The commission of inquiry, which was constituted by the Maharashtra government to probe the Bhima-Koregaon violence, has written to the Chief Secretary of the state government stating that it is "unable to function for want of money even for day to day expenses". The commission was constituted by the Government of Maharashtra vide a notification dated February 9, 2018, under the provisions of Section 3 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952.
"The commission is unable to function for want of money even for day to day expenses. The staff may not be able to continue due to want of salary. The commission has observed that after an exhausting initial budget of about Rs 52 lakhs, which was hardly adequate, the government either committed delay in sanction of supplementary budget or sanctioned much less amount than was required," the letter read.
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 National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the probe on January 24. 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).
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 left several injured. The police had filed 58 cases against 162 people in the matter. Subsequently, the Pune police arrested activists such as 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.
(with ANI inputs)