MUMBAI: The NCP, one of the alliance partners of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi, has decided to conduct a parallel probe into the Elgar Parishad case by setting up a Special Investigation Team (SIT). The Centre had earlier decided to transfer the probe to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and later CM Uddhav Thackeray had agreed to the decision.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar had called a meeting of his ministers in Mumbai where the decision to conduct a parallel probe was taken. “In the NIA Act, there is provision for the state government to conduct a parallel inquiry even though the probe is conducted by the central agency. Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh will consult a legal team and take the decision of setting up an SIT. A retired HC judge will be appointed as the head of this team,” said Nawab Malik, the NCP spokesperson.
The Pune Police had arrested nine activists — Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Varavara Rao — in connection with the case.
Pawar had on Sunday said the Centre has handed over the probe to the NIA as the previous Devendra Fadnavis government wanted to “hide something”.
Sources in NCP said the Elgar probe is significant for the NCP to give justice to its Dalit vote bank by fairly probing the case. Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said that he will seek the legal opinion on the SIT. “We will consult with CM Uddhav Thackeray and then the final decision of setting up SIT will be taken,” Deshmukh added.
The Elgar case The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at the Elgar Parishad conclave, held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed, triggered violence near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial later