New Delhi: The Maharashtra government on Monday announced that it will carry out a ‘parallel investigation’ into the Elgar Parishad case after the Centre, in a sudden move last month, transferred the case from the state police to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), triggering a huge political row. Also Read - As Cracks Widen in Aghadi Government, Sharad Pawar to Meet NCP Ministers Today
The announcement comes on a day Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar met NCP ministers in the coalition government in the state amid public differences with ally Shiv Sena over the transfer of the case to the NIA, as well as the implementation of the National Population Register (NPR) in the state. Also Read - Sharad Pawar Facing 'Perception War', Scared NIA Probe Will Reveal Truth: Devendra Fadnavis
Speaking to news agency ANI, Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik said, “The state government will carry out a parallel enquiry in the Bhima Koregaon case through a Special Investigation Team (SIT). Our Home Minister will make a decision soon, over forming the SIT.” Also Read - 'Centre And States Should Only do Respective Works,' Says Ajit Pawar as NIA Gets Bhima Koregaon Probe
Shiv Sena chief and Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, after initial criticism of the Centre’s decision, recently approved the transfer of the Elgar Parishad probe to the NIA, allegedly overruling the state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who too is from the NCP.
Criticising the Chief Minister, Pawar had remarked that since law and order was a state subject, it was ‘unfair’ for the rights of the state to be ‘encroached’ upon.
The Elgar Parishad case, also called the Bhima Koregaon case, pertains to an attack on revellers who had gathered to observe the 200th year of the Bhima Koregaon victory, on January 1, 2018. Later that year, the Pune Police made arrested a number of scholars and human rights activists for their alleged links to Maoists, as well as their alleged involvement with the January 1 violence.
Those arrested were also accused of allegedly hatching a plan with the Maoists to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi.