The prosecution in the Elgaar Parishad case on Tuesday filed its response on the anticipatory bail application of academician Anand Teltumbde, claiming they had evidence to prove that he had been involved in ‘insurgent activities to destabilise the government’ through banned Maoist organisations, of which he was a member.
The prosecution also stated that Teltumbde, a Professor at Goa Institute of Management and an accused in the case, had not been booked for “merely representing dissenting opinion or different ideology”. A special court in Pune will hear the defence’s arguments on the prosecution’s response on Wednesday.
On January 14, the Supreme Court had rejected Teltumbde’s appeal to quash the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Pune Police against him. However, the apex court had granted him protection from arrest for four weeks, for seeking bail from a trial court. Accordingly, Teltumbde moved the special court in Pune and had filed an anticipatory bail on January 18.
In her response filed before the court, public prosecutor Ujwala Pawar said, “The present applicant (Teltumbde), along with other co-accused, in pursuance of criminal conspiracy, committed unlawful activities of CPI (Maoist) and its frontal organisation Anuradha Ghandy Memorial Committee and other frontal organisations, with intention to promote disharmony and enmity and cause dissatisfaction against India or Government of India; and encourage or aid persons to take unlawful activities like riots and terrorist activities. The applicant along with other co-accused is involved in creating instability in the state by insurgent activities to destabilise the government.”
The response filed by Pawar referred to four communications, claimed to be retrieved by the police. These communications are “from Anand and Prakash, from Comrade Surendra to Comrade M, to Sudarshan from Surendra Gadling, to Prakash from R”. The response also quoted parts of these communications, which made purported reference to Anand Teltumbde. The prosecution further said, “The Honourable High Court, while hearing a plea from applicant has observed that investigation is not limited to Koregaon Bhima incident only but the activities leading to the incident and the subsequent activities as well.”
Defence lawyer Rohan Nahar, who will argue before the court on Wednesday, said: “We have said in the bail application that there is no evidence to link Teltumbde to the crime. Police have not offered any proof to link him to the purported email communications shown by senior police officers in a press conference in Mumbai on August 31 last year. We will present our counterpoints of each of the claims of the prosecution.” The prosecution had argued that custodial interrogation of Teltumbde was needed to probe its case and thus, bail should be denied.
Pune City Police are probing an offence regarding the Elgaar Parishad held in Pune on December 31, 2017 ahead of the 200th commemoration of the battle of Bhima Koregaon. The FIR in the case had initially named Harshali Potdar and Sudhir Dhawale of Republican Panthers (RP) in Mumbai and members of Pune-based group Kabir Kala Manch.The FIR had pointed out the police action taken against these persons in the past for their alleged Maoist links. The FIR names a total of 22 accused, one of whom is Milind Teltumbde, alleged to be an underground Maoist operative and brother of Anand Teltumbde.
On Tuesday, the other arrested accused in the case, including Dhawale and Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, P Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Sudha Bharadwaj, were brought to the court. The regular bail applications of these accused are also currently pending in the court.