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Koregaon Bhima violence: Pune cops raid ‘activist’ Stan Swamy’ house, seize a hard disk, dongle, take email and social media details

Prior to this Pune Police had on August 28, 2018, conducted raids at Father Swamy’s residence along with raiding residences of eight individuals with suspected Maoist links in connection with the Elgaar Parishad case.

A special team of Maharashtra Police continuing to stake-out the Elgaar Parishad funding which allegedly triggered the Bhima-Koregaon violence last year, conducted searches at the home of human rights activist Stan Swamy in Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi, Wednesday, as part of an ongoing investigation.

An eight-member team of the Pune city police led by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Swargate division, Shivaji Pawar, searched Swamy’s house around 7 am on Wednesday and seized electronic devices and details of Swamy’s social media and email accounts.

“We have not taken him into custody. We conducted this operation following a new development in the case,” said Pawar, refusing to elaborate on what the ‘new’ leads were that led to the police raid on the activist’s house for a second time.

Social activist, Stan Swamy, is a prominent critic of the Jharkhand government and an accused in the  Bhima Koregaon/Elgaar Parishad case.

The Pune police have so far booked 23 people accused in the Bhima Koregaon/Elgaar Parishad case, which include prominent activists and intellectuals. Among those who have been imprisoned in connection with the case are Dalit rights activist Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, activist Rona Wilson, Mahesh Raut, retired professor Shoma Sen, activist Arun Ferreira, academic Vernon Gonsalves, poet Varavara Rao and civil rights activist Sudha Bharadwaj.

Prior to this Pune Police had on August 28, 2018, conducted raids at Father Swamy’s residence along with raiding residences of eight individuals with suspected Maoist links in connection with the Elgaar Parishad conference on 31 December 2017, which is suspected of playing a key role in inciting the violence the next day.

This conference was held to mark the 200th anniversary of a British victory over Peshwas, which has been spun by leftist historians as a ‘Dalit victory’ owing to the belief that the British army was supposedly comprised of Dalits and other lower castes while the ruling Peshwas were Brahmins.

The people raided with regards to this conference were Republican Panthers members – Sudhir Dhawale, Harshali Potdar, Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) artists – Jatiantachi Chalwal, Sagar Gorkhe, Deepak Dhengle, Ramesh Gaichor, Jyoti Jagtap, activist – Rona Wilson and lawyer – Surendra Gadling.

On November 15, 2018, the police filed a 5,160-page chargesheet against 10 accused namely, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, lawyer Surendra Gadling, Professor Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut and five absconding Maoist operatives Milind Teltumbde, Prakash alias Ritupan Goswami, Manglu, Deepu and Kishan alias Prashant Bose.

Meanwhile, a senior police official said, “Our team conducted a search at Swamy’s residence in Ranchi as part of the ongoing probe into the Elgaar Parishad case.”

Police suspect that Swamy has links with the banned CPI (Maoist) organisation, which it claims instigated Dalits into violence a day after the Elgaar Parishad event on December 31, 2017, at Bhima Koregaon in Pune. Swamy has, however, denied these charges emphatically.

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