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After meet with Sharad Pawar, NCP minister says Maharashtra to run parallel probe into Elgar Parishad case

FE Online

The Nationalist Congress Party has claimed that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra will carry out a parallel probe into the Elgaar Parishad case after it was transferred from the state police to the National Investigation Agency. NCP spokesperson and state minister Nawab Malik said the Home department headed by Anil Deshmukh will soon take a decision over the formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) that will run a parallel probe into the incident.

"The state government will carry out a parallel inquiry in Bhima Koregaon case through SIT. Our Home Minister will make a decision soon over formation of the SIT," he said.

Malik was speaking to reporters after NCP supremo Sharad Pawar called a meeting of all ministers of his party in the Uddhav Thackeray-led government. Uddhav heads an alliance government of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress.

The NCP chief had voiced his displeasure with Uddhav over his nod to hand over the probe to the NIA from the state police. Pawar had said that law and order is a state subject, therefore "it was not right for the Centre to hand over the investigation into the case to the NIA".

"But it was even more wrong for the state government to support the transfer of the case," Pawar had said.

The Elgar Parishad case relates to inflammatory speeches delivered at a conclave held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on December 31, 2017. On January 1, 2018, violence broke out near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial. One person was killed in the violence.

According police, 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 Elgar Parishad case.

Last week, a Pune court allowed the NIA’s plea for transfer of case papers, court records and proceedings to a special NIA court in Mumbai.