The three-member team of the NIA has reached Pune (Photo Credit: File)
A National Investigation Agency (NIA) team has arrived in Pune on Monday and started the process of formally taking over the probe into the Koregaon-Bhima-Elgar Parishad case, police officials said. The three-member team of the central agency reached the city on Monday morning and later met officials of the city police. Till now, the sensitive case was being probed by the Pune Police.
The case, in which human rights activists have been arrested, pertains to caste violence that took place near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in Pune district on January 1, 2018, following alleged provocative speeches at the Elgar Parishad conclave held the previous day.
A top official said the NIA team, led by a Superintendent of Police-rank officer, met senior police officials, including the investigation officer, and handed them a letter, informing that the case has been entrusted to the central agency and they will take over it.
He said relevant authorities in the state government have been informed about the move.
The NIA team also took a review of the case from officials concerned.
NIA taking over the case comes a day after Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh alleged that the Fadnavis dispensation had misused the government machinery to tap the phones of opposition leaders, especially during the formation of the MVA government.
Deshmukh said that the cyber cell of the Maharashtra Police has been directed to probe the complaints of phone tapping and snooping of Opposition leaders between 2014-19 when Fadnavis-led BJP government was in power. "There is no doubt that the previous dispensation has misused the government machinery to tap of phones of leaders from opposition parties," he said.
The Maharashtra home minister also said that the Devendra Fadnavis government had sent some officials to Israel to study the snooping software. "There were reports that some officers were sent to Israel to study the snooping software. We are finding out who had gone to Israel and whether there was any official engagement," Deshmukh said.
Violence had broken out near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in Pune district on January 1, 2018.
Scheduled Castes visit the memorial in large numbers as it commemorates the victory of British forces, which included SC soldiers over the army of the Brahmin Peshwa rulers of Pune in 1818.
The police had claimed that provocative speeches at Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, led to the violence and Maoists were behind the conclave.
They later arrested several Left-leaning activists including Telugu poet Varavara Rao and activist Sudha Bharadwaj for alleged links to Maoists.
With PTI Inputs