MUMBAI: Maharashtra Cabinet Minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik on Monday said that the Bhima Koregaon violence was "pre-planned".
"The Bhima Koregaon incident was pre-planned. The main culprits are Manohar Bhide and Milind Ekbote. The then government gave protection to them. Definitely there is a judicial inquiry and report will come. The government will definitely take action against those who are responsible," Malik told ANI here.
"A fake case was registered by the then government and the entire police department did wrong under the direction of Devendra Fadnavis," he said. The NCP leader said that after Maha Vikas Aghadi government came into power, Sharad Pawar said SIT should be set up to inquire the Elgaar Parishad case.
"Due to fear of getting exposed, the Centre has transferred the case to NIA, but the state has a right to investigate into the matter. Definitely Elgaar Parishad case will be investigated by the state agency," Malik said.
This comes after an application was filed before the Bhima-Koregaon judicial inquiry commission (JIC) requesting it to summon Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar in the matter. The application filed by Sagar Shinde is expected to come up for hearing before the JIC today.
It referred to a press conference addressed by Sharad Pawar on Feb 18 where, as per the applicant, the NCP chief said that Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide had created a different atmosphere in Bhima-Koregaon area. It looks like Pawar knows more about the violence than what he has mentioned in an affidavit filed by him earlier, the application said. It also mentioned Pawar questioning Pune police's role.
The commission was constituted by the Maharashtra government of vide a notification dated February 9, 2018, under the provisions of Section 3 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 to inquire the reason which led to the violence.
On January 1, 2018, violence had erupted during the 200th-anniversary celebrations of the Bhima-Koregaon battle. One person was killed and several others were injured in the incident.