India

Maharashtra Reviews Koregaon Bhima Cases In Which Activists Were Jailed

Maharashtra Reviews Koregaon Bhima Cases In Which Activists Were Jailed

Bhima Koregaon cases: Maharashtra Home Minister has sought a report on the investigation

Highlights

  • Home Minister Anil Deshmukh to review Bhima Koregaon cases today
  • The NCP leader will speak with senior Pune cops
  • Cases against activists who gave speeches in December 2017
Mumbai:

The Maharashtra government is reviewing the cases related to the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence, for which 10 activists were jailed during the previous BJP-led rule in the state.

Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, a senior NCP leader, has called senior officials of Pune Police to Mumbai for a meeting. He says he will take a decision on the future of the case after he has all the information from the police on the evidence against the jailed activists.

The case has been politically charged, with the BJP facing allegations of jailing activists who were opposed to its ideology and branding them as "urban Naxals".  

Speaking to an Idea Exchange at 'Loksatta', a Marathi daily, Mr Deshmukh said that previous government had labelled anyone disagreeing with them as "urban naxals" but the current Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress regime will not take that route because the government believes in democracy where everyone has a right to express their opinion.

"We will think about this in connection with the Bhima Koregaon episode. Demands are being raised about forming SIT (Special Investigation Team) to probe the matter. We will take a review of it through our officers and decide future course," Mr Deshmukh had said.

The case involves violence near Bhima Koregaon in Pune district on January 01, 2018 when Dalit groups were celebrating 200 years of a British-era battle.

The Pune police had filed cases against activists and intellectuals who had given speeches at Elgar Parishad, a gathering held on December 31, 2017 preceding the celebrations. The activists were accused of inciting violence and picked up in raids across the country.

The police had claimed the organisers of the gathering had Naxal links.