September 16, 2021 10:43:58 am
Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry has released its schedule of hearing witnesses in Pune from September 27 to October 1. The Commission had postponed its hearings in Mumbai between August 23 and August 25 due to the unavailability of a bigger place given the Covid-19 situation.
The two-member commission, headed by retired high court judge Justice J N Patel, is probing into the cause of Koregaon Bhima violence of January 1, 2018, in which one person was killed and several injured.
Now, the commission has summoned four witnesses including Vadhu Budruk resident Sambhaji Shivale along with riot victims Jayesh Shinde and Tassabar Suleman Shah, whose properties were burnt and damaged during the January 1 violence, and Harshali Potdar, an organiser of the Elgar Parishad, held in Pune on December 31, 2017.
The commission was initially given four months to submit its report, but its tenure had to be repeatedly extended to allow it to complete its work. The commission then received three extensions of four months each, one extension of three months, one of six months and the last extension of two months was from February 8, 2020 to April 8, 2020.
But due to the Covid-19 outbreak, on March 23, 2020, the commission issued a letter postponing the hearings till further notice. Meanwhile, the period of extension granted to the commission by the government expired on April 8. Commission had then sought further extension of at least six months saying that it intended to examine nearly 40 to 50 more witnesses including police and revenue officers and also some prominent political leaders. Accordingly, the state government granted an extension to the commission till December 31, 2021.
Advocate Ashish Saypute, lawyer for the commission, said “semi-virtual hearing” of witnesses would be conducted in Pune as per the guidelines issued by the commission.
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