Sharad Pawar seeks SIT probe in Bhima Koregaon cases, writes to Uddhav

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The police had used the term “urban Naxals” while probing the alleged links of activists to the caste clashes at Bhima Koregaon in Pune on January 1, 2018. (File Photo)

NCP chief Sharad Pawar Friday wrote to the Maharashtra government seeking constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the Bhima Koregaon cases. This comes a day after Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, also an NCP leader, said the government would decide whether to drop the cases or set up an SIT to probe them within a week.

Pawar, in his letter, said officers involved in "framing the people in the case" need to be suspended. He alleged misuse of power by the Pune police while investigating the case.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Deshmukh, an NCP leader, were briefed about the case for over two hours by officers of the Pune police, sources told The Indian Express.

After the briefing, Deshmukh said, "A decision will be taken after a second briefing which should take place in the next three or four days".

Pawar had last month demanded an SIT be set up under a retired judge to probe action taken by the Pune police in the Bhima Koregaon cases. The police had used the term “Urban Naxals” while probing the alleged links of activists to the caste clashes at Bhima Koregaon in Pune on January 1, 2018.

Deshmukh had said at the Loksatta Idea Exchange that the previous government termed anyone who did not agree with it as “Urban Naxals” and that this government had a different approach to dissenters.

The previous government had also set up a two-member commission comprising retired Kolkata High Court Chief Justice J N Patel and former Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sumit Mullick in February 2018 to probe the sequence of events leading up to the New Year’s Day violence.