Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray may form a panel to probe the arrests of activists in connection with Elgar Parishad action by the Pune police. Activists Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Varavara Rao and Sudhir Dhavle, who were arrested, were accused of having Maoist links. Thackeray has sought details regarding the ongoing court cases from the home department.
Thackeray has asked the home department to give update after his hour-long meeting with Pawar on Monday evening. The trigger was when NCP chief Sharad Pawar demanded the formation of a Special Investigation Team under a retired judge to probe the action taken by Pune police. He also demanded that the police officers involved with the arrests be suspended.
Pawar had confirmed that he had a meeting with Thackeray and the issue was discussed. Pawar also informed that he had discussed the Elgar Parishad case with a retired judge BG Kolse Patil and exchanged several documents.
Senior minister told FPJ, "The issue is quite serious. CM Thackeray at length had discussed with Pawar and also with senior police officers. Some decision is expected soon.''
On the other hand, the home department officer said CM has so far not given any written directives but has sought to present state of all cases registered against activists. ''Those details will be furnished soon,'' the officer added.
Kolse Patil also supported Pawar's demand for action against the police. ''I along with Pawar will soon meet to demand an inquiry against police personnel. Such a probe is fully justified,'' he noted.
Pune police had said that the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017 was supported by Maoists and inflammatory speeches were made at the event which led to caste violence at Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in the district the next day. The activists have been imprisoned on the charge of sedition.
Interestingly, the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi founder Prakash Ambedkar during his meeting with Thackeray today flagged off the issue. Ambedkar had termed the arrests of activists for suspected Maoist links as an attempt to "silence" the masses. He had said those raising voices against the government were NGOs and non-political organizations but had their roots in the masses.
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