The National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the probe into the 2018 Koregaon-Bhima violence on Friday. Speaking on the development, National spokesperson of BJP Shahnawaz Husain on Saturday said that Bhima Koregaon case was a conspiracy against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "Bhima Koregaon was a conspiracy against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is probing the case and those who are responsible will be punished," Shahnawaz said.
He further questioned Maharashtra Chief Minister, saying, "Who is Uddhav Thackeray to speak on this issue?".
Slamming the Maharashtra government for demoralising the police, former CM and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday hailed the transfer of the case from the Maharashtra police to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). He emphasised that the case was not limited to Maharashtra and had been argued in the Supreme Court as well with orders passed in the police's favour. Moreover, hailing the Pune police's thorough investigation in the case, he said they had unmasked 'Urban Naxals'.
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. Deshmukh has condemned the move saying that the transfer happened without the state government's consent. 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.
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).
The case involves violence that erupted near Koregaon-Bhima in Pune district on January 1, 2018, while Dalit groups were celebrating 200 years of a British-era battle. The Pune police had filed cases against activists and intellectuals who gave speeches at Elgar Parishad, a gathering held on December 31, 2017, preceding the celebrations. They were accused of inciting violence and subsequently picked up in raids conducted across the country.
(with ANI inputs)