Bhima-Koregaon case: ‘Bharadwaj’s group, three other fronts support Maoists’

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Published on Oct 04, 2019 12:31 AM IST
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ByK A Y Dodhiya, Mumbai

Pune Police on Thursday continued its argument against the bail applications of activists Vernon Gonsalves, Dr Sudha Bharadwaj and Arun Ferreira, who were arrested last year in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence.

The police said two letters, allegedly written by another accused Surendra Gadling, prove that the Indian Association of People’s Lawyer (IAPL), and three other organisations, were fronts for the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

However, the accused’s phone records raised questions about the police’s theory.

The police submitted that as vice-president of IAPL, Bharadwaj’s role in promoting Maoist ideology was evident and she should not be granted bail.

Referring to the first letter written by Gadling to Prakash Das, an alleged functionary of the CPI (M) in Maharashtra, additional public prosecutor Aruna Pai informed the bench of justice Sarang Kotwal that Gadling had told Das to arrange for 10.5 lakh to conduct the IAPL’s annual general meeting at Hyderabad.

She said that as Gadling was general secretary of IAPL, his seeking funds from Das proved that it was a frontal organisation.

Pai then referred to a second letter, recovered from the laptop of another accused Rona Wilson, wherein funding had been sought from Das to conduct events in the name of Anuradha Gandhi Memorial (AGM), and to support the Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) and Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee (PPSC).

These three organisations were also being used as a front, Pai argued.

Pai then submitted minutes of a meeting that Bharadwaj had allegedly attended with another accused Shoma Sen.

However, when the bench asked about the discrepancy in call data records showing that on the day of the meeting, Bharadwaj was in Faridabad and Sen was in Mumbai, Pai was unable to explain it.

She was also unable to state where the meeting was conducted, saying that investigators had not ascertained the location.

The Pune police will continue its arguments on Friday.

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