The Maharashtra state prosecution has included “conspiracy to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi” in the draft charges submitted to the special UAPA court on Wednesday against the 19 ‘Urban Naxals’ accused in the Elgar Parishad case.
According to the Times of India report, the draft charges also accuses them of “waging war against the country” and resorting to acts of terrorism. The draft charges stated that all the 19 accused were conspiring to assassinate PM Narendra Modi during his roadshows in a manner similar to the killing of former PM Rajiv Gandhi.
The accused ‘Urban Naxals’ who include self-proclaimed ‘activists’ and alleged human rights lawyers, were arrested for links with the banned CPI (Maoist). Five members of Kabir Kala Manch (KKM), a left-leaning cultural organisation and five underground Maoist operatives are not arrested so far.
The prosecution also mentioned 16 charges in the draft submitted to special UAPA judge S R Navander. These include eight charges under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and eight under the IPC.
Referring to charges under Sections 121 and 121-A of IPC, the draft stated that, “All the 19 arrested are active members of banned terrorist organisation association (CPI Maoist) and its frontal organisation, which has conspired to wage a war against the central and state government and for the same conspired to demand and organise Rs 8 crore for annual supply of M-4 (sophisticated weapon) with 4,00,000 rounds and other arms and ammunition through designated supplier from Nepal and Manipur, and conspired to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the lines of Rajiv Gandhi type of incident during his roadshow.”
The draft further stated that the Elgar Parishad violence was part of the conspiracy by the accused to attempt to overthrow the government and commit illegal acts including inciting people, fomenting and provoking violence through clashes at Koregaon Bhima, organising funds and recruiting cadres for terrorist activities.
According to the Pune police’s case, the Elgar Parishad event held in the city on December 31, 2017, was funded by CPI (Maoist) as part of a larger conspiracy to create social unrest and overthrow the government. The alleged provocative statements at the event contributed to the January 1, 2018 caste clashes at Koregaon Bhima, the police claimed.
On the 200 anniversary of the battle of Bhima-Koregaon on January 1 in 2018, a large number of people had gathered at the memorial near Pune. While the crowd was dispersing, violence erupted not only in Pune and surrounding areas but across the state. A 28-year-old youth, Rahul Patangale, was killed in the violence. 52 cases were registered and 152 people were arrested for violence and riots in the streets.
Since June 6, 2018, the Pune police have arrested ten ‘activists’, who are known to be sympathisers of left-wing terror. Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, P Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves were arrested for their alleged links with CPI (Maoist). Another accused Gautam Navlakha is accused of having links with Maoists, Kashmiri separatists, Pakistan’s ISI and banned terror organisation Hizbul.
The Pune police had filed a 5,000-page charge sheet, which had names of 10 persons of the above ‘Urban Naxals’. Addition to these five, absconding underground Maoists Milind Teltumbde, Prakash alias Ritupam Goswami, Prashant Bose alias Kishan da, Manglu and Deepu have also been named in the charge sheet. The KKM members and the Maoist operatives have been referred in the draft as “underground, absconded and wanted accused” in the case.
“At the time of recording of evidence (during the trial), we will move an application that the charges mentioned in the draft be considered against the wanted/absconded accused as and when they are arrested,” special prosecutor and Pune’s district government pleader Ujjwala Pawar told TOI.
The draft mentioned the KKM and bodies such as the Indian Association of Peoples Lawyers, Anuradha Ghandy Memorial Committee and the Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee as frontal organisations of CPI (Maoist) and stated that the accused ‘Urban Naxals’ worked through these outfits to achieve the Maoist objective of establishing a revolutionary base in the country and wage a war against India.