Bhima Koregaon case a BJP conspiracy, claims Minister Jitendra Awhad

Mumbai: Maharashtra Housing Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Jitendra Awhad, on Friday, allegedly said that there was a conspiracy behind the Bhima Koregoan case.

He told reporters, "We all want the truth to come out. I was among those who had raised this issue first that the Bhima Koregaon case is a conspiracy to create fights between dalits." However, he expressed happiness that a probe is commencing. There are only two witnesses and the phones of some of these individuals have been tapped.

Further, Awhad cast aspersions over the arrest of activists in the Elgar Parishad case, terming it as BJP’s attempt to malign the largest cause of dalit activism. He claimed that the BJP-led government had tapped the phones of some of the accused and questioned the Fadnavis regime over the usage of the Pegasus software.

His statement came a day after state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar held a marathon meeting with the state Director General of Police Subodh Jaiswal to review the investigations by the Pune police into the Bhima Koregaon violence. NCP chief Sharad Pawar has already demanded a fresh probe by a special investigation team into the Bhima Koregaon violence and the arrests of intellectuals and prominent persons in the Elgar Parishad case.

In January, last year, violence erupted at an event to mark the 100 years of the Bhima-Koregaon battle, leaving one dead and several injured including 10 policemen in Pune.

The police had filed 58 cases against 162 people during a state-wide shutdown in January following clashes in Bhima-Koregaon.

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