New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday slammed the Centre’s decision to transfer probe into the 2018 Bhima Koregaon case from the Pune Police to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), calling the agency’s officers ‘government’s stooges.’ Also Read - Bhima Koregaon Case: Amid Review by Maharashtra Government, Centre Transfers Case to NIA

In a sudden development last night, the Centre handed over the probe into the case to the NIA, a day after Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Home Minister Anil Deshmukh were briefed by Pune Police’s top brass over the status of their investigation into the case.

On Saturday, the former Congress national president, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah as ‘MOSH,’ tweeted: “Anyone who opposes the MOSH agenda of hate is an urban naxal. Bhima Koregaon is a symbol of resistance that the government’s NIA stooges can never erase.”

The NIA is currently headed by YC Modi, an officer considered close to PM Modi and HM Shah. The opposition has frequently alleged that the handing over of a case to the agency is done to hide the truth from people. The handing of the recent Davinder Singh case to the NIA, too, had raised eyebrows.

The Bhima Koregaon case dates back to January 1, 2018, when clashes broke out between Dalits and Marathas at Bhima Koregaon near Pune, a day after visitors gathered to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon victory were attacked allegedly by right-wing activists. Later that year, the Pune Police arrested a number of social activists for their alleged links to Maoists as well the Bhima Koregaon violence.

In recent days, a series of statements have been made by leaders of Maharashtra’s ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, which seemed to indicate that the government was going to withdraw cases against the activists.

The transfer of case to the NIA has upset the Maharashtra government, with the state Home Minister condemning the Centre’s action as being against the Constitution.