CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on Saturday, launched yet another attack on the Central government, condemning it for transferring the probe of the 2018 Koregaon-Bhima case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Sitaram alleged that the Centre is trying to "hide its secrets" by taking over the investigation in the contentious case.
"It is clear that the central government wants to hide many things. When the Maharashtra government decided to conduct a probe into the case, the centre interfered and took over the investigation. This clearly indicates that the Centre does not want the injustice to be exposed," Sitaram Yechury said.
Yechury further said that interfering in matters of the Maharashtra government, and conducting NIA investigation is an attack on federalism and on the Maha-Vikas-Aghadi government.
Earlier in the day, the CPI leader called the government's move 'anti-democratic' and 'anti-federalism'. Yechury also alleged that the Centre is scared of the truth being exposed.
"This is anti-democratic and anti-federalism. Two years later, Centre has usurped the case through NIA as it was scared of the truth coming out. This is why we voted against NIA act in Parliament, and opposed the UAPA Amendment Bill last year which has allowed such a brazen move," Sitaram Yechury tweeted.
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 condemned the move and said 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. Several leaders of the state government criticized the Centre's act and launched allegations on its move. Sources reported that the Pune police officials were unhappy with the new government raising questions on their probe.
Violence had erupted at Koregaon-Bhima village in Pune district on January 1, 2018, where supporters had gathered to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon. This resulted in the death of one person and leaving several injured.
On December 18, last year, the police had framed draft charges against the 19 accused including the nine activists. The charges included 'conspiracy to assassinate PM Narendra Modi', 'overthrow the government', and 'waging war against the Government of India' under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The charges also stated that some arrested persons are active members of the banned CPI party.