The Pune City Police has, so far, booked 23 persons in connection with the Elgaar Parishad case for their alleged links with the banned CPI-Maoist.
But the FIR of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which recently took over the case, names only 11 of the 23 accused under Indian Penal Code sections 153A (promoting enmity between groups), 505-1b (intent to cause alarm to public), 117 (commission of offence by more than 10 persons), 34 (common intention) of IPC and sections 13, 16, 18 (B), 20 and 39 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The NIA FIR doesn’t include some IPC sections invoked by Pune City Police in the draft charges filed in December against the chargsheeted accused, such as section 121 (waging war against government of India), 121A (conspiracy to commit offence under 121), 124A (sedition) and the UAPA sections 17, 18B, 38, 40.
During hearings of the Elgaar Parishad case, the prosecution had repeatedly stressed on the allegations of waging war against the government and sedition.
The 11 accused named in the NIA Elgaar Parishad case, Koregaon Bhima, NIA probe, NIA FIR, Pune news, maharashtra news, indian express newsFIR are Sudhir Dhawale, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson, lawyer Surendra Gadling, P Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferriera, Vernon Gonsalves, Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha.
While Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha are yet to be arrested and their anticipatory bail applications are pending before the Bombay High Court, the nine remaining accused, including some prominent activists, were arrested in 2018 and remain behind bars since then.
On the charges against the accused, the NIA FIR stated, “The government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi, vide its order…dated January 24, 2010, issued as per provisions of sub section (5) of section 6 read with section 8 of the NIA Act, 2009, directed the NIA to take up the investigation of the case registered on January 8, 2018 at Vishrambaug police station in Pune under sections 153 (a), 505 (1) (b), 117, 34 of the IPC related to 11 arrested accused for inciting people, giving provocative presentations and speeches on December 31, 2017 during Elgaar Parishad organised by activists of the Kabir Kala Manch at Shaniwar Wada, Pune, which promoted enmity between caste groups and led to violence resulting in loss of life and state-wide agitation. Subsequently, sections 13,16,18, 18 (B), 20, 38 of UAPA were added.”
The FIR is considered a primary document during the beginning of a probe and, according to sources, more sections can be added during further probe.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines