Chargesheet filed in Ambedkar insult case
Asianage, 30th August 2000
By Sonal Shah
Mumbai, Aug. 29

The railway police submitted a chargesheet accusing the officer who had allegedly insulted Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar in November last, to the public prosecutor on Monday.

Sources from the police said that the accused officer would be directly arrested if the public prosecutor clarifies the section to be applied for the offence. The Union railway ministry would be appraised later about the developments. However, the procedure would take at least a week to be completed, sources said.

The officer in question had allegedly insulted Dr Ambedkar in presence of two people who had sought his permission to erect a pandal to serve food and water to his followers in November last year. Following which, Mr Ram Kanojia and Mr Ram Dixit had filed a complaint with the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus police.

The police registered a complaint (FIR No. 334/99) against the officer under Section 7(1)(d) of the Indian Penal Code for protection of civil rights. Mr Kanojia, who is a dhobi by profession, is a resident of Kalyan.

The police has faced some procedural difficulties while following up the case. Mr Kanojia, who is originally from Uttar Pradesh, is registered as a schedule caste in his home state. However, dhobis are registered in Other Backward Class (serial no. 125) in Maharashtra. Mr Kanojia's changed category in Maharashtra has made the procedure difficult to follow.

A spokesperson from the Central Railway hoped that the public prosecutor doesn't suggest application of section 153, which is a non-bailable offence. "We fear that the episode might take a political turn," he said. A source in CR said that the administration was trying to hush up the matter. Additional general manager, S.K. Agarwal feigned ignorance when asked to comment on the issue.

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