New Delhi: In a sudden development, the Centre on Friday transferred investigation into the 2018 Bhima Koregaon case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The development came just a day after Maharashtra’s ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government held a meeting to review the status of the investigation into the case thus far. Also Read - NIA Summons 40 People Including Farmers' Leader, Punjabi Actor
Notably, in recent days, many leaders of Maharashtra’s ruling alliance, including Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, have expressed a possibility of closing the probe into the case, accusing the BJP as well as the Centre of indulging in ‘witch-hunt,’ calling the arrests ‘politically motivated.’ The state government was also reportedly likely to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case. Also Read - Historic! Install CCTV in All Police Stations, CBI, NIA, ED, NCB, Including Interrogation Rooms: Supreme Court
The case dates back to January 1, 2018 when violence broke out during an annual celebratory gathering to observe the 200th year of the Bhima Koregaon victory; the occasion is observed annually by Dalits. The Dalit community responded to the violence by observing a Maharashtra bandh on January 2, during which massive violence was reported from across the state, including in Mumbai. Also Read - Shehla Rashid Reacts To Her Estranged Father's Charges, Calls Them 'Absolutely Baseless'
Later, that year, the Pune Police carried out a series of pan-India raids in which they arrested six activists for their alleged links to Maoists, as well as their alleged involvement with the January 1 violence.
The case being handed to the NIA, however, is likely to raise many questions due to it being an agency which works under the Centre. The handing of the recent Davinder Singh case to the agency, too, raised eyebrows with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accusing the government of trying to ‘bury the case.’