‘Won’t Transfer Bhima-Koregaon Case to Centre’: Uddhav Thackeray
The Maharashtra chief minister stated that Elgaar Parishad and Bhima Koregaon are two different cases.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday, 18 February, said that his government will not hand over the investigation of the Koregaon-Bhima violence case to the Centre.
The chief minister said, “Elgaar Parishad and Bhima Koregaon are two different issues. The issue of Dalits is related to Bhima Koregaon. I have not handed over its investigation to the Centre and will not. I want to make it clear that there will be no injustice to Dalits.”
His statements come a day after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) insisted for a parallel inquiry into the case.
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 have claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists.
Last week, a Pune Sessions Court on 14 February, passed an order to transfer all the records and further proceedings of the case to Special NIA Court in Mumbai. They stated that all the accused in the case are to be produced before the Mumbai court on 28 February.
Udhhav, Pawar on Elgaar Parishad Case
The Maharashtra government had recently okayed the handing over of investigation into the Elgar Parishad case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
NCP chief Sharad Pawar had recently publicly expressed his unhappiness over Thackeray’s decision to hand over the Elgar Parishad probe to the NIA.
Raising objection over the state government support Pawar last week 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.”
The NCP is a key constituent of the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, along with the Congress party.
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.
During the investigation into the case, the police had arrested Left-leaning activists Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, , Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj, Varavara Rao and more for alleged Maoist links.
(With inputs from PTI, ANI)
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