Was violence at Bhima Koregaon planned action?
Today in New Delhi, India
Jan 17, 2019-Thursday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

Was violence at Bhima Koregaon planned action?

Police recovers a letter from Rona Wilson which has explosive details, including how some of the organisers of Elgar Parishad were in touch with Maoist to mobilise Dalits.

pune Updated: Jun 08, 2018 14:42 IST
Yogesh Joshi
Yogesh Joshi
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune,maharashtra,bhima koragaon
Rona Wilson (left), arrested due to alleged Maoist links in the Bhima Koregaon violence, was produced in court in Pune on Thursday.(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

A letter written by core committee member of banned Maoist outfit and recovered by the Pune police from the laptop of Rona Wilson, one of the five persons arrested on Wednesday in connection with Elgar Parishad, indicating that the Bhima Koregaon agitation was scripted. The letter, a copy of which is with Hindustan times, was written by Milind Teltumbde, a top CPI (Maoist) operative, to Wilson on January 2, a day after the violence at Bhima Koregaon. It was recovered by the Pune police during searches carried out at Wilson’s residence on April 17. Teltumbde carries a reward of Rs 50 lakh on him.

The letter, which police are now investigating, states, “The Bhima Koregaon agitation has been very effective. The unfortunate death of a youth must be exploited to prepare future agitations and propaganda material”.

Pune’s joint police commissioner Ravindra Kadam said the contents of the letter are being probed. “We have collected many documents. The said letter is one of the documents recovered from Wilson’s laptop,” said Kadam. The prosecution also quoted the contents of the letter in the court while seeking police custody of the arrested.

Kadam said the investigating officials have strong “prima facie evidence” to indicate “participation and inspiration of Maoists” in the organisation of the Elgar Parishad at Shaniwarwada a day before the January 1 clashes at Bhima Koregaon.

Meanwhile, around five teams of the Pune police on Wednesday arrested Sudhir Dhawale, member of the Republican Panther; Surendra Gadling, prominent lawyer; Rona Wilson, activist; Mahesh Raut, former prime minister rural development fellow and Soma Sen, retired Nagpur University professor, from different locations for their alleged links with Maoists, who according to the police funded the December 31 Elgar Parishad.

Special court in Pune on Thursday remanded the five to police custody till June 14. A large number of Dalits had gathered to commemorate the 200th anniversary of a battle they won while fighting alongside the British against the Peshwas (upper caste rulers).

A 28-year-old man was killed in the clashes and mobs damaged and torched several vehicles and shops and ransacked houses of locals on New Year’s day. An estimated Rs 13 crore of property was damaged or destroyed in the riots. According to the letter, people associated with Maoist movement were working for Elgar Parishad since past two months.

“Comrade Manglu and comrade Deepu have been coordinating the Bhima Koregaon programme since two months with comrade Sudhir,” the letter stated. The letter has references of national political party and prominent political leader linked to Ambedkar movement. According to the letter, senior comrades from the CPI (Maoist) urban leadership had prior talks with their friendly political party who suggested to continue the Dalit mobilisation more aggressively.

Justice (retired) BG Kolse Patil said the government is using police machinery to create false cases against those who are against their ideology. Kolse Patil was one of the organisers of Elgar Parishad.

Harshali Potdar, one of the organiser of the Elgar Parishad and a Republican Panther member, has alleged that police have hatched a conspiracy against Dalit activists. “The police came to Dhawale’s residence early in the morning and arrested him without any explanation. While the police are giving a clean chit to right-wing leader like Sambhaji Bhide, they are arresting Dalit activists,” Potdar said.

The city police, however, maintained that the forensic clone copies of computer and laptop hard disks seized from Gadling and Wilson during searches revealed documents showing close relations with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) outfit.

First Published: Jun 08, 2018 14:38 IST