Coming out in support of Dr Anand Teltumbde, who is named as an accused in the Elgaar Parishad case for his alleged links with the banned CPI-Maoist, retired Supreme Court Justice P B Sawant, retired High Court Judge B G Kolse Patil, academician Suhas Palshikar, retired police officer Uddhav Kamble and several social activists claimed that the allegations levelled against him are false and called it an act of “government orchestrated suppression”.
Recently, the Supreme Court had rejected an application filed by Teltumbde seeking that the first information report (FIR) against him be quashed. The court bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Ashok Bhushan and S K Kaul had extended the interim protection from arrest granted to him by four weeks. The Supreme Court allowed Teltumbde to seek regular bail from the competent trial court this time. Accordingly, Teltumbde filed an application seeking bail before a court in Pune on Friday. The application will be heard on Tuesday.
A press conference was organised on Monday at Mahatma Phule Wada in the city by activists. While justice Sawant was not present, he sent his comment through a video in which he said: “I am not aware of the exact nature of allegations levelled against Anand Teltumbde. But I have been saying that we are facing a situation of undeclared emergency in the country where people who oppose (the government) are thrown into jails. So, be it Teltumbde or anybody who is in the opposition, their security is going to be difficult… Police are bound by orders. Those cops who work applying their own mind are even killed.”
Meanwhile, retired Judge Kolse Patil told mediapersons that entire action in the Elgaar Parishad case is a classic example of how police work. “At Elgaar Parishad, we took a pledge that we would never vote for the communal BJP. This is what has hurt the government and so, they have taken false action. I have read the chargesheet filed by the police. There is no evidence in it. We will be providing legal aid to Teltumbde.” Palshikar was not present for the press meet. But activists read out his message that said: “Stringent laws like Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) should not be used against political opponents”.
Vilas Wagh of Sugava Prakashan said: “We have published Anand Teltumbde’s books. There is nothing objectionable or anything that promoted Maoism in those. He is an ideologue. We condemn the police action against him.”
Retired police officer Uddhav Kamble said Teltumbde has been implicated because he has been writing against the prevailing system. Manisha Gupte of People’s Union for Civil Liberties and documentary film maker Anand Patwardhan also slammed the government at the press meet.
While probing into the offence related to the Elgaar Parishad held in Pune on December 31, 2017, ahead of the 200th commemoration of the battle of Koregaon Bhima, the Pune City Police has so far arrested nine persons and booked 22, including Teltumbde and his brother Milind Teltumbde, who is alleged to be a top underground Maoist operative. The police have said that the probe has expanded beyond Elgaar Parishad and alleged that the 22 suspects are active members of the banned CPI-Maoist.