NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said that the Elgar Parishad case and the case of violence at Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 2018, are two completely different cases.
He alleged that the Devendra Fadnavis-led Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) government and the Pune police misused their power in the cases. He also said that the Centre transferred the case from the State to National Investigation Agency (NIA), fearing that the truth would be out. Pawar was speaking at a press conference.
The senior leader demanded that an SIT be appointed to inquire into the conduct of Pune police and the misuse of power by the then government. Pawar said that the activists in the Elgar case could be termed as 'literarily aggressive' but not as anti nationals.
Sharad Pawar also alleged that Hindutva leader Milind Ekbote and Hindu activist Sambhaji Bhide had created a "different" atmosphere in the neighbouring villages. As a result of which, the violence occurred at Bhima Koregaon on the 200th anniversary of the victory of the Dalits over the Peshwas.
The NCP chief said that cases were registered against those who were neither involved with Elgar Parishad nor the Bhima Koregaon violence.
Earlier, the Pune court hearing the Elgar Parishad case passed an order to transfer the case to a special NIA court in Mumbai.
Additional Sessions Judge SR Navander ordered that records and proceedings of the case be sent to the special NIA court in Mumbai, along with entire ‘muddemal property’ in sealed condition. Before the judge passed the order, the prosecution submitted an application stating they do not have objection to the National Investigation Agency’s plea seeking transfer of the case.
The Pune Police had arrested nine activists - Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Varavara Rao - in connection with the case.