Mumbai: The widespread discontent within the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government over the Centre’s decision to transfer the probe into the 2018 Bhima-Koregaon case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has once again come out in the open.
Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has expressing his ire over the move, calling it breach of confidence on the part of the Centre.
“No one has denied the Centre’s right to investigate the Bhima-Koregaon case, but they should have taken the state government into confidence before handing over the investigation to NIA,” said Mr Thackeray in the third and concluding part of his interview to Shiv Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana.’
The Centre’s decision has not gone down well with the MVA government, with the Shiv Sena accusing it of interfering into the state’s affairs in the Bhima-Koregaon case.
Speaking to Saamana’s executive editor Sanjay Raut, the chief minister said, “I was surprised by the Centre’s decision. Doesn’t the Centre trust the state’s investigating agencies? Due to such incidents, there is a problem in Centre-state relations.”
Mr Thackeray said the probe was handed over to the NIA after Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar began demanding a Special Investigation Team (SIT) enquiry into the matter. The NCP chief wanted a ‘free and fair’ probe in the case, he said.
“The Centre must have felt what is going on in our mind. It could have asked us what are we planning to do. Sharad Pawar expressed his views on the probe. Did we take any decision? The Centre should have sought information from us. It should have asked Pawar why he feels the case should be probed again,” he said.
Violence had broken out near Bhima-Koregaon war memorial in Pune district on January 1, 2018. The case was earlier being probed by the Pune Police, which claimed that provocative speeches at Elgar Parishad conclave in Pune on December 31, 2017, led to the violence, and Maoists were behind the conclave.