Elgar Parishad case Supplementary charge sheet filed against Sudha Bharadwaj top Maoist leadertext_fields
Pune: Pune Police Thursday filed a supplementary charge sheet at a special UAPA court here against five people, including rights activists Sudha Bharadwaj and fugitive top Maoist leader M Ganapathy, in the Elgar Parishad case.
The charge sheet, which runs into over 1,800 pages, was submitted before Additional Sessions Judge Kishor Vadane.
Assistant Police Commissioner Shivaji Pawar, who is investigating the case, said the name of Ganapathy, who reportedly stepped down as the general secretary of the banned CPI (Maoist) outfit, was added in the FIR after his involvement came to light during the probe.
He was named as the 23rd accused in the FIR, Pawar said.
Police had filed the first charge sheet in the case against 10 persons in the special court for Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UAPA in November 2018.
The case is that the speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave here on December 31, 2017, which was allegedly funded by Maoists, "aggravated" the violence near Koregaon Bhima war memorial in Pune district the next day.
"Today, we submitted a supplementary charge sheet against Bharadwaj, (Telugu poet) Varavara Rao, (activists) Arun Ferriera, Vernon Gonsalves and fugitive general secretary of the banned CPI (Maoist) Ganapathy, alias Chandrashekhar," Joint Commissioner of Police Shivaji Bodkhe said here.
The supplementary charge sheet said that some electronic evidence seized from Rao revealed that M Ganapathy and Rao were in contact with each other and actively involved in various Maoist activities.
Rao and lawyer Surendra Gadling were involved in violence and Naxal activities, police said in the charge sheet, adding that both of them used to provide information about the security forces' deployment to the underground cadres and on the basis of their inputs, the cadres used to carry out attacks on the personnel.
It also said that Maoists operating in the country were in touch with Nepal-based cadres and were trying to procure arms and ammunition from them.
"Rao, Rona Wilson, and others were conspiring with top Maoist leader Kishanda, alias Prashant Bose, to procure arms and ammunition for Maoist activities. Rao, who was actively involved in the procurement of arms and ammunition, was in touch with one Basanta, who is a top Maoist leader in Nepal," the charge sheet said.
It also stated that Basanta was facilitating Maoists operating in the country to procure arms and ammunition.
The supplementary charge sheet also described the role of other accused – Gonsalves, Ferreira and Bharadwaj, who according to the charge sheet, were actively involved in the recruitment of new members and also instrumental in spreading the ideology of the CPI (Maoist) through their frontal organisations.
It said the investigating agency recovered a document titled 'The Present Situation and Our Tasks' from the possession of Wilson, which talks about how the government is spreading "Brahmanism" and how it is exerting atrocities against the poor, Dalits and the minorities.
It also added that the document talks about the need to galvanise Dalits, Adivasis, religious minorities and other pro-democracy forces to fight against the "Brahminical Fascism".
The accused are charged with "waging war against the nation" and spreading the ideology of their banned organisation and creating caste conflicts, disaffection and hatred in the society, the police officer said.
In the supplementary charge sheet, police reiterated that the provocative speeches, songs, skits made at the Elgar Parishad conclave here on December 31, 2017, which was allegedly funded by Maoists, "aggravated" the violence near Koregaon Bhima war memorial in Pune district the next day.
The first charge sheet named 10 accused, including activists Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut and Sudhir Dhavale, who were arrested in June 2018, and absconding Maoist leaders Dipak, alias Milind Teltumbade, Kishanda, alias Prashant Bose, and Prakash, alias Rituparn Goswami. Bharadwaj and others were arrested in September.
The Elgar conclave was held to mark the bicentennial anniversary of the 1818 battle of Koregaon Bhima, in which Dalit soldiers of the East India Company defeated the army of the Brahmin Peshwa, Pune's then ruler. Dalits look upon the victory as an assertion of their identity.