Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday claimed that the previous Devendra Fadnavis-led government in Maharashtra had misused police machinery in the Elgar Parishad case.
The former Union minister also said the Elgaar Parishad case and the case of violence at Bhima Koregaon in Pune district on 1 January, 2018, were two completely different cases.
Talking to reporters, Pawar said the Fadnavis-led BJP government and the Pune Police had "misused" their power in Elgaar Parishad case.
He demanded that an SIT be appointed to probe the conduct of Pune Police and the misuse of power by the Fadnavis-led government.
Pawar also said that the Centre transferred the case from the state to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) fearing that the truth would be out.
The activists in the Elgaar Parishad case could be termed as aggressive but not anti-nationals, he said.
The violence at Bhima Koregaon was the result of a "different atmosphere" created by Hindutva actvists Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide, he said.
Cases were also registered by Pune Police against those who were neither involved with Elgaar Parishad nor the Bhima Koregaon violence, he said.
The matter relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at the Elgaar Parishad conclave, held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on 31 December, 2017, which the police claimed, triggered violence near the Bhima Koregaon war memorial in the district the next day.
The Pune Police have claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists.
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. They have been booked under relevant sections of the IPC and anti-terror law UAPA.
The Pune court hearing the Elgaar Parishad case has transferred it to the special NIA court in Mumbai.
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Updated Date: Feb 18, 2020 20:07:21 IST