Bhima Koregaon Case: NCP Likely to Order Parallel Inquiry Soon

ICentre’s prerogative to investigate the case, but it should’ve taken the state into confidence, said Sharad Pawar.

3 min read
Pictures of the activists arrested in the case, used for representational purposes.

Even after NIA has taken over Bhima Koregaon probe, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) insisted on Monday, 17 February, for a parallel inquiry into the case, reported ANI.

Quoting section 10 of the NIA act, NCP minister Nawab Malik said Home Minister Anil Deshmukh will order a parallel inquiry soon.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday, alleged that the Centre has handed over probe in the Elgar Parishad case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as the previous Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra wants to “hide something,” PTI reported.

According to PTI, Pawar, who earlier demanded constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case in which human rights activists have been arrested for alleged links with Maoists, said the Centre should have taken the Maharashtra government into confidence before handing over the case to NIA.

“There seems to be something that the then Fadnavis government wants to hide, hence the investigation has been handed over to NIA. When the Koregaon-Bhima violence took place, Fadnavis government was in power," Pawar told reporters in Jalgaon.

It is the Centre's prerogative to investigate the Elgar Parishad case, but it should have taken the state into confidence, said Pawar.

“Koregaon-Bhima, and Elgar Parishad, held in Pune a day before the violence, are two different issues. Is writing rebellious literature and speaking against the government an an anti-national activity?” he asked, according to PTI.

Pune Court Transfers Bhima Koregaon Case to Mumbai’s NIA Court

In the Bhima-Koregaon case, Pune Sessions Court on Friday, passed an order to transfer all the records and further proceedings of the case to Special NIA Court, Mumbai.

All the accused in the case are to be produced before the Mumbai court on 28 February. 

Before Additional Sessions Judge SR Navander passed the order, the prosecution submitted an application stating that they do not have any objection to the NIA’s plea seeking transfer of the case.

Earlier during the day, Pawar said that the Maharashtra government's alleged decision to transfer the Bhima-Koregaon case to the Centre is constitutionally wrong as the investigation falls under the state's jurisdiction.

Earlier, the Maharashtra government had said that it had no objection to the NIA taking over the probe into the case.

‘Maha Govt Supporting the Decision Is Wrong’

Pawar said, “Behaviour of some people in Maharashtra Police was objectionable. I wanted that the role of these officers is investigated.”

He added, “In the morning, there was a meeting of Maharashtra government ministers with police officers. At 3 pm, the Centre ordered the transfer of the case to NIA. This is wrong as per the Constitution because crime’s investigation is state’s jurisdiction.”

Last month, the state's Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had said that the Centre should not have transferred the case to NIA without looping in the state government.

The centre transferred the probe in the case from Pune Police to the NIA in January, a decision which was then criticised by the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government in Maharashtra.

What’s the Case About?

The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at the Elgar Parishad conclave, held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on 31 December 2017, which the police claimed, triggered violence near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in the district the following day.

Pune Police has claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists.

During the probe, the police arrested Left-leaning activists Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Varavara Rao for alleged Maoist links.

These nine activists, currently in jail, are among 11 people booked by the NIA in the Bhima-Koregaon case.

(With inputs from PTI, ANI)

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