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Elgar Parishad accused wanted to wage war against nation: NIA draft

Elgar Parishad accused wanted to wage war against nation: NIA draft

Mumbai: The NIA has proposed to charge the accused in the Elgar Parishad case with 16 offences including conspiring to organise sophisticated weapons "to attempt or cause the death of a public functionary".

15 people were arrested by the National Investigation Agency.

The Pune Police, in the initial investigation, had said that the weapons were linked to an attempt to "assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi" but the NIA draft charges do not mention the PM. The NIA said the accused are active members of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

The draft reads that the accused conspired to demand and organise Rs 8 crore for "annual supply of M-4 (sophisticated weapon)" and had recruited students from various universities for "commission of terrorist activity," reported The India Express.

The accused are Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, P Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Hany Babu, Ramesh Gaichor, Anand Teltumbde, Jyoti Jagtap, and Sagar Gorkhe. Father Stan Swamy, the late human rights activist, is also mentioned in the draft.

Accused activist Rona Wilson approached the Bombay High Court saying the "incriminating evidence" found on his electronic device was planted through malware two years before his arrest in 2018. He cited a report to argue it.

Sedition, promoting enmity between groups, criminal conspiracy, and relevant sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act are some of the charges. Academic Anand Teltumbde has been charged under a section pertaining to the destruction of evidence.

The draft charges submitted before a special court includes waging a war against the country. The maximum punishment for the charge is death. The NIA said that the draft charges do not go into the specific allegation and the evidence will be part of the trial, reported The Indian Express.

The investigation agency added that the Elgar Parishad event in Pune on December 31, 2017, was organised "to exploit the communal sentiment of Dalit and other classes across the state and provoked them in the name of a caste to create violence, instability, and chaos in District Pune, at various places including Bhima Koregaon and in the state of Maharashtra".

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TAGS:Elgar Parishad NIA 
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