One of the documents presented by the Pune police in court Wednesday justifying the arrests of the five activists refers to an alleged plan to implement the Maoist strategy to oppose “Brahminical and fascist Hindu forces” and bring together the “most militant” among “Dalit and Muslim forces.”
That document titled, “A proposal for initiating All India Anti Fascist Front,” talks about mobilising “militant sections” of people, for which the front needs to come up at all levels, within villages, small towns and cities.
This document, like the several from which Public Prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar read excerpts while justifying the arrests and seeking remand, is claimed to have been seized from the earlier set of five activists who were arrested by the Pune Police on June 6 in a similar multi-city operation and who are now in Yerawada Jail here.
This particular part of the document was not read out by the public prosecutor in the court on Wednesday but has been seen by The Indian Express.
In the court, Pawar argued that the five arrested people — Gautam Navlakha, Sudha Bharadwaj, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves — were “active members” of the banned CPI-Maoist and part of a conspiracy to set up an “Anti Fascist Front” to overthrow the elected government.
The purported document for creating this front mentions that consolidation of Dalit forces was already taking shape in south Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, and that Muslim minority forces in Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra were giving “militant training to hundreds of cadres”.
The document goes on to claim that such mobilisation would gain momentum in view of incidents of attacks on Dalits and Muslims by Hindutva organisations.
Pawar told the court on Wednesday that the idea of setting up the front was mooted at the meeting of the Eastern Regional Bureau of the CPI-Maoist. Documents were produced in the court showing that this meeting, or ERB Vistaar Baithak, was held between December 21 and 24 in 2015, during which concerns were raised over the rise of Bhramanwadi Hindu Fasivadi (Brahminical Hindu Fascist) forces in view of the victory of “RSS-backed” BJP in the 2014 general elections.
On Wednesday, underlining that dissent was the “safety valve of democracy,” the Supreme Court issued notice to the Maharashtra government and directed that the five activists and lawyers arrested by the Pune police be placed under house arrest in their homes until the matter is heard next on September 6.