Mumbai, June 12 : Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) President Nana Patole on Monday alleged that the media were being pressurised by the state government to delete the video of the lathi charge on Warkaris even as Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was claiming there was no such police action. Fadnavis also holds the home portfolio.
“It is clear that during the palanquin departure ceremony of Santshrestha Dnyaneshwar Maharaj, the police beat the Warkaris with sticks on Sunday. Now they are pressurising media houses to delete the video,” said Patole. “A Warkari himself is talking about the atrocities committed by the police but the state home minister Devendra Fadnavis does not see it,” he said.
Speaking to the media at Tilak Bhavan, state Congress headquarters, Patole said the Warkari tradition, which has been going on for hundreds of years, is conducted peacefully every year.
Warkaris’ planning and discipline are recognised worldwide, but on Sunday, there was “police brutality” on members of the community in Alandi, he said. “It is clear that the police lathicharged the protestors without any reason,” he said.
“So what is Home Minister Fadnavis trying to prove by falsely claiming that there was no lathi-charge?” he asked .
Patole termed as “ridiculous”, “insensitive” and “irresponsible” Fadnavis’ allegation that the opposition is playing politics and that there was no baton charge on the protestors. “The incident is a disgrace to the rich Warkari tradition of Maharashtra,” he said.
Warkari is a religious movement within the bhakti spiritual tradition of Hinduism and geographically associated with Maharashtra. Warkaris worship Vitthal (also known as Vithoba), the presiding deity of Pandharpur, regarded as a form of Vishnu.