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Sharad Pawar holds meeting over Bhima-Koregaon violence case

Noting that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is probing the matter, Pawar said it is the Centre's prerogative and he was not interfering in it.

Published: 11th September 2020 12:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th September 2020 12:28 AM   |  A+A-

NCP chief Sharad Pawar

NCP chief Sharad Pawar (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

MUMBAI: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday held a meeting with a few Maharashtra ministers on the 2018 Koregaon-Bhima violence.

Energy Minister and Congress leader Nitin Raut, who attended the meeting, said a "serious discussion" was held on forming a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the "real criminals who hatched the conspiracy".

Apart from Raut, the meeting was also attended by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil (all from NCP) and School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad (from Congress).

"Idea to form an SIT to book the real culprits of #BhimaKoregaon riots discussed in a meeting today with Hon. Sharad Pawar @PawarSpeaks ji. Those who were let go unpunished by BJP government will not be spared anymore," Raut tweeted later.

Earlier this year, Pawar had written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray seeking an SIT to investigate the matter.

"Some people were termed as Naxalites (in connection with the case). We don's think it was correct. So, we reviewed the matter to find out what is the exact situation and are thinking about what can be done after speaking to experts," Pawar told reporters after the meeting.

Noting that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is probing the matter, Pawar said it is the Centre's prerogative and he was not interfering in it.

"But the state government too has some powers. It was discussed in the meeting whether it is appropriate or not to use those powers," Pawar said.

Violence broke out near the Koregaon Bhima war memorial near Pune during the bicentennial celebration of an 1818 battle on January 1, 2018.

The East India Company's forces, which included sepoys of Mahar caste, a Dalit community, defeated the army of the Brahmin Peshwa ruler of Pune in the battle in 1818. Dalits commemorate the victory as a symbol of the defeat of the old Brahmanical order.

Pune Police had claimed that inflammatory statements made a day earlier at Elgar Parishad conclave, allegedly backed by Maoists, led to the violence.

The NIA took up the investigation of the case on January 24 this year.

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