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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

Material on record makes strong prima facie case against accused: Pune court

Prima facie it is seen that all applicants/accused were instrumental in organising Elgar Parishad and further in carrying out riots at different places, including at Bhima Koregaon, says judgement

pune Updated: Nov 08, 2019 16:14 IST
Shalaka Shinde
Shalaka Shinde
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune, India - December 31, 2017: Book Launch in 'Elgar Parishad' at Shanivarwada in Pune, India, on Sunday, December 31, 2017. (Photo by Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)
Pune, India - December 31, 2017: Book Launch in 'Elgar Parishad' at Shanivarwada in Pune, India, on Sunday, December 31, 2017. (Photo by Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)(HT PHOTO)
         

The Pune court order while rejecting the bail application of six out of the nine accused in the Elgar Parishad case has concluded that the documents produced in the court reveal a “deeper conspiracy” that has ties to the Bhima Koregaon violence and the Elgar Parishad.

The order was passed on the bail application made by Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale, and Vara Vara Rao. Three others - Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferriera and Sudha Bhardwaj - had approached the Bombay High Court for bail.

“Prima facie it is seen that all the applicants/accused were instrumental in organising Elgar Parishad and further in carrying out riots and attacks at different places, including at Bhima Koregaon,” read the judgement.

While referring to a letter addressed to Rona Wilson by a Comrade Prakash, the judge pointed out that the banner organisation’s leader made clear references to Bhima Koregaon violence.

“The letter gives an idea of the objective of the banned organisation to spread unrest among the people and to achieve the goal of political revolution by overthrowing the government, which has been established by a democratic process. It is nothing but a serious threat to the democracy of the nation,” the judge observed.

Judge SR Navandar is the third judge, after judges Ravindra Pande and Kishore Vadane, to hear the case. However, he has brought the bail matter to a conclusion and has invited the accused to take the case to trial.

The order passed by the judge also takes into consideration a statement recorded by a former CPI(M) member.

In August 2018, shortly after the activists were arrested by the Pune police, a man named Kumarsai Katlami alias Pahad Singh surrendered to Chattisgarh police. He held the position of secretary of Gondiya ­Rajnandgaon and Balaghat division of CPI(M), according to the police.

The Pune police had cited a statement recorded by Singh in their investigation. The statement named all the accused, and more, and defined their roles in the banned organisation, according to the submission by the prosecution.

The statement, according to the defence advocates, was fabricated to incriminate the arrested activists. However, the judge said in his order, “The said statement contains minute details of the role of accused persons in the organisation which is not possible for investigating officer to fabricate or concoct.”

In his statement, Pahad Singh has allegedly defined VV Rao, a poet from Kerala, as a high ranking official of CPI(M), Milind Teltumbde, who was granted bail, the secretary of the Maharashtra Committee, Arun Ferriera as recruiter of students,Vernon Gonsalves as the influencer of intellectual class while “Sudhir Dhavale, Rona Wilson, Gautam Navlakha, Anant Teltumbade, Sudha Bharadwaj, Harshali Potdar are said to be active members of the organisation and working in the upper class of the society.”

The accused activists are now awaiting the cloned copies of the documents upon which the prosecution will be relying during the case. The one month period granted by the court to the police to submit the documents will expire on Saturday.