Mumbai: Speaking to the Free Press Journal, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said he has zero tolerance for any divisive ideology. He was speaking in the context of the government’s position on Sanatan. “My stand is absolutely clear, whether it is extreme right, extreme left, whatever be the ideology, right of centre or left of centre, any person or group who works against the country and is socially disruptive, we will not hesitate to act against the people involved,” he said.
The Maharashtra government has been claiming that it arrested human rights activists for being involved in the Bhima-Koregaon riots. However, until now, affidavits filed by many and, more so the Pune rural police, before the inquiry commission led by Justice JN Patel, have not specified that the riots were caused by Elgar Parishad on December 31, 2017. Still, they have been slapped with severe charges, including UAPA, for terror funding and plotting to assassinate Pm Narendra Modi.
However, the Fadnavis government has been criticised for allowing the Pune police to investigate the matter, instead of handing it over to the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) or the National Investigating Agency. “All the affidavits have been filed with the commission and information regarding the ‘larger plot’ too has been submitted. Secondly, investigations in this case are not being carried out by a lower-ranking officer. A commissioner at the additional director general level, one of the senior-most ranking officers, is heading this team,” said Fadnavis.
He added, “Now, the entire investigation is being done by the police, they have shown links to the bigger plot and that has been accepted by the Supreme Court. Here, the Pune police have fulfilled all the criteria, so there is no need to hand over the investigation to any other agency.”
In the Dr Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare murder cases, Maharashtra police had made no breakthrough in five years; Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad has made arrests only this year, though critics say that these arrests were made under pressure from the Karnataka police. Fadnavis denied this, saying ATS has instead provided additional evidence to the Karnataka police.
“What is the connection of Karnataka to our investigations? Maharashtra ATS has taken action, they have investigated this case and made all the arrests. In fact, we have supplied more evidence to Karnataka police, which they needed,” said Fadnavis. He also said that his government has given additional information to the central government for banning extreme right-wing Hindu outfit, Sanatan.