Former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis on Friday supported the Centre's decision of transferring the Bhima-Koregaon case to the National Investigation Agency. Fadnavis said that the decision was correct as the case was not confined just to the state of Maharashtra but the entire country.
Speaking to the media, Fadnavis said, "It is the correct decision because this case isn't confined to Maharashtra, we see its spread all over the country. The central government has taken the right step, this will expose urban Naxals."
Also refuting the allegations that the former BJP-Shiv Sena government had conducted phone-tapping of opposition leaders, former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government could order a probe into it by any agency of its choice.
"Phone tapping of opposition leaders is not a tradition of Maharashtra. Our government never gave such an order. The present state government is free to do any probe by any agency. Even Shiv Sena leaders were a part of the State Home Ministry then. The whole nation knows what is the political credibility of the people who had made complaints about this issue. Investigate the issue as soon as possible to bring the truth out in front of the people."
Earlier, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Friday had also hit out at the Union government, claiming that it has transferred the probe of the 2018 Koregaon-Bhima violence case to the National Investigation Agency without the state government's consent. The case was being probed by the Pune Police. Deshmukh tweeted on Friday evening that the Centre took this decision after the new Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government in Maharashtra decided to "go to the root of the matter".
Awhad’s statement comes a day after Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh reviewed the Bhima Koregaon and Elgar Parishad cases. Earlier, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had also demanded a fresh probe into the matter. According to Deshmukh, an SIT could be set up if the Pune police were unable to substantiate their charges against the arrested activists.
Violence had erupted at Koregaon-Bhima village in Pune district on January 1, 2018, where supporters had gathered to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon. This resulted in the death of one person and leaving several injured. Subsequently, the Pune police arrested activists such as Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira, and Vernon Gonsalves, Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale and P Varavara Rao for allegedly inciting the Bhima Koregoan violence through their speech at the Elgar Parishad meeting on December 31, 2017.
(with inputs from ANI)
(image credits: PTI)