Supplementary charge sheet filed

Mubarak Ansari
Friday, 22 February 2019

A supplementary charge sheet was filed by the Pune city police on Thursday against five persons including activist Sudha Bharadwaj in the Elgar Parishad case. 

Pune: A supplementary charge sheet was filed by the Pune city police on Thursday against five persons including activist Sudha Bharadwaj in the Elgar Parishad case. 

The 1,837-page charge sheet was filed in the court of Special Judge Kishore Vadane against Bharadwaj, Maoist ideologue Varavara Rao, activists Arun Ferriera, Vernon Gonsalves and wanted General Secretary of CPI (Maoist) Ganapathy alias Chandrashekhar.

In November 2018, the police filed the first charge sheet in the case against Advocate Surendra Gadling, Prof Shoma Sen, activists Rona Wilson, Mahesh Raut and Sudhir Dhavale, who were arrested in June 2018. Other five accused named in the charge sheet are Maoist leaders Dipak alias Milind Teltumbde, Kishan Da alias Prashant Bose, Prakash alias Rituparn Goswami, comrade Deepu and comrade Manglu. All five have been shown as absconding.
 
As per the charge sheet, Varavara and other accused persons were allegedly involved in raising funds for the banned CPI (Maoist). He was also in contact with Nepali Maoist leader Basanta for procurement of arms and ammunition. Varavara, Gadling also provided information about security forces to the Maoists. Ferreira, Gadling and Bharadwaj are members of Indian Association for People’s Lawyers (IAPL), which is a front organisation of the Maoists. Some documents were seized from the laptop of Wilson and computer hard disk of Gadling which point to their links with Maoists as the documents mentioned the aim of their organisation and how to overthrow the elected government. They organised movements against the government by inciting people. 
 
According to the charge sheet, on the directions of the Eastern Regional Bureau (ERB) of the banned CPI (Maoist), ‘Bhima Koregaon Shaurya Din Prerna Abhiyan’ was created by Dhawle, Harshali Potdar, and others to unite all Dalit organisations for organising Elgar Parishad.

“To keep the issue burning, Rs 5 lakh was given to Dhawle, Gadling and Sen through Raut who had got it from CPI Maoist. Raut recruited two students of Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), Mumbai, for working for CPI Maoist and sent them to the jungle for training along with armed Maoists. This has been confirmed from a letter written by Goswami to Wilson,” the charge sheet says. 

The Elgar Parishad was organised in Pune on December 31, 2017, on the directions of Maoists, who also funded it, according to the charge sheet. Speeches made at the Parishad “aggravated” the violence near Bhima Koregaon war memorial the next day, it alleged.

Elgar Parishad case

  • Elgar Parishad was held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on December 31, 2017 ahead of the 200th commemoration of the battle of Bhima Koregaon. The next day ie on January 1 when lakhs of people mostly from Dalit community had gathered at Koregaon Bhima, there was large-scale violence in which one Maratha youth was killed while properties worth crores were damaged.
  • Based on a complaint from one Tushar Damgude, Vishrambaug police station had registered a case against organisers of Elgar Parishad, who included Harshali Potdar, Sudhir Dhawale of Republican Panthers (RP), Mumbai and Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor, Jyoti Jagtap, Deepak Dhengle of the Pune based Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) which is accused of being frontal organisation of banned CPI (Maoist).
  • There was another case against Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mewani and student leader Umar Khalid for allegedly giving provocative speeches during at the Elgar Parishad.

Charges
All of them have been booked for offences under Indian Penal Code sections 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and IPC sections 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief) and 117 (Abetting commission of offence by the public) and stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

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