PUNE: The National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) headed by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, has issued a letter to the Maharashtra Police to conduct a security assessment of Pune-based Tushar Damgude and Akshay Bikkad in wake of possible threats to their lives from Naxalities.
Damgude and Bikkad had registered the police complaint at Vishrambaug police station against newly elected Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mewani and JNU student leader Umar Khalid for their alleged provocative speeches at Shaniwarwada on December 31 during celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the Koregaon-Bhima battle.
According to the NSCS letter dated January 16, there was involvement of Maoists and Naxalites in the Koregaon-Bhima unrest that followed, which is why there is a possible threat to the lives of Damgude and Bikkad.
It states that Vinay Joshi, Convenor of Legal Rights Observatory, had informed them about the possible threats to the life of both complainants. The NSCS, which directly reports to NSA, has asked the Maharashtra police to conduct an assessment of the security of Damgude and Bikkad and report back to NSCS after the assessment is completed.
It is significant to note that following the letter by NSCS, an order was issued to the Warje Malwadi police station from the office of DCP (Special Branch) Sanjay Baweeskar. The letter dated February 6 asked Warje Malwadi police station to conduct the security assessment in relation to any kind of threat to their lives.
When contacted, Damgude said, “Since I filed the complaint at Vishrambaug police station, I have been receiving threat calls. The threat is from left wing extremists as they don’t employ their frontal organisations in eliminating someone. On Thursday, I was called by the Warje police station and have informed them about the threats received by me.”
Bikkad said, “I was asked about the threats to my life by the Warje Malwadi police on Thursday and have given all details. I have received threat messages through Facebook. It is not a direct threat, but yes, it cannot be ignored.”
Vinay Joshi confirmed writing a letter to NSCS, in wake of which the agency responsible for advising PMO on the issues related to national security has a written a letter to Maharashtra Police. However, Sanjay Bawiskar, DCP, Special Branch, refused to comment on the issue.