Plot to assassinate PM Modi? Maoists’ letter suggests ‘Rajiv Gandhi-type incident’, say police
Pune police have allegedly recovered a letter mentioning a plan to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi from a person arrested in connection with Maoist activities recently.
The document, a copy of which is with the Hindustan Times, was submitted in court by the Pune police on Thursday. Addressed to one “comrade Prakash” by another person identified only by the letter R, it raises concerns about the Modi-led BJP winning 15 states in quick succession. “If this pace continues, it would mean immense trouble on all fronts... Com Kisan and a few other senior comrades have proposed concrete steps to end the Modi raj,” it read.
The letter goes on to suggest a strategy to assassinate the Prime Minister. “We are thinking along the lines of another Rajiv Gandhi-type incident. It sounds suicidal and there is a good chance that we might fail, but we feel that the party PB/CC must deliberate over our proposal. Targeting his road shows could be an effective strategy. We collectively believe that survival of the party is supreme to all sacrifices.”
Home minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that the government is serious about the security of the Prime Minister. “We are always serious about the prime minister’s security. The Maoists are fighting a losing battle. They are now active only in 10 districts in the country,” Singh told a press conference in Jammu after a two-day tour of Jammu and Kashmir.
Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam, however, suggested on Friday said the letter may have been “planted”. He told ANI, “I am not saying this is completely untrue, but it has been Prime Minister Modi’s old tactic, since he was Chief Minister of Gujarat. Whenever his popularity declines, news of an assassination plot is planted. So, it should be probed how much truth is in it this time.”
Pune joint commissioner of police Ravindra Kadam said several virtual and physical documents were recovered during anti-Maoist raids conducted on April 17. A scanned copy of this particular letter was allegedly found on the laptop of Rona Wilson Jacob, one of the five people arrested on Wednesday in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence. The others taken into custody along with him were identified as Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale, Shoma Sen and Mahesh Raut.
Speaking to journalists in Hyderabad on Friday, Maoist ideologue and revolutionary writer P Vara Vara Rao reacted to the claims, saying: “The people arrested by the Pune police had all been working for the downtrodden and the release of political prisoners. They are not involved in murder politics.”
The letter, dated April 18, 2017, also talks of procuring weapons such as M4 rifles and 4,00,000 rounds of ammunition at a budget of Rs 8 crore.
Addressing the court on Thursday, public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar said it was evident from the letter that the Maoists were planning to kill “someone” on the lines of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination. “The sender of the letter mentions that the plot sounds suicidal, but the party must still deliberate on the proposal,” she added.
Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991, in Sriperumbedur, Tamil Nadu, by a Sri Lankan suicide bomber. He was campaigning for the upcoming elections at the time.
Maharashtra CM gets threat letters
In another development, sources in the state home department on Friday said Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis received two threat letters allegedly from Maoist groups over the last ten days.
The letters, which reached the chief minister’s office a week ago, have been handed over to the police. “They came after the recent anti-Naxal operations in Gadchiroli, in which 39 Maoists were killed. The letters have been handed over to the police for further investigation,” an official said, adding that both the documents mentioned the Gadchiroli encounters.