In a massive development, Maharashtra Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Sanjay Kumar on Thursday, has said that the state Home department has no objection to the Elgar Parishad case being entrusted to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). His statement comes in direct contrast to Home Minister Anil Deshmukh who has slammed the Centre's 'unilateral case transfer' decision. But Deshmukh has accepted that it is the CM's right to overrule the Home Ministry's decision.
"We (Maharashtra police) were enquiring into the Bhima Koregaon case. Once the Centre had transferred the case to NIA, we had not handed over the papers. Hence, we went to the court opposing this. It is the right of the Chief Minister to overrule our decision, which has probably done," said Deshmukh to reporters in Mumbai.
Previously on Friday, a Pune court reserved its order on the transferring of the Bhima-Koregaon case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The Maharashtra state government, in an application filed before the court, objected to transferring all the court records, seized articles from the file of this court to an NIA court in Mumbai. Additional Sessions Judge SR Navandar will pronounce the order in the matter on February 14.
Earlier on February 3, the NIA 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. Meanwhile, CM Thackeray had said in an interview with Saamana, " Even though Sharad Pawar has made a comment it doesn't mean the police investigation will follow the same angle".
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.