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Sharad Pawar calls urgent meeting on Bhima-Koregaon violence

During the meeting on Thursday, ministers from the two parties were shown a presentation on the developments in the lead-up to the violence.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: September 11, 2020 12:26:41 pm
Sharad Pawar, Bhima Koregaon, Bhima Koregaon case, Bhima Koregaon arrests, Uddhav Thackeray, mumbai news, pune news, indian expressPawar had last year written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray seeking the appointment of a Special Investigation Team to probe the actions of the Pune police in the case. (File)

Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar on Thursday convened an urgent meeting of Congress and NCP ministers on the Bhima Koregaon issue.

Pawar had last year written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray seeking the appointment of a Special Investigation Team to probe the actions of the Pune police in the case, terming the arrests of nine activists in connection with the violence as “wrong and vengeful”.

A BJP-led government was in power in the state when the violence had taken place and the Congress and NCP, then in Opposition, had alleged that the violence was orchestrated.

During the meeting on Thursday, ministers from the two parties were shown a presentation on the developments in the lead-up to the violence.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh (both NCP), School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad and Power Minister Nitin Raut (both Congress) were present at the meeting. Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Sitaram Kunte and Principal Secretary (Special) Amitabh Gupta were also present.

According to sources, the current status of investigation in the case and the status of inquiry by the Bhima Koregaon Commission, appointed by the erstwhile government in February 2018, was also discussed during the meeting.

Violence had broken out in the village on January 1, 2018, a day after an event, Elgar Parishad, was organised to commemorate the Battle of Bhima Koregaon in 1818 between the East India Company and the Peshwa faction of the Maratha Confederacy. A bandh called by outfits championing the cause of backward castes the following day had witnessed incidents of vandalism and violence, in which one person died. Later in June and August 2018, nine activists — Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Varavara Rao — were arrested in connection with the violence.

Sources said the Bhima Koregaon commission, whose extended tenure got over in April, is likely to get an extension till the year-end.

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