Villagers staying in and around Bhima- Koregaon have welcomed the state government’s decision of withdrawing cases registered against villagers after the January 1 riots. However, the villagers also demanded that the government should take more efforts in arresting the main conspirators of the riots.Bhima-Koregaon, a village near Pune, and adjoining villages witnessed large scale violence between two communities on the first day of 2018. A large number of people from the Dalit community had gathered at the historic memorial in Bhima-Koregaon to commemorate 200th anniversary of the battle between Peshwas and East India Company which consisted soldiers largely from the Dalit Community.One person had lost his life in the riots while several others had sustained injuries. Police had booked several people, including local villagers.The incident of Bhima-Koregaon witnessed reactions from all corners of the country. Subsequent to the riots, many other parts of the state also witnessed incidents of violence.However, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday announced that the state government will be withdrawing the cases which are not serious in nature. The local villagers have welcomed the step of the state government.Praful Shivle, former sarpanch of Vadhu budruk said, “Local villagers have already faced huge losses after their properties were damaged in riots and later police booked local villagers. There are many youngsters who are facing cases against them and because of these cases, their future will be ruined. We welcome state government’s decision of withdrawing of cases(sic).”Villagers, however, are demanding strong action against the main conspirators. Rajendra Gaikwad, another villager, said, “There is a calm in all the nearby villages after that (riot) incident, but we want main conspirators to be behind bars. It has been nearly three months but the government has not found main conspirators which is a huge failure of the government.”
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