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Maharashtra police claim to have unearthed Maoist plots to kill PM Modi, CM Fadnavis

Maharashtra police claim to have unearthed separate Maoists plots to purportedly assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a “Rajiv Gandhi-type incident” during one of his road shows and targeting chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for initiating operations against rebels.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2018 23:49 IST
Hindustan Times, Pune/Mumbai/New Delhi
Maharashtra,Maoist,Narendra Modi
In a submission before a local court on Thursday, Pune police said it had found a letter in the computer of Delhi-based activist Rona Jacob Wilson (pictured), one of the five accused of inciting violence in Bhima Kharegaon, detailing a plan to kill PM Modi.(HT/Pratham Gokhale)

The Maharashtra police claim to have unearthed separate Maoists plots to purportedly assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a “Rajiv Gandhi-type incident” during one of his road shows and targeting state chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for initiating operations against rebels.

In a submission before a local court on Thursday, the Pune police said it had found a letter in the computer of Delhi-based activist Rona Jacob Wilson, one of the five accused of inciting violence in Bhima Koregaon, detailing a plan to kill the PM.

The letter addressed to one “comrade Prakash” by another person identified by the letter R, and sent last April, raised concerns over the Modi-led BJP winning 15 states and talks of procuring weapons and ammunition worth Rs 8 crore. “We are thinking along the lines of another Rajiv Gandhi-type incident,” the letter read, adding, “targeting his (Modi’s) road shows could be an effective strategy.”

Public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar told the court that the letter revealed a plot to “kill someone” and did not name any leader. Pune’s joint commissioner of police Ravindra Kadam said the letter is one of the documents found by the Pune police team.

Also read: Plot to assassinate PM Modi? Maoists’ letter suggests ‘Rajiv Gandhi-type incident’, say police

Reacting to the police claim, Justice (retired) BG Kolse Patil, a member of Elgar Parishad that organised the Bhima Koregaon event on January 1, said: “The government wants to crush the voices which are opposing them.”

He got the backing of Union social justice minister and Dalit leader Ramdas Athawale who said the Parishad had “no Maoist” connection.

Defence counsel Tosif C Shaikh, who appeared for two of the five suspects, said case against arrested persons is fabricated. “The police by selectively leaking letters are trying to create a fabricated case against the five persons.”

Both the Congress and the BJP sought an investigation into the matter while home minister Rajnath Singh said the government is serious about the PM’s security and that the Maoists were fighting a losing battle.

Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad termed the reported plot to kill Modi as “disturbing” and expressed hope that a prompt investigation would expose the conspiracy.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted: “Terrorism, Naxalism and extremism are unacceptable... A fair investigation, bereft of politics, is the need of the hour”.

At an event in Mumbai, Fadnavis said that the police has came across an internal communication from a frontal “Naxal commander” to someone else talking about a module on the lines of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination to eliminate Modi. “This communication is being investigated and it will be submitted at the right time in the court,’’ said Fadnavis.

On Friday, Maharashtra strengthened the security of Fadnavis after his office received two anonymous letters last month threatening the CM and his family with reference to a recent encounter in Gadchiroli in which 39 alleged Maoists were killed by a joint team of security forces comprising C60 commandos and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

The two letters were received on May 13 and May 18. “While one letter is from Communist Party of India (Maoist) central committee, the other is from Communist Party of India (Maoist) Dandkaranya special zone committee. Both were handed over to senior police officials by the CMO,” said an official from the chief minister’s office.

First Published: Jun 08, 2018 23:39 IST