PBNS EXCLUSIVE: Social activists plead Amit Shah to shift Bhima-Koregaon case to NIA

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Bhima Koregaon Violence Anniversary

In a fresh twist to the Bhima-Koregaon violence case, several social activists, including those from Maharashtra, have petitioned the Union Home Ministry to take note of the recent statements of NCP leaders wherein they have demanded the withdrawal of cases against the accused.

In a series of complaints to the Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the Left Wing Extremist Division of the Union Home Ministry, social activists have demanded that in the light of the recent statements by NCP leaders, including party supremo Sharad Pawar, the probe be handed over to the premier National Investigation Agency (NIA).

“As MHA must be knowing NCP chief Sharad Pawar has made aggressive public statements which are likely to sabotage cases against Urban Naxals arrested by Pune Police. His statements have hampered the investigations of the case. Once released from jail as per Sharad Pawar’s demand, the Maoists would go on rampage, which cannot be afforded by any means,” said one of the complainants in his plaint to the Shah.

“Hence, with this letter, I request MHA to take all cases pertaining to Urban Maoist and their physical custody to NIA as early as possible,” the complainant added.

Home Affairs

Home Affairs

Incidentally, the over 5000-page chargesheet against the accused also mentions that a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also allegedly hatched by the arrested in the same style as former PM Rajiv Gandhi.

The NCP leaders have, said political observers, through this demand put the newly-elected chief minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in a tight spot.

Earlier, NCP leader and MLA Dhananjay Munde had demanded the withdrawal of cases related to the 2018 Koregaon-Bhima violence case. He claimed that the BJP-led NDA government, of which Shiv Sena was an integral part, had fabricated cases against the accused.

In a letter to CM Thackeray, Munde had also said the previous BJP_Shiv Sena government had “harassed” intellectuals, activists, social workers and ordinary citizens” and branded them as ‘urban Naxals’.

Pawar too said that the case needed to be investigated properly, seeking SIT probe into Pune police’s action against activists in Elgar Parishad case headed by a retired judge. The NCP supremo said he would take the matter up with the CM.

Calling the accused “intellectuals”, Pawar said, “You cannot put people in jail for a year just because you found some books on naxalism in their home,” Pawar said.

The Pune Police had arrested writer-poet P Varavara Rao, lawyers Sudha Bhardwaj, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonzalves, and Gautam Navalakha from different parts of India, for their role in December 31, 2017 Elgar Parishad held in Pune, which eventually led to caste riots in Koregaon-Bima on January 1, 2018.

Police have maintained that the accused had links with CPI (Maoist), an organisation banned by the then United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government which declared it as a terrorist organisation on June 22, 2009.

New Delhi | PBNS Bureau