Elgar Parishad case: Court orders NIA to trace two wanted Maoist leaders
Mumbai: A special court in the city on Thursday directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to form a special team to trace two wanted key Maoist leaders in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case
Mumbai: A special court in the city on Thursday directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to form a special team to trace two wanted key Maoist leaders in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case.
Acting on a plea filed by the federal agency, the special court on Thursday issued a non-bailable warrant against two wanted in the case - Prakash also known as Ritupan Goswami and Ganapathy aka Mupalla Laxman Rao.
The prosecution had moved a plea in view of the direction from the apex court to separate the trial of the wanted accused and expedite the trial of the existing accused. Hence, the agency took a first step towards the wanted accused and acting on the agency’s plea, the court has asked the prosecution to form a special team to search the wanted accused and execute the warrants against them to bring them to court.
So far NIA has arrested 16 accused in the case, which includes Telugu poet Varavara Rao, scholar Anand Teltumbde, and writer Gautam Navlakha. One of the activists, Jesuit priest father Stan Swamy, who too was arrested in the case, has died while in judicial custody.
The Elgar Parishad event organised on December 31, 2017, to commemorate the 200-year battle of Koregaon Bhima, a significant historical event for Dalit groups, is under investigation for allegedly being organised by banned Naxalite groups, and its attendees are under investigation for their links to terrorism as well as for instigating the violence and rioting that occurred the following day in Pune, which claimed one life and caused widespread destruction of property.
The case was registered by the Vishrambag police in Pune on January 8, 2018, based on a complaint lodged by a local builder, Tushar Damgude, alleging that members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) had incited violence by creating communal disharmony.
Damgude claimed that members of the Kabir Kala Manch spread hatred through provocative songs, plays and speeches delivered at the Elgar Parishad event at Shaniwar Wada on December 31, 2017, which gave rise to widespread violence the next day at the historical site of Bhima Koregaon in Pune district and other parts of the state. One person lost his life and several others were injured in the violence.