Days after the Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar hits out at his ally and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray over the transfer of Elgar Parishad-Koregaon-Bhima case to NIA, the Maharashtra government will conduct a parallel investigation into the case, a senior state minister said on Monday.
“We shall seek legal opinion on the matter. We shall also discuss the matter with the Chief Minister before setting up a Special Investigation Team,” Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said.
Four days after the Pune Sessions Court had assigned the case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the NCP national spokesperson had said that the state government will set up a SIT to probe the sensitive matter.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar had termed the decision as “unconstitutional” and said that it violates the state’s jurisdiction over law and order issues. He alleged that BJP-led centre had handed over the case to NIA as it wants to hide something.
“There appears to be something that the former Fadnavis government wants to suppress. That’s why the probe has been handed over to the NIA,” Pawar had said.
“The behaviour of some in the Maharashtra Police (involved in Bhima-Koregaon investigation) was objectionable. I wanted the role of these officers to be investigated. But ministers in the Maharashtra government met police officers one morning, and the centre ordered its transfer to the NIA at 3 pm the same day,” news agency ANI quoted him as telling reporters.
“This is wrong as per the constitution because criminal investigations come within the state’s jurisdiction. It was wrong of the centre to take the investigation out of the state’s hands, and it was wrong of the Maharashtra government to support the decision,” NCP chief added.
The case related to the alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at a conclave a night before the violence broke out near the Bhima-Koregaon war memorial over two years ago.
The violence occurred on January 1, 2018, that took the life of a man and several others were injured during the 200th-anniversary celebrations of the Bhima-Koregaon battle.