In a serious bid to divert attention from the controversy over actor Sushant Singh Rajput death case and the running feud with actress Kangana Renaut, the Maha Vikas Aghadi will seek legal opinion for the formation of a special investigation team (SIT) to investigate the Bhima Koregaon violence.
The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by NCP Chief Sharad Pawar and attended by NCP Ministers Jayant Patil and Anil Deshmukh and Congress Ministers Dr Nitin Raut and Varsha Gaikwad.
At the meeting, the Congress Ministers were quite upfront on seeking an SIT probe and it was decided that Deshmukh and Raut will seek the views of the Advocate General and other experts. Once that has been done, ministers at the meeting hinted that the government will set up SIT within a week.
A senior minister, who was present at the meeting, told the Free Press Journal, ''SIT will investigate the Bhima Koregaon violence which took place during the BJP-led government in 2018 in which a 28-year-old was killed after stone pelting. That led to protests across Maharashtra. The Centre has transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) the investigation of Elgar Parishad which preceded the annual celebratory gathering at Bhima Koregaon in Pune district and the violence that took place later.
''So, there will be no clash. The NIA can continue to probe the Elgar Parishad while the SIT can investigate the Bhima Koregaon violence.'' The minister said that law and order being a state government subject, only the latter can institute a probe by the SIT.
The Elgaar Parishad was an event held on 31 December 2017 to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon. It was organised by a coalition of 260 non-profit organisations at Pune's Shaniwarwada Fort.The National Investigation Agency took over the case in which more than 14 human rights activists and lawyers have been incarcerated. Two days ago, NIA had nabbed activists Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor in connection with the ongoing Elgar Parishad investigation.It must be mentioned that Pawar in December last year had demanded the establishment of SIT expressing serious displeasure over the handling of the incident by the Pune Police. Subsequently, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh pursued the matter but due to nationwide lockdown the government could not take a decision on its formation.