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Centre, Uddhav government clash over transfer of Elgar Parishad cases

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: On a day the Maharashtra government dubbed Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad cases as “BJP’s conspiracy”, the Centre decided to transfer the politically sensitive case to the National Investigating Agency (NIA).

The move that is set to create fissures in the Centre-state relations as the Maharashtra government was considering setting up an SIT to probe into police action against activists in Elgar Parishad case in which eminent lawyers and activists were arrested for alleged links with CPI (Maoist).

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had earlier agreed to withdraw the cases filed against Dalit activists after continuous demand by the NCP, with whom Thackeray has formed an alliance government in the state.

However, the CM had said that charges will be dropped only against those with less serious charges.
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.

Recently, the Maharashtra police had told the state government that a fresh probe should not be ordered into the Elgar Parishad case, insisting that the evidence they had was credible. Police also denied charges of planting evidence.

In Mumbai, Maharashtra Home Secretary Sanjay Kumar confirmed the development, which has raised another political storm.

Mahesh Tapase, NCP spokesperson said the NIA taking over the case within a day of NCP President Sharad Pawar demanding SIT probe suggests that the BJP is worried “Why have they suddenly lost faith in Maharashtra Police?” he asked.

Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant claimed that the BJP is afraid of exposing itself “This proves the case by the previous BJP government was fraudulently made up against social activists and writers. It also exposes that the plot of the assassination of prime minister was fake.”