Nagpur court sentences senior Maoist leaders
The additional sessions court, on Tuesday, found senior Maoist leaders, Vernon Gonsalves, 55, and Sridhar Srinivasan, 54, guilty of unlawful activities and carrying arms and explosives, and slapped them with five and six year sentences, respectively.
While delivering the sentence the additional session judge, PM Dunedar, also acquitted Angela Sontakke, who was arrested from Thane in 2011.
Angela is the wife of senior naxalite leader Milind Teltumde, the secretary of the Maharashtra state committee of the CPI (Maoist).
Gonsalves and Srinivasan were arrested by the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) from Mumbai with arms and explosives in August 2007.
The police had claimed to have recovered detonators, a hand grenade, two firearms, 20 high-explosive gelatine sticks and so on from them.
Their arrest brought into focus sympathies among a few of Mumbai’s highly-educated, middle-class for naxalites.
The police had similarly arrested Arun Ferreira, a science graduate of St Xavier’s College and once a trainee Roman Catholic priest from Nagpur, along with a senior naxalite leader, Murali.
Arun was released by the court recently.
Vernon alias Vikram once taught economics at KC College and Ruparel College.
He and his wife, Susan Abraham, worked among the underprivileged people of Chandrapur for years. They also worked with labour unions in the industrial city of Chandrapur in Vidarbha region.
Vidarbha, the backward region of Maharashtra, acted as a magnet for student radicals from Mumbai in the 80s.
The late Anuradha Ghandy, a central committee member of the CPI (Maoist) and her husband, Kobad Ghandy, a politburo member of the banned organisation, also worked in the region.