The Centre on Friday transferred the Koregaon-Bhima case to the National Investigation Agency. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
The Centre on Friday transferred the Koregaon-Bhima case to the National Investigation Agency. The case was being probed by the Pune police and the Centre’s decision to hand over Koregaon Bhima probe to the National Investigation Agency came a day after the police briefed Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Home Minister Anil Deshmukh about the status of the probe.
Condemning the Centre’s decision to hand over the probe to the NIA, the Maharashtra Congress on Saturday alleged that the sudden move substantiates the “conspiracy” of the BJP.
The NCP also alleged that the Centre’s move is aimed at covering up the wrongdoings of the previous BJP-led government in Maharashtra.
“Sudden taking over of Bhima Koregaon riot case by NIA after Maha Vikas Aghadi govt started reinvestigation into inquiry of Pune police, clearly substantiates conspiracy of BJP. Why it took 2 yrs for NIA to find that case is fit under it’s jurisdiction? Strongly condemn!” Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said in a tweet.
“Why did it take NIA two years to find out that the case is fit under its jurisdiction. Strongly condemn the decision,” he said.
NCP spokesperson and state Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik described the decision as a “cover-up” by the Centre to hide the wrongdoings of the previous BJP-led government in the state.
On Friday, another NCP leader and minister Jitendra Awhad alleged that the Koregaon-Bhima violence case was a "conspiracy" of the previous BJP-led government to malign the image of activists sympathetic to Dalit causes.
NIA taking over the case comes a day after Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh alleged that the Fadnavis dispensation had misused the government machinery to tap the phones of opposition leaders, especially during the formation of the MVA government.
Deshmukh said that the cyber cell of the Maharashtra Police has been directed to probe the complaints of phone tapping and snooping of Opposition leaders between 2014-19 when Fadnavis-led BJP government was in power. "There is no doubt that the previous dispensation has misused the government machinery to tap of phones of leaders from opposition parties," he said.
The Maharashtra home minister also said that the Devendra Fadnavis government had sent some officials to Israel to study the snooping software. "There were reports that some officers were sent to Israel to study the snooping software. We are finding out who had gone to Israel and whether there was any official engagement," Deshmukh said.
Violence had broken out near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in Pune district on January 1, 2018.
Dalits visit the memorial in large numbers as it commemorates the victory of British forces, which included Dalit soldiers over the army of the Brahmin Peshwa rulers of Pune in 1818.
The police had claimed that provocative speeches at Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, led to the violence and Maoists were behind the conclave.
They later arrested several Left-leaning activists including Telugu poet Varavara Rao and activist Sudha Bharadwaj for alleged links to Maoists.