A special court on Monday granted the Pune Police an extension of 90 days to file the charge sheet against four alleged ‘Urban Naxals‘ in the Elgaar Parishad case. The Pune sessions court granted further time to investigate the four accused Sudha Bharadwaj, P Varavara Rao, Arun Ferriera and Vernon Gonsalves in connection with their role in Bhima-Koregaon violence.
According to reports, the Pune Police had filed an application in the Pune Sessions Court on November 23 asking a 90-day extension to file charge sheet against the four. The Pune Police in a nation-wide crackdown had arrested these four ‘Urban Naxals’ along with Delhi-based Gautam Navlakha on August 28 under sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and IPC in the Elgaar Parishad case, alleging that they were part of a larger conspiracy of the banned CPI-Maoist to overthrow the Indian government.
Reportedly, the Pune Police were supposed to file the chargesheet within 90 days from their arrest before November 25. Assistant Commissioner of Police Shivaji Pawar submitted an application to the court, saying that because of the orders of the SC and HC, the investigating officer did not get sufficient period for custodial interrogation and urged that the period of house arrest, which is not in accordance with provisions of CrPC should be excluded from 90 days.
Ujwala Pawar representing Pune Police said, “The case pertains to national security and integrity of India. There is a huge amount of electronic data that still needs to be analysed. The investigation officers has been running from pillar to post and was kept engaged attending court hearings before the SC, Bombay and Delhi HC as well as Telangana HC.”
The Pune city police had earlier filed a charge sheet against alleged ten ‘Urban Naxals’ arrested this year for their alleged Maoist links and in connection with their alleged involvement in a plot to kill Prime Minister Modi. Addition to the above five self-proclaimed activists, five others– Nagpur-based lawyer Surendra Gadling, Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson and Sudhir Dhawale of Republican Panthers, were also arrested on June 6 by the Pune police.
Historian Romila Thapar had filed a plea in the Supreme Court against the arrest of five ‘Urban Naxals’ but the top court headed by the then Chief Justice of India Deepak Mishra on September 28 had refused to interfere with arrests of these five ‘Urban Naxals’.
The Pune Sessions Court on October 26th rejected bail plea of Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Sudha Bhardwaj, who were arrested in August for their alleged involvement in Elgaar Parishad and also in the Bhima Koregaon violence. The Pune Court had ordered all the three accused to be taken into the police custody.
A special court on Monday sent poet-activist P. Varavara Rao to 14-days judicial custody for alleged links with Maoists, after he was arrested from Hyderabad on November 17 for his role in the ‘Elgaar Parishad’ and subsequent Bhima-Koregaon clashes.
Meanwhile, the Pune police had earlier informed a special court that the accused in the Elgaar Parishad case were in contact with Central Committee members of the banned CPI-Maoist, and they had discussed routing funds for Maoist activities through hawala transactions.