Pune: The city police detained two persons on Tuesday for threatening Shrimant Kokate, a self-proclaimed historical researcher, and leader of the pro-Maratha, anti-Brahmin outfit Sambhaji Brigade.
Santosh Shinde, a member of the outfit, told The Hindu that they suspect the accused of being Hindutva activists. “A WhatsApp group of around 80-90 persons had been regularly threatening Mr. Kokate since the past week, exhorting him to stop lecturing on King Shivaji and other aspects of Maharashtra’s history,” he said.
He added that a case has been lodged in the Shivajinagar police station and two persons have been taken in police custody.
According to sources in the police station, a case was lodged under Sections 501 (attempted defamation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), and 507 (criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and Sections 67 and 67(a) of the IT Act, among others.
Mr. Kokate is known for his provocative lectures and writings on the life of Maratha warrior King Chhatrapati Shivaji, besides other aspects of the State’s history, like the Battle of Panipat. He is also critical of Brahmanical narratives and his speeches have aroused the ire of Hindutva groups like the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS).
In 2010, the Kolhapur district police police reportedly issued a restraining notice to Mr. Kokate under clause 149 of the IPC, following a complaint by the HJS.