A day after the Centre handed over the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), former Congress president and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi Saturday took potshots at the central government, alleging that anyone who opposes the ruling BJP’s “agenda of hate” is termed as an “urban naxal”.
“Anyone who opposes the MOSH agenda of hate is an ‘Urban Naxal’,” Gandhi wrote on Twitter. “Bhima-Koregaon is a symbol of resistance that the Government’s NIA stooges can never erase.”
On Friday evening, the NIA took over the investigation of the Elgar Parishad case on the direction of the Home Ministry, triggering a row with the Maharashtra’s Sena-NCP- Congress government, which had met a day earlier to review a chargesheet filed against the accused in the case.
The state government had given indications that the case could be handed over to a Special Investigation Team if the Pune Police failed to substantiate the charges. NCP president Sharad Pawar had also written a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, alleging that the previous BJP government had conspired to frame the accused and a review of the case was necessary because of the gross abuse of power by the state and police.
Nine rights activists and lawyers had been arrested by the Maharashtra police in 2018 for allegedly inciting people at a meeting of the Elgar Parishad, an evening programme organised on December 31, 2017, on the eve of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon in Pune. Police claimed the activists and lawyers incited people and this led to caste violence in Bhima Koregaon the next day.
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