Pawar hits out at Uddhav govt on Elgar case handover to NIA
MUMBAI: Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Friday expressed unhappiness over chief minister Uddhav Thackeray’s decision to hand over the Elgar Parishad case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the first time the senior leader has criticised his alliance partner in the state’s ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, formed in November last year.
Pawar said that while the central government’s decision directing NIA to take over the Elgar Parishad case was unfair, the state government’s acceptance of this was even more unfair.
To be sure, the NIA Act, passed hurriedly in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008, has provisions that give the Centre the powers to ask NIA to take over a case.
Thackeray’s decision, which came on Thursday, clears the deck for NIA to start investigating the case against activists and intellectuals linked to Left and Dalit movements, who gave speeches at the Elgar Parishad gathering on December 31, 2017. It is alleged that these speeches resulted in the subsequent violence at Bhima Koregaon.
“Maintaining law and order is a state subject and the Centre’s encroachment in state affairs is unfair. Centre’s decision directing the NIA to take over Elgar
Parishad case was unfair but the state government’s approval to that decision is more unfair,” Pawar told reporters in Kolhapur at a press conference.
While the government has shied away from using provisions of the NIA Act that allow the Centre to ask the agency to take over a case, without seeking the permission of the concerned state government, the fact is that these provisions exist.
The NCP would appear to be distancing itself from the decision of the government of which it is a part.
On Thursday, state home minister Anil Deshmukh, an NCP leader, said that chief minister Thackeray used his discretionary powers to approve the handover. Deshmukh said that he believes that the Centre should have taken the state government into confidence before handing over the probe to the NIA.
KOCHI (KERALA): A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Friday extended the remand of Thalassery-based students Allan Shuhaib and Thaha Fasal till March 13. They were arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in Kozhikode in November 2019.
Meanwhile, Alan Shuhaib has approached the High Court seeking permission to appear for the LLB 2nd semester exam scheduled on February 18.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar