Published On: Wed, Mar 18th, 2020

Koregaon-Bhima probe: Pawar to record statement on April 4

Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar will record his statement before the Koregaon-Bhima Inquiry Commission on the violence that erupted there on January 1, 2018, an official said.

The state government also gave the final extension to the Commission till April 8

Headed by former Bombay High Court Chief Justice JN Patel, the Commission – which is currently on a break till March 30 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic – has summoned Pawar on April 4, said its Secretary V Palnitkar on Tuesday.

In October 2018, Pawar had already submitted an affidavit to the Commission highlighting various issues including blaming the former Bharatiya Janata Party-led government for lapses leading to the Koregaon-Bhima violence.

In January this year, the NCP supremo had voice displeasure over the Centre’s decision to hand over the probe to the National Investigation Agency bypassing the state government.

The state government also gave the final extension to the Commission till April 8, after which it will submit its report.

Pawar has been demanding a special investigation team to probe the role of the Pune Police in the ‘faulty’ investigations leading to the arrests of activists who were not present during the Elgar Parishad in Pune on December 31, 2017 which was considered the trigger for the violence on January 1, 2018.

Earlier this month, the Vivek Vichar Manch had filed an application before the Commission seeking that Pawar should be summoned in the wake of certain statements made by him regarding the caste violence.

Amidst stringent criticism by the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi allies Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress, the NIA took over the probe in mid-February, amid indications that the state government would conduct a parallel probe into the matter.

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