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Sunday, Dec 08, 2019

Charges to be framed today in ‘urban maoist’ case similar to Elgar Parishad

cities Updated: Nov 15, 2019 15:37 IST
Shalaka Shinde
Shalaka Shinde
Hindustan Times, Pune
Hindustantimes
         

PUNE: A Pune court is set to frame charges today under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) which was invoked against Konnath Murlidharan, 67, accused of working for the Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Murlidharan’s alleged connect with underground Maoist leader Ganapathy is a common thread with the Elgar Parishad case. Murlidharan is an ATS case, Elgar Parishad is case being pursued by Pune police right now.

In a supplementary chargesheet in the Elgar Parishad case filed in February 2019, Ganapathy was named along with prominent scholars, advocates, activists and others such as Sudha Bharadwaj, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferriera, and Vernon Gonsalves.

“The evidence seized from (Varavara) Rao indicates that he is a senior member of CPI (Maoist). Rao, while in contact with Ganapathy, also actively took efforts to achieve the goals of banned outfit,” reads a part of the chargesheet. Besides Ganapathy, the nine accused in the Elgar Parishad case are currently in Yerawada central jail; Ganapathy and three others named in the chargesheets in the Elgar Parishad case, namely Dipak alias Milind Teltumbade, Prashant Bose and Rituparn Goswami.

After spending three-and-a half years years in Yerawada Central Jail, Murlidharan was released five months after he was granted bail by the Bombay High Court (HC). He walked out on July 23.

The Bombay HC granted him bail on February 25. However, based on an opposing government appeal, the order was stayed until June 5.

A Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice MR Shah had observed in a one-page order issued on May 22, “No case is made out to interfere with the impugned order(s) passed by the high court. The special leave petition is, accordingly, dismissed.”

Subsequently on June 23, Ismail humza was also granted bail by a special court in Pune. However, he is in a jail in Kerala for his alleged involvement in cases in Kerala. Last week Humza was also released on bail from Kerala.

A case under Sections 419 (punishment for cheating by personation), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using forged document as genuine), 34 (common intention) of Indian Penal Code along with Setions 10, 13, 20, 38, 39 of UAPA 1967 (amendment 2008) was registered against Murlidharan, Ismail Humza and a man named Sanjay Deepak Rao in May 2015.

In the first information report (FIR) against Murlidharan, the police had alleged that Murlidharan maintained multiple aliases including Thomas Joseph, Sunny, Skaria, Rajendra, Gopi, Vijayan, Raghvan, Ajit Kannampillai Karnakum Menon.

His co-accused Ismail Humza Chiragpalli, according to the FIR, maintained an alias called James Mathew. The two were arrested from Talegaon Dabhade area of Pune on May 8, 2015.

By end of 2015, a chargesheet was filed in the case. The chargesheet named a third accused called Sanjay Deepak Rao, a resident of Ambernath in Thane to have been at large. Rao has had multiple cases against him - convicted in some and acquitted in others.

The two were found in possession of material related to CPI (Maoist), an organisation banned under the UAPA. The police had found forged government issued identifications like PAN card in the name of Murlidharan’s alias and an Aadhaar card in the name of Humza’s alias.

The other things seized during their arrest included laptop, hard disk, 7 mobile phones, 5 SIM cards, 2 dongles, railway pass, and Rs 54,550 cash.

Common threat with Elgar Parishad case

Among the printed material found with Murlidharan in 2015 was a document titled “Merger Declaration of CPI (Maoist) and CPI (M-L) Naxalbari”. According to the police, the last page of the document had signs of two people - Ajith, Secretary CPI(ML) Naxalbari and Ganapathy, General Secretary of CPI(Maoist). This had led the police to believe that Murlidharan was in touch with underground CPI(M) leader Ganapathy.

Four years later, when the nation-wide crackdown on activists and lawyers was undertaken by the Pune police, various electronic evidences were collected and Ganapathy’s name re-appeared.

Timeline

•Murlidharan and Ismail Humza Chiragpalli arrested on May 8, 2015 from Talegaon Dabhade.

•Sanjay Deepak Rao also named in the case.

•Chargesheet filed against three in December 2015.

•Bail granted to Murlidharan by Bombay HC on February 25.

•Maharashtra government called for a stay on bail till June 5.

•Supreme Court upholds bail to Murlidharan on May 22.

•On June 23, Ismail Humza was granted bail by Pune court.

•On July 23, Murlidharan in released from Yerawada Central Jail.

•Humza released on bail in Kerala last week