Professor in Bhima Koregaon case asks NIA to hold virtual meet
IISER- Calcutta professor Partho Sarathi Ray, who had been summoned by the NIA for interrogating in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence in 2018, said on Wednesday that he has requested the agency to arrange a video conference for the questioning session in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has issued a notice to Ray, who is also the convenor of Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee's (PPSC) West Bengal unit, asking him to appear for questioning in its Mumbai office on September 10 in connection with the incident.
"I have written to the NIA requesting it if I can attend the questioning session by videoconferencing. My duties in this pandemic situation are preventing me from travelling. Waiting for the response," the young scientist, involved in Covid-19 research activities, said.
The professor of Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research's (IISER) Kolkata unit said he had nothing to do with the incident and the probe agency was trying to "harass" him.
The scientist and social activist also said that there was no charge against him, and he had never visited the Bhima Koregaon memorial in Pune.
"The agency (NIA) has summoned me as a witness in the case, under section 160 CrPC. Therefore, there are no charges against me. I have no connection with this case as I have never been to Bhima Koregaon. I wasn't even aware of the incident till I read about it in the newspapers," he had said on Sunday.
The case pertains to an incident of caste violence that took place near the Bhima Koregaon war memorial on January 1, 2018, following alleged provocative speeches at Elgar Parishad conclave a day earlier.
Several vehicles were torched and one person was killed in the incident, triggering large scale Dalit agitation in Maharashtra.