A mammoth 10,000-page supplementary charge sheet was filed by the National Investigation Agency on Friday against eight accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case, including Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha, Hany Babu and Stan Swamy. The NIA charge sheet mentioned that the accused had “active links” with banned outfit Communist Party of India (Maoists).
Besides the above-mentioned individuals, Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor and Jyoti Jagtap of Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) were also named in the charge sheet filed before Special NIA court in Mumbai. Another accused, Milind Teltumbde, who is currently absconding, was the eighth person to be named in the charge sheet.
Accused furthered the ideology of terror organisation and had links to ISI: NIA
The accused are accused of having committed offences under anti-terror law Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), and offences related to sedition, waging war against India, criminal conspiracy etc., under the Indian Penal Code. They are also arraigned for conspiring to “further the ideology of terrorist organization CPI (Maoist)”, “bring hatred and disaffection towards the Government established by law” and “fostering enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, caste and community”.
In its charge sheet, the National Investigation Agency has charged Gautam Navlakha of conspiring to unite intellectuals against the government and enlist cadres for guerilla activities of banned organisation CPI(M). He has also been mentioned in the charge sheet having links with Pakistan’s notorious intelligence agency ISI.
Regarding Anand Teltumbde, the Goa Institute of Management professor, NIA spokesperson and Deputy Inspector General of Police in the agency Sonia Narang said that he was one of the organisers of the “Bhima Koregaon Shaurya Din Prerna Abhiyan” and was in attendance at the Elgaar Parishad meeting at Shaniwar Wada, Pune on December 31, 2017, a day before violence engulfed Bhima Koregaon. The NIA official also added that documents revealed damning evidence against Teltumbde, who was in touch with other Maoist cadres and received funds for carrying out their activities.
Hany Babu has been charged with facilitating and organising visits of foreign journalists to Maoist areas and pooling funds for the release of Professor G N Saibaba, who is accused of allegedly having contacts with banned terror outfits.
The NIA in its charge sheet has accused the 83-year-old Stan Swamy of being a Maoist cadre. The central agency claimed that he was a convener of Persecuted Prisoners’ Solidarity Committee(PPSC), an organisation which was alleged to be a front organisation of CPI(M).
Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case
The Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case pertains to an event organised at Shaniwar Wada called Elgar Parishad on December 31, 2017. The following day, i.e January 1, 2018, large scale violence broke out at Bhima Koregaon, where lakhs of Dalits had gathered to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon, won by the British Army—comprising mostly soldiers from Dalit community—against the Peshwas in 1818.
An FIR was filed in connection with the violence on January 8 after which Pune Police kickstarted a probe into it. According to the police, arrested ‘activists’ claiming that the event was organised as a part of alleged Maoist activity and the accused were members its members.
The Pune police continued the probe in the matter for 2 years after which the investigation was transferred to the National Investigation Agency in January this year. The agency claimed that incriminating documents and letters were found on the devices of some of the accused, tying their links to the banned CPI(M) group.
Soon after, the case was transferred to the NIA. The Pune police had arrested a another nine supposed “intellectuals” such as Sudha Bharadwaj, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, and Varavara Rao for inciteful speeches.