Panel probing Bhima Koregaon violence given 2-month extension
A day after the two-member commission probing the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence threatened to wind up prematurely due to the government’s failure to release the necessary funds, the state has released the dues and announced an inquiry into the delay. The panel has also been given an extension of two months to complete its probe.
The commission, comprising former Calcutta high court chief justice JN Patel and IAS officer Sumit Mullick, had written to the government saying it was facing a funds crunch.
“We have released the outstanding amount. I have also directed additional chief secretary Shrikant Singh to conduct an inquiry into the allegations of dereliction of duty by home department officials. Action would be taken against officers responsible for the delay,” said home minister Anil Deshmukh who had convened an urgent meeting of the finance and home departments on Saturday.
The term of the commission was to end on February 8.
According to an official statement, the commission has been given five extensions so far.
The commission had written to the state chief secretary on Friday saying that the government had not paid salaries of its staff for the last two months.
“The circumstances indicate that the government is not serious about the commission. The commission is unable to function for want of money even for day-to-day expenses,” it had said, adding that the government should wind up the judicial commission in such a situation.
On January 1, 2018, riots broke out in Pune district on the occasion of the 200th commemoration of the Bhima Koregaon battle in which the East India Company defeated the Peshwas with the help of Dalit soldiers. One person was killed in these riots and at least 11 arrested, two of whom are out on bail.
On February 9, 2018, the then Bharatiya Janata Party state government had ordered a probe into the case.
(With PTI inputs)