Mumbai, India – A senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Maharashtra’s Satara and Sangli districts, Vikram Pawaskar, has been accused of delivering hate speeches and fueling communal tensions. Despite electronic evidence and multiple FIRs pointing to his involvement in inciting communal violence, the police have yet to take action against him.
Shakir Islal Tamboli, a rights activist, has filed a petition before the Bombay high court, highlighting Pawaskar’s role in inciting Hindu youth in the region. The public prosecutor representing the Satara police submitted an affidavit clearing Pawaskar of any wrongdoing, prompting the court to question the lack of action against him.
Pawaskar, the vice president of BJP in Maharashtra, has emerged as a prominent Hindutva figure in the region, following in the footsteps of the notorious Sambhaji Bhide. Tamboli has been closely monitoring the activities of disruptive Hindutva groups and has raised concerns about their incendiary speeches and provocative actions targeting the Muslim community.
Despite repeated warnings to the police about potential communal flare-ups, Pawaskar continued to make inflammatory statements, culminating in a violent attack on a mosque that resulted in the death of one individual and serious injuries to several others. Despite evidence implicating Pawaskar, the police have been slow to take action against him.
Following the attack, the police initially failed to include charges of criminal conspiracy in the FIR. Only after pressure from the Muslim community and rights activists did the police enhance the charges and include references to the conspiracy meeting organized at a local resident’s house. However, despite detailed testimony and evidence pointing to Pawaskar’s involvement, he has not been made an accused in the case.
The case raises concerns about the role of law enforcement in addressing communal tensions and holding individuals accountable for their actions. As the legal battle continues, the community remains vigilant in the face of ongoing threats and incitement.