NCP PRESIDENT Sharad Pawar on Sunday said that the conduct of Maharashtra’s police officers, who made the arrests in the Elgar Parishad case, should be probed by a committee headed by a retired high court judge.
“There needs to be an investigation by a retired high court judge into the conduct of police officers who have arrested people in this case. There needs to be an in-depth investigation,” Pawar said in Jalgaon.
Pawar’s statement came a day after Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said he has sought legal opinion from the Advocate General of Maharashtra on the formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to inquire into the Elgar Parishad case even as the Home department has given consent for the transfer of the investigation into the case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Pawar on Sunday claimed that the Centre had handed over the case to NIA to hide certain facts pertaining to the case which could have been detrimental to the previous Devendra Fadnavis- led BJP government. He said that while the Centre had the right to do what it did, the decision to hand over the case to the NIA without taking the state government into confidence pointed to “the fear the BJP had about truth coming out”.
“While the Centre has the right to investigate, the state also has the right to do its investigation. I have read that the state is also planning to investigate. The behaviour of certain officers who made wrong inferences and filed cases against people just because they wrote something and put them behind bars in not proper. This needs to be investigated,” Pawar said.
The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at the Elgar Parishad conclave, held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in the district the next day.
The Pune Police 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. These nine activists, currently in jail, are among 11 people booked by the NIA in the Elgar Parishad case. — with PTI inputs