Have proof against ‘Reds’, in­sist cops

DNA (Delhi) - - FRONT PAGE - Anurag Bende Anurag.bende@dnain­dia.net

Pune: A day af­ter the Supreme Court sen­tenced five ac­tivists to house ar­rest, top of­fi­cers from Pune po­lice said they have ‘very strong’ ev­i­dence against those ar­rested ear­lier this week to prove that they were try­ing to spark coun­try­wide vi­o­lence by in­cit­ing the op­pressed class, and the El­gaar Par­ishad was their plat­form.

On Wed­nes­day, the of­fi­cers

had filed a doc­u­ment in a Pune court ask­ing for their cus­tody, giv­ing 16 rea­sons for the re­quest. The doc­u­ment said all the ac­tivists — Sudha Bharad­waj, Gau­tam Navlakha, Ver­non Gon­salves, Var­avara Rao and Arun Fer­reira – are mem­bers of the Com­mu­nist Party of In­dia (CPI) (Maoist) and re­spon­si­ble for set­ting up city units of the out­lawed group.

The pe­ti­tion did not men­tion a plot to as­sas­si­nate Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi, fa­cil­i­tate Maoist fund­ing or pro­cure­ment of weapons.

A case has been reg­is­tered against the five for pro­mot­ing en­mity be­tween dif­fer­ent groups on the grounds of re­li­gion, race, place of birth, com­mit­ting acts prej­u­di­cial to main­te­nance of har­mony, abat­ing com­mis­sion of of­fence by the pub­lic or by more than 10 per­sons and for crim­i­nal con­spir­acy.

A se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer from Pune po­lice told DNA that CPI (Maoists) pro­vided funds for El­gaar Par­ishad. “Maoist mem­ber Sud­hir Dhawale was a key or­gan­iser of El­gaar Par­ishad held at Pune on De­cem­ber 31 2018 to com­mem­o­rate the Bhima-Kore­gaon bat­tle. Some Naxal lead­ers sneaked into the or­gan­i­sa­tion com­mit­tee to use the plat­form to spread Maoist ide­ol­ogy,” he says. “They were work­ing on the di­rec­tions of se­nior lead­ers such as Var­avara Rao and Ver­non Gon­salves.”

De­spite this, the doc­u­ment pre­sented by the po­lice in the Pune court did not men­tion the clashes in Jan­uary at Bhima-Kore­gaon near Pune, nor the in­volve­ment of the ac­cused in the vi­o­lent in­ci­dent. Sub­se­quently, the re­mand re­port only stated that the ac­cused are ac­tive mem­bers of the CPI (Maoist) and are try­ing to “ad­vance their cause” though il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties.

“Some of the ac­cused are top lead­ers of CPI (Maoists),” says a po­lice of­fi­cer. “They ac­tively par­tic­i­pated in rais­ing funds, re­cruit­ing peo­ple and ex­e­cut­ing plans to carry out Maoist ac­tiv­i­ties. Un­der an anti-fas­cist front, they tar­get op­pressed com­mu­ni­ties, in­cite com­mu­ni­ties against each other and use this vi­o­lence to cre­ate and nur­ture an anti-gov­ern­ment opin­ion in the coun­try.”

In the doc­u­ments seized from the com­put­ers and hard disks of th­ese five ac­tivists, po­lice claim they found sev­eral let­ters men­tion­ing their names sug­gest­ing anti-na­tional ac­tiv­i­ties.

Pune po­lice com­mis­sioner K Venkate­sham re­it­er­ates that “We have proof about how they carry out ac­tion against se­cu­rity forces, raise funds and mo­bilise cadres to carry out anti-na­tional ac­tiv­i­ties. We will present all this in the Supreme Court.”

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