No Objection to NIA Taking Over Elgar Parishad Case: Maha Govt

The Maharashtra government has said it has no objection to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) taking over probe into the Elgar Parishad case.

The Centre last month transferred the case  from Pune Police to the NIA, a decision which was then criticised by the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government in Maharashtra.

However, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Sanjay Kumar told PTI on Thursday that "the state Home department has no objection to the case being entrusted to the NIA".

Also Read: Bhima Koregaon: ‘Drop Fake Case Against Arrested Activists’

Last week, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray criticised the Centre's decision, saying the Union government has all rights to step into the probe, but it should have taken the state government into confidence before handing over the investigation to NIA.

He said the case was handed over to NIA when NCP chief Sharad Pawar was demanding a probe into it by a Special Investigation Team (SIT).

The NIA last week filed an application before a sessions court in Pune, seeking transfer of case papers, seized data, court records and proceedings to the special NIA court in Mumbai.

However, the prosecution then opposed NIA’s application, saying the reasons given by central probe agency in its plea were not legal and sufficient to transfer the case to a special NIA court.

Also Read: Who is Govt Protecting By Transferring Bhima-Koregaon Case to NIA?

“The offence is committed within the jurisdiction of local court; charge sheet has filed and draft charges have been also filed and the matter is fixed for framing of charges,” the prosecution had said in its response.

The five activists who were arrested by the Pune police in the Elgar Parishad case in August 2018.

The case is related to speeches delivered at the Elgar Parishad conclave, held at Shaniwar Wada in Pune on 31 December 2017, and the next day's violence near the Koregaon Bhima war memorial in the district.

The Pune Police claimed that the conclave was backed by Maoists, and the speeches made there triggered the violence.

During the probe, the police arrested Left-leaning activists Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Varavara Rao for alleged Maoist links.

Also Read: Activist Sudha Bharadwaj, Arrested in India, Honoured by Harvard

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