Friday, June 8, 2018

Enough proofs to link arrested with Maoists: Police


PUNE: The Pune police said they have adequate evidence to show the “participation of Maoists and the inspiration they provided to the organisers” of the Elgar Parishad at Shaniwarwada in Pune a day before the January 1 clashes in Koregaon Bhima.

After an FIR was registered on January 8 with the Vishrambaug police, the Pune police had carried out searches in the residences of members of Kabir Kala Manch, a left-leaning cultural organisation, and Maoist sympathisers in Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Nagpur and other places on April 17 and seized several incriminating documents, pamphlets, laptops and hard disks.

“These were subjected to scrutiny which unraveled the link between Elgar Parishad organisers and the CPI (Maoist) elements,” the Pune police said. In a pre-dawn swoop on Wednesday, the Pune police arrested Surendra Gadling, Soma Sen and Mahesh Raut from Nagpur, Sudhir Dhawale from Mumbai and Rona Wilson from Delhi in connection with the January 8 FIR about “provocative speeches at Elgar Parishad aimed at misleading the dalit community and ingraining hardline Maoist thinking to create a rift between two communities”.

According to the FIR, the provocative speeches contributed to the clashes in Koregaon Bhima where a large number of dalits had gathered to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle between the British and Peshwa troops in 1818.

Joint commissioner of police Ravindra Kadam told reporters, “A careful scrutiny of the forensic clone copies of computer and laptop hard disks seized from Gadling and Wilson, respectively, revealed documents showing their close relations with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) outfit.”

Kadam claimed that investigators have also recovered from Wilson's laptop a letter addressed to him by Maoist mastermind Milind Teltumbde on January 2, seeking to know how the Koregaon Bhima clashes can be capitalised on with help from some political parties.

Kadam said, “The letter has named a couple of political parties and a prominent dalit leader. We will check the veracity of the contents of this letter soon,” he added. Teltumbde, who is the secretary of the banned CPI (Maoist)’s Maharashtra Rajya State Committee, carries a Rs 50 lakh reward. The senior police officer said both Gadling and Wilson were in touch with dalit activist Sudhir Dhawale, one of the organisers of the Elgar Parishad.

 “Police have recovered documents establishing such a link. Dhawale was in touch with Maoist comrades Manglu and Deepu for almost two months. They discussed at length how to raise funds for the Parishad. The Maoists did raise funds for the Parishad,” Kadam added. “Deepu, Manglu and some of the arrested persons have also been involved in different attacks on security personnel in Jharkhand, Odisha, Maharashtra and other states,” Kadam said.

Investigators also recovered evidence linking retired Nagpur University professor Soma Sen and Prime Minister Rural Development fellow Mahesh Raut with the banned CPI (Maoist) outfit, Kadam added. Sen attended the Parishad and was involved in its planning, he said.


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