The Mumbai police have today detained ‘activist’ Harshali Potdar, one of the accused in the Bhima Koregaon case for a case registered against her in MRA Marg Police Station for sharing a controversial social media post against the state government during the coronavirus lockdown. The detention came after sessions court on Wednesday rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Potdar. The news was shared on the microblogging site by the official Twitter handle of Bhima Koregaon Shourya Din Prerana Abhiyan’s Elgar Parishad 2021.
Harshali Potdar, one of the organisers of Elgar Parishad and activist of Republican Pathers Jaatiantachi Chalval has been detained by @MumbaiPolice (MRA marg police station) this afternoon 11th Jan 2021. Her anticipatory bail was denied by session court on Wednesday.— Elgar Parishad (@elgar_parishad) January 11, 2021
The organisation also took to its official Facebook page to reshare a post by a frontal organization of banned terrorist organization CPI (Maoist), Kabir Kala Manch, which alleged that the Mumbai police had implicated Harshali Potdar in a fake case.
According to reports, the sessions court while rejecting Potdar’s anticipatory bail application, had also revoked the interim protection granted to her by the court on August 29 last year.
Harshali Potdar booked by Mumbai police for sharing derogatory post against state govt
Police had booked Potdar, in April 2020 for spreading enmity between two groups and doing acts prejudicial to peace and harmony through her social media post.
Potdar had allegedly shared a Facebook post written by Mohsin Shaikh, that criticised the state government for targeting Tablighi Jamaat and the Muslim community for spreading corona.
Fearing arrest, she had moved a pre-arrest bail plea before a sessions court here on August 27, 2020. Advocate Ishrat Khan, appearing for Potdar, had submitted that no case is made out against her. The lawyer had told the court that the entire case was bogus and alleged that since she is a social worker, the prosecution intends to implicate her in false cases.
Harshali Potdar named as accused in Bhima Koregaon case by Pune police
It may be recalled that Harshali Potdar’s name had also appeared in one of the FIRs registered by Pune police in connection with 2017 Bhima Koregaon Elgar Parishad case. Potdar’s name had emerged in the draft charges filed by Pune police in December 2019, against 19 out of the 23 accused booked in the Elgar Parishad case under sections of the IPC and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for their alleged links with the banned CPI (Maoist).
According to the draft charges, the accused allegedly conspired “to incite people and create violence and to spread disaffection towards government established by law”. It also mentioned that the accused allegedly “conspired to wage a war against the government of India and state government… organised Rs 8 crore for annual supply of M4 (sophisticated weapon) with 4 lakh rounds and others arms, ammunition through designated supplier from Nepal and Manipur and conspired to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the lines of Rajiv Gandhi-type incident during his roadshows.”
What is the Bhima Koregaon Elgar Parishad Case?
The event by the name of “Elgar Parishad” was organised to commemorate the Battle of Bhima Koregaon of 1818, wherein the Peshwas fought against the between East India Company. In the war, an army of Dalit soldiers had fought under the British forces against the Peshwa, the reason for the celebration by Dalits. In 2018, it was the 200 year anniversary of the war and extreme violence erupted over the matter.
Soon after, the case was transferred to the NIA. So far, 16 people have been arrested in the case as accused — Jyoti Raghoba Jagtap, Sagar Tatyaram Gorkhe, Ramesh Murlidhar Gaichor, Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson, Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha, Hany Babu and Father Stan Swamy.