In a massive development, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday, has registered an FIR in the Elgar Parishad case charging 11 people, 10 days after the case was handed over to the agency from the Maharashtra Police. The 11 named in the FIR - including the nine activists currently in jail - have been charged under the provisions of the anti-terror law UAPA and the IPC, according to PTI. The case was handed to NIA on January 24.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has registered an FIR in the Elgar Parishad case and— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) February 3, 2020
charged 11 people, including nine currently in jail, under provisions of the anti-terror law UAPA and the IPC, days after it was handed over the matter in Maharashtra by the Centre.
A day after Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and Deputy CM Ajit Pawar held a review meeting with Pune police on the Bhima-Koregaon case, the NIA took over the probe on January 24. Deshmukh has condemned the move saying that the transfer happened without the state government's consent and stated that the Aghadi government is mulling legal action. The state government was mulling to constitute an SIT to review the evidence and probe into the case. Sources reported that the Pune police officials were unhappy with the new govt raising questions on their probe. BJP has hailed the move slamming the Aghadi govt for demoralising the police, while the Shiv Sena, Congress, NCP condemned Centre's interference.
Earlier on December 21, NCP chief Sharad Pawar demanded a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the police action against activists in the Elgar Parishad case. Draft charges have been framed against the nineteen accused including the nine activists - Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Arun Ferriera, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Varavara Rao by the police. The draft charges include 'conspiracy to assassinate PM Narendra Modi', 'overthrow the government', 'waging war against the Government of India' under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
It further state that some of the arrested are active members of the banned CPI (Maoists) party. If convicted under 'waging war against India' faces the death sentence or imprisonment for life, as per IPC section 121. The police believe that the speech at the Elgar Parishad meeting on December 31, 2017 incited violence on January 1, 2018, which had resulted in the death of one person and several others had been injured. Currently, all nine accused are in jail after their bail pleas were rejected.