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Would have suspended Pune police commissioner for Elgar case:


Press Trust of India Pune
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar said Thursday that if he had been in power, he would have suspended the Pune police commissioner for registering a case against those associated with the Elgar Parishad conclave.
The Pune Police last year arrested several left-wing activists including Sudha Bharadwaj and Telugu poet Warawara Rao in connection with the Elgar conclave held here on December 31, 2017.
It was alleged that they had links with Maoists who had allegedly funded the conclave. However, it was not clear which case Pawar was referring to among multiple FIRs.
Retired High Court judge and one of the organisers of the Elgar Parishad, Justice B G Kolse-Patil, was felicitated at Pawar's hands at a program here Thursday.
Pawar said Kolse-Patil is known for his struggle and his rebellious nature, and he does not care about criticism.
"He has been fighting for what is right and in the interest of society. During his speech he talked about Elgar Parishad....I also read the speeches made at the Parishad...If I were in power, I would have suspended the police commissioner for registering a case against people of Elgar Parishad," Pawar said.
"In our democratic country, the Constitution has given us the right to express our opinion...If you do not agree with someone's opinion, you have all the right to express your opposite opinion," the former Maharashtra chief minister said.
Unfortunately, activists have been put behind bars for several months for making certain kind of speeches, Pawar said.
Police misused their power in the case notwithstanding the Supreme Court's earlier rulings, and "we will have to come together and think about this collectively", the NCP chief said.
This was Maharashtra, and such misuse of power will not be tolerated here, Pawar asserted.
According to the Pune Police, speeches made at the Elgar Parishad led to violence near Koregaon Bhima war memorial in the district on January 1, 2018.

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First Published: Feb 28 2019 | 11:00 PM IST

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