NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday alleged that the Centre transferred the probe into the Koregaon Bhima violence case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for fear of getting exposed.

Talking to reporters in Mumbai, Sharad Pawar said that speaking against injustice was not Naxalism.

"I think the government fears that it may be exposed. So the decision has been taken (to transfer the case to NIA)," Sharad Pawar said.

Sharad Pawar had last month demanded that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) be set up under a retired judge to probe the action taken by Pune police against activists in the Elgar Parishad case.

On Saturday, Sharad Pawar urged for a fresh invesigation in the Koregaon Bhima case.

"False statements were made for Bhima Koregaon case. Those are serious allegations. Therefore, I request current Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray to initiate fresh investigations," Sharad Pawar said.

According to Pune police, the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, was supported by Maoists and inflammatory speeches made at the event led to the caste violence at the Koregaon Bhima war memorial in the district the next day.

The Pune Police had arrested nine activists - Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Varavara Rao - in connection with Elgar Parishad case.

The Centre transferred the probe to NIA on Friday, a day after Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh met senior police officials in Mumbai to review the Koregaon Bhima violence case.
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