In yet another twist to the Elgaar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case, Minister of Minority Development and NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik on Monday stated that the state government will carry out a parallel enquiry in Bhima Koregaon case through Special Investigation Team (SIT). He added that Home Minister Anil Deshmukh will soon announce the decision over forming the SIT. This statement comes after NCP supremo Sharad Pawar convened a meeting of all ministers of his party.
Thackeray and Pawar have locked horns over the transfer of the Elgaar Parishad case from the Maharashtra police to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Pawar had pushed for a separated probe into the case, stating that the previous government labelled all dissent as 'anti-national'. Soon, after the state government started reviewing the case, the Centre transferred the case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which was opposed by the state government - the home ministry challenged the decision in a Pune court.
But overruling the Home Ministry, CM Uddhav Thackeray submitted a 'No objection certificate' (NOC), allowing the transfer of the cases to the NIA. A day after the Maharashtra government allowed the transfer, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, said that the CM had the right to do so. Disapproving the move, he said that the Maharashtra government should not have accepted the Centre's demand. While Thackeray opposed the Centre's decision to transfer the case to the NIA without consulting it, he differed from Pawar that the 'previous govt was against dissent'. Shiv Sena too was part of the previous Fadnavis government.
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. 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 on grounds - 'conspiracy to assassinate PM Narendra Modi' ', 'overthrow the government', 'waging war against the Government of India' under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). If convicted under 'waging war against India' faces the death sentence or imprisonment for life, as per IPC section 121.