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Koregaon-Bhima judicial panel urged to summon NCP chief

Published : Feb 22, 2020, 2:06 am IST
Updated : Feb 22, 2020, 2:06 am IST

On January 1, 2018, violence erupted in Bhima-Koregaon and the nearby areas during the 200th anniversary celebrations of the Bhima-Koregaon battle.

File picture of Bhima-Koregaon protest.
 File picture of Bhima-Koregaon protest.

Mumbai: An application has been filed before the judicial committee conducting inquiry into the Bhima-Koregaon riots, demanding that NCP chief Sharad Pawar be summoned in connection with his recent statement. One Sagar Shin-de, member of the social group, Vivek Vichar Man-ch, has filed the application before the committee, seeking that Mr Pawar be asked to depose before the two-member committee.

In his plea, Mr Shinde has cited a press conference addressed by Mr Pawar on February 18 where the latter alleged that right-wing activists Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide created a different atmosphere in Bhima-Koregaon located on the outskirts of Pune city and its vicinity.

“In the same press conference, Mr Pawar also alle-ged that the role of Pune city police commissioner is doubtful and must be probed. These statements are within the purview of the terms of reference of this committee and therefore, are relevant,” Mr Shinde said in the plea.

The applicant said he has reasons to believe that Mr Pawar had relevant and additional information, apart from what he had already shared in his earlier affidavit filed before the committee regarding the violence and other related matters.

“Therefore, in the interest of justice, this applicant makes a prayer to the committee to issue summons to Mr Pawar and require him to depose in person and furnish additional information he has so that the committee can arrive at its findings in a just and fair manner,” Mr Shinde said.

Mr Pawar had, on October 8, 2018, filed an affidavit before the committee, helmed by former Bombay high court Chief Justice J.N. Patel. Former Maharashtra chief secretary Sumit Mullick is the other member of the judicial committee.

The former Union minister had, in his affidavit, stated, “I would not be in a position to factually point out the chronology of the said events as that would be the domain of the existing law and order machinery.”

I would not be in a position to specifically make allegations against any particular organisation. However, it is unfortunate that the state government and law and enforcement authorities failed to protect the interest of the common man residing in Bhima-Koregaon and its vicinity."

On January 1, 2018, violence erupted in Bhima-Koregaon and the nearby areas during the 200th anniversary celebrations of the Bhima-Koregaon battle. The committee was constituted by the then BJP government to find out what led to the violence. The Pune police alleged that the "provocative" speeches at the “Elgar Parishad conclave” held on December 31, 2017, triggered the violence. According to the police, the Elgar Parishad conclave organsiers had links with Maoists.

Tags: bhima-koregaon riots