January 29, 2020 2:50:23 am
A war of words broke out between the BJP and the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government on Tuesday over granting access to files pertaining to the Elgaar Parishad case, which the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had recently taken over from the Pune Police.
The three-member team of NIA had landed in Pune on Monday morning. An official said the NIA team, led by a SP-rank officer, had met senior Pune Police officers, and handed them a letter, informing that the case has been entrusted to the central agency. However, they were informed that the police would part with the case papers only after receiving orders to that effect from the Maharashtra DGP. “Once the DGP office orders us to handover case-related documents and evidence, we will do so,” an official had said on Monday.
On Tuesday, a war of words broke out between state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar.
Speaking to mediapersons in Nagpur, Deshmukh said: “We have just come to know from media reports that the case is being taken over by NIA… we have received no such information from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).”
“Since we have not received any letter or paper work from the MHA, it would not be possible to cooperate with the central agency,” he added.
Later in the day, BJP leader and former finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar warned if the state government did not cooperate with the NIA, it could lead to a constitutional crisis. “NIA has the mandate to take over a case anywhere in the country. The Governor will have to look into the issue,” he added.
When asked whether there was any disagreement between the NIA team and the Pune Police over the transfer of the case, a top officer with the Pune Police said, “All such reports are fiction.” “The NIA team discussed the details of the case with our officers. They (NIA team members) were told that the case papers will be handed over to them after directives are received from the office of state DGP,” said another officer.
Sources in the NIA said while the officers expect the case documents to be handed over once a formal order is issued by the state government .
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