The Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry intends to examine Sudhir Dhawale and Surendra Gadling, two of the nine arrested accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, in the first week of September. Both Dhawale, an activist, and Gadling, a lawyer, are currently lodged in Yerwada Central Prison.
Dhawale and Gadling had earlier filed affidavits before the Commission of Inquiry, which is looking into the sequence of events that led to the violence in Koregaon Bhima on January 1 last year, in which one person died and several others were injured. The Commission is headed by retired Justice J N Patel and comprises former state chief secretary Sumit Mullick.
Justice Patel has asked advocate Shishir Hiray, the lawyer representing the state, to communicate with the prison department in order to set up a ‘temporary court’ on the premises of Yerwada prison for examining Dhawale and Gadling. “As per the directions of the commission, I will be communicating with the prison authorities to set up a temporary court for examining Dhawale and Gadling between September 3 and September 6,” said advocate Hiray.a
“The Commission will hold a meeting with prison authorities on Wednesday in this regard,” said Ashish Satpute, the lawyer for the commission.
Dhawale, a leader of the Mumbai-based Republican Panthers Jatiantachi Chalwal organisation and Gadling, a lawyer from Nagpur, were among the five accused arrested by Pune City Police on June 6, 2018, in connection with the Elgaar Parishad case.
Police have so far booked 23 persons in this case under sections of Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and claimed that all of them have links with the banned CPI-Maoist.
Dhawale was among the key organisers of Elgaar Parishad, an evening conclave held in Shaniwar Wada on December 31, 2017.
In the chargesheet filed against Dhawale, Gadling and others, police have alleged that as per the objectives decided in the Eastern Regional Bureau meeting of the CPI-Maoist, the accused organised Elgaar Parishad ahead of the 200th commemoration of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon, under the banner of ‘Bhima Koregaon Shaurya Prerna Din Abhiyaan’. The accused allegedly mobilised Dalit outfits and other organisations against the government through Kabir Kala Manch which, police claimed, was a front organisation for Maoists.
Meanwhile, the residential Naib tehsildar on Tuesday submitted before the commission documents regarding the Shri Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj Smarak in Vadhu Budruk village. Ganesh Phadtare, former deputy sarpanch of Koregaon Bhima village, Sangita Kamble, sarpanch of Koregaon Bhima village and Rekha Shivale, sarpanch of Vadhu Budruk, were also cross-examined by lawyers.
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