Twisted history, created anger: Pune police charge sheet against activists in Bhima Koregaon violence case
The 5,160-page chargesheet, filed before sessions judge KD Vadane, accuses advocate Surendra Gadling, professor Shoma Sen, Dalit activist and Marathi magazine ‘Vidrohi’ editor Sudhir Dhawale, activist Mahesh Raut, freelance research scholar Rona Wilson and five others working with CPI (Maoist) to create violence on January 1 at Bhima Koregaon in Pune district.Updated: Nov 16, 2018, 00:11 IST
The banned CPI (Maoist) “orchestrated” the Bhima Koregaon caste riots while five activists arrested for alleged links with it allegedly distorted the history of the battle and created resentment among the Dalits, according to the Pune police’s charge sheet against 10 accused submitted in court today.
The accused were also charged with conspiring to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi and overthrow the democratically elected government with violent means, said an IANS report. The accused face provisions of the stringent Unlawful Activists (Prevention) Act and sections of the Indian Penal Code, it said.
The 5,160-page chargesheet, filed before sessions judge KD Vadane, accuses advocate Surendra Gadling, professor Shoma Sen, Dalit activist and Marathi magazine ‘Vidrohi’ editor Sudhir Dhawale, activist Mahesh Raut, freelance research scholar Rona Wilson and five others working with CPI (Maoist) to create violence on January 1 at Bhima Koregaon in Pune district.
Others charged by police include CPI (Maoist) members Milind Teltumbde, Prakash alias Navin alias Ritupan Goswami, Manglu, Deepu and Kisan alias Prashanto Bose, all who were described as being “underground”.
The charge sheet accuses Dhawale and members of Kabir Kala Manch (KKM), a left-leaning Dalit outfit, of having delivered provocative speeches at the December 31 Elgar Parishad event in Pune, and other places in Maharashtra, which led to violence the next day when large number of Dalits had gathered at Bhima Koregaon to observe 200th anniversary of a battle between British and Dalits. One person was killed while damage worth Rs 40 crore was caused during the riots.
“The loss to properties and human casualties during caste riots between Dalits and upper castes were orchestrated by banned outfit CPI (Maoist),” stated the charge sheet submitted by assistant commissioner of police Shivaji Pawar, who is investigating the case.
According to charge sheet, Dhawale and Harshali Potdar, member of KKM contacted different Dalit outfits and twisted the history of Bhima Koregaon battle. They also resorted to false propaganda over the issue and tried to convince the public that the government was antithetical to the Dalit community and created resentment among the Dalits against the government. it said.
Besides the Koregaon-Bhima violence, the charge sheet said that the 10 accused had links with various Maoist and Kashmir terror groups, were hatching a conspiracy to execute a high-level political assassination, procuring illegal funds, arms and ammunition, seeking to incite disturbances and violence among people and communities around the country to topple the democratically elected government, said IANS.
Gadling and Sen, along with Gadchiroli-based Mahesh Raut, Mumbai-based Dhawale, and Wilson of Delhi, were arrested by the Pune police on June 8 after multi-city raids across the country.
Besides these five accused, the Pune police have also arrested five other activists - Telugu poet Varavara Rao, civil rights lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj, Mumbai lawyers Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves, and Delhi-based journalist Gautam Navlakha - on August 29.
(With IANS inputs)