Elgar Parishad case: Two chargesheets filed, draft charges submitted,say Pune police
While the Centre’s move to hand over the Bhima Koregaon case to the National Investigative Agency (NIA) has invited criticism from political parties, the Pune police say that they have filed two chargesheets and submitted draft charges against nineteen accused.
“We have filed two chargesheets and proposed charges against the suspects in the Elgar Parishad case. The investigation will move further from here,” said assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Shivaji Pawar, who was the investigating officer of the case.
Meanwhile, Prakash Ambedkar, president, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, said, “Whether it is Pune police or NIA investigating the case, the accused languishing in the jail should come out quickly.”
NIA has been directed to take over investigations of the 2018 Bhima Koregaon case, in which activists and lawyers were jailed for alleged Maoist links. NIA is a central agency which probes terror-related cases.
The prosecution in its submission before the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act court has also included a charge of conspiracy to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the draft charges against the 19 accused in the case and charged them for waging a war against the country and resorting to acts of terrorism. The accused comprises human rights activists, lawyers, writers and academicians for their alleged links with the CPI (Maoist) and Kabir Kala Manch, a left-leaning organisation, and five underground Maoist operatives who have not been arrest so far.
According to the Pune police, the Elgar Parishad held a conclave in Pune on December 31, 2017, which was supported by Maoists and inflammatory speeches made at the event led to caste riots at Bhima Koregaon, the next day on the occasion of 200th-anniversary celebrations of the battle of Bhima Koregaon in the district.
The police had arrested nine activists, including Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Varvara Rao in connection with the case.