Bhima-Koregaon cases sent to NIA without State permission, says NCP's Anil Deshmukh

Move comes day after State decides to form SIT

January 25, 2020 02:02 am | Updated 08:53 am IST - Mumbai

Lakhs of people from Dalit community throng to war memorial site at Bhima-Koregaon on January 1, 2019.

Lakhs of people from Dalit community throng to war memorial site at Bhima-Koregaon on January 1, 2019.

Claiming that the Union Home Ministry had transferred cases related to the Bhima-Koregaon violence to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the State government and the NCP on Friday questioned the reason behind the BJP fear and sudden distrust in the Maharashtra Police.

State Home Minister and NCP leader Anil Deshmukh said, “I strongly condemn the Centre’s decision to transfer the case to NIA without taking permission from the State government. This action is unconstitutional,” he said.

He said the Centre’s decision comes a day after the State government decided to go deep into the case by forming a Special Investigation Team (SIT).

NCP spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said, “Within a day of NCP president Sharad Pawar demanding an SIT in the Bhima-Koregaon riot probe, the Ministry of Home Affairs has transferred the case to the NIA. What is the BJP afraid of? Why have they suddenly lost faith in Maharashtra Police? These are some questions that the BJP will have to answer,” he said.

On Thursday, Mr. Deshmukh had said an SIT of the Maharashtra Police will be formed to investigate the violence at Bhima-Koregaon in 2018. NCP chief Sharad Pawar had written to Mr. Deshmukh demanding such a probe, raising questions over the earlier investigation where Dalit and Ambedkarite activists were labelled Urban Naxals and jailed.

In a review meeting held by Mr. Deshmukh and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday, the latter had raised doubts over the letters submitted by the Pune Police against the activists, claiming to contain an alleged plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The ministers had also questioned the suspicious sources from where the letters were obtained.

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