotel, a charge police denied.

The firebrand Dalit leader was also scheduled to have an interaction with students at Savitribai Phule Pune University Monday, but varsity officials said that no
permission had been granted for the program.

Azad is slated to visit Koregaon Bhima in Pune district on January 1 on the occasion of 201st anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon Bhima of 1818 which Dalits in
Maharashtra commemorate.

Speaking to the media, Azad said he will visit Koregaon Bhima even if the government uses force to stop him. After the permission for Sunday's rally was denied
members of the Bhim Army have approached the Bombay High Court.

"The hearing on our petition will take place Monday. If the decision comes in our favour, we will hold a rally here, and if the court denies us permission, we will not go against the law as we respect the Constitution," Azad said.

Talking about the violence at Koregaon Bhima on January 1, 2018, and police's crack-down on left-leaning activists in its aftermath, Azad insisted that the arrested
activists were innocent.

"The police are claiming they have seized a letter which talks about danger to the prime minister's life, however, it is clear that at present there is a danger to
humanity," he said.

According to the police, seized correspondence between some of the arrested activists and Maoists suggested that Maoists were planning "Rajiv Gandhi-like incident" to
assassinate Narendra Modi.

As lakhs of people are expected to visit the war memorial at Koregaon Bhima on January 1, police have tightened the security to avoid any untoward incident.

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