In the review meeting held by Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Bhima Koregaon cases, sources have reported on Thursday, that Pune officials are unhappy with the new govt raising questions on their probe. The Maharashtra government have raised questions on several aspects of the investigation and have sought clarity on it while briefed by Pune Joint Commissioner and Maharashtra DGP Subodh Jaiswal for 30 minutes. The police have asked more time for giving documents demanded by the Home Minister, as per sources.
Mumbai: Meeting underway between state Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh along with other senior Police officers, in Maharashtra Secretariat on review of Bhima Koregaon cases pic.twitter.com/ZDPUMW18zh— ANI (@ANI) January 23, 2020
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. Mentioning that no conjecture should be drawn from the literature seized from the accused people, he contended that an independent investigation was required claiming that a retired judge should head the SIT. Former CM Devendra Fadnavis has slammed this statement saying some of them had been put behind bars for their "Maoist links" when the Congress-NCP coalition government was in power in 2007.
Meanwhile, on December 18, draft charges were 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). The draft charges also 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.
In the Elgar Parishad case, Pune police booked activists 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, under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). They are also being probed for having alleged Naxal links in organising the Parishad. The ensuing violence on January 1, 2018, had resulted in the death of one person and several others had been injured. Currently, all accused are in jail after their bail pleas were rejected.