Centre should mind its business: Ajit Pawar on NIA taking over Elgaar Parishad case

Ajit Pawar, NIA takes over Bhima Koregaon case, Elgaar Parishad, urban naxal, shiv bhojan thali, sharad pawar, Pune news, the indian express

On the Shiv Bhojan initiative, Pawar said "those who can afford to pay in hotels should not avail the scheme, which is meant for the poor". (File)

The Maharashtra government was trying to get to the root of the 2017 Elgaar Parishad case when the Centre abrupty handed it over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said in Pune on Sunday.

"I feel that the Centre and state governments should do their respective works. The Centre can intervene when an issue of the national level crops up," PTI quoted Pawar as saying on the sidelines of the Shiv Bhojan scheme launch.

Pune Police are probing whether "provocative" speeches made at the Elgaar Parishad conclave in Pune on December 31, 2017, led to the caste violence around Koregaon Bhima in the district the next day.

The term 'urban naxals' was first used by the police during the investigation of the case.

"I recently met state home minister Anil Deshmukh and his deputy Satej Patil. We were briefed about the case by investigating officers. I felt they were trying hard to probe the case," Pawar said.

"In the event of any untoward incident, the basic objective is to investigate that incident, go to its root, check facts and avoid any communal rift. The state government was investigating the case on that line, but suddenly, the Centre decided to take over," he said.

On the Shiv Bhojan scheme, which provides meals to the poor for Rs 10 at designated centres, Pawar said "those who can afford to pay in hotels should not avail the scheme, which is meant for the poor".

Earlier, Ajit Pawar's uncle and NCP chief Sharad Pawar had alleged that the Koregaon Bhima case was given to the NIA to "shield certain individuals".

“When the state government wanted to reinvestigate the case, what was the reason to transfer it in such a hurry? This shows that allegations of certain officials misusing their powers to arrest innocent people have some substance. This government fears that it will be exposed and (so) the case has been transferred,” Pawar had said on Saturday.

Senior NCP leader and Lok Sabha MP Sunil Tatkare too criticised the Centre for the move. In Shirdi on Sunday, Tatkare said the Maharashtra government should have been consulted before the case was transferred.

(with PTI inputs)