Pune Elgar Parishad: Karnataka police take custody of Rao
Varavara Rao, Telugu poet and activist accused in the Eagar Parishad case, was taken by Karnataka police from Yerawada Central Prison on Wednesday morning.
Rao, in his late 60s, is named in the chargesheet of attack on a CRPF camp in Thurmani area of Karnataka, according to assistant commissioner of police Shivaji Pawar, who is investigating the Elgar Parishad case. ACP Pawar is heading the Yerawada division of Pune police.
“They had a production warrant against him. The Thurmani police from Karnataka took him this morning. He is still in the custody of this court so they have to bring him back, but I do not know when that will be. He was taken in an old case registered in Karnataka. It is a 2005 case where a CRPF camp was looted and eight jawans were killed. He has been chargesheeted in that case,” said ACP Pawar.
Rao’s family members were unaware of the development. “There was a case against him from 2000s, but it is an old case. We had no idea that he was taken out of Yerawada jail. No one here was informed about it, not even his mother,” said KV Kurmanath, son-in-law of Rao.
Rao is in judicial custody at Yerawada jail along with Rona Wilson, Arun Ferreira, Shama Sen, Sudha Bharadwaj, Mahesh Raut, Sudhir Dhavale, Vernon Gonsalves, and Surendra Gadling in the Elgar Parishad case.
Rao was accused of having a nexus with top fugitive Maoist operatives and of being actively involved in the procurement of arms and ammunition, recruitment of students and funding of Maoist activities.
Police said the Maoist-backed Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, and the speeches at the event aggravated the violence at the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in Pune district the next day.
On February 6, 2005, Naxal leader Saket Rajan alias Prem was killed in an encounter in Chikkmagaluru district of Karnataka. In retaliation, Naxals attacked the Karnataka State Reserve police (KSRP) battalion in Venkammanahalli in Tumkur district five days later and killed seven KRSP personnel and a civilian. Varavara Rao had addressed public meetings in the Chikkmagaluru area in early 2003.
With agency inputs