Updated: January 31, 2019 7:46:25 am
Pune City Police didn’t have an iota of evidence against academician Anand Teltumbde, other than four letters that were “flashed” to media persons, and which had no credibility, his defence lawyer Rohan Nahar told a court on Wednesday.
Teltumbde has been named as an accused in the Elgaar Parishad case over his alleged links with the banned CPI-Maoist.
Nahar was responding to several allegations made by Pune police on Tuesday, in its say before Special Judge Kishor D Vadane, to oppose Teltumbde’s application. Police claimed to have evidence to prove that Teltumbde has been involved in “insurgent activities to destabilise the government’ through the banned Maoist organisation, of which he is a member”.
District Government Pleader Ujjwala Pawar had also referred to four alleged Maoist communications which, claimed police, were retrieved from other arrested suspects. Parts of these “communications”, purportedly referring to Anand Teltumbde, were quoted by the prosecution. Police also said that Teltumbde attended an international conference, as he was directed to do in one of these letters, and alleged that he received funds from the banned CPI-Maoist.
On Wednesday, Nahar pointed out that police gave the letters, purportedly recovered in this case, to mediapersons and alleged that the investigation in the case was not credible. Nahar told the court that while police had booked Teltumbde in connection with the case in August last year, he was not summoned even once for investigation.
Nahar said that custodial interrogation of Teltumbde was not required in this case and police could probe his financial transactions by investigating bank accounts. The lawyer pointed out that Teltumbde was a person of eminence who has a doctorate, holds high posts in private and public enterprises, has received various awards and has never been involved in any crimes in the past.
Nahar alleged that Teltumbde was named by the police because he wrote articles which were not liked by those in power. Nahar then read out parts from Teltumbde’s articles, in which he mentioned the alleged role of Hindutva leaders in instigating violence in Koregaon Bhima on January 1 last year.
Nahar also said that Teltumbde was invited to Paris for an international conference that had nothing to do with Maoist activities.
The prosecution is going to present its arguments on Thursday.
Pune City Police is probing a case filed over Elgaar Parishad, a one-day conference held in Pune on December 31, 2017, ahead of the 200th commemoration of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon. Police have claimed that the organisres of event had Maoist links.
The FIR in the case had initially named Harshali Potdar and Sudhir Dhawale of Republican Panthers, and members of the 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 whom is Milind Teltumbde, alleged to be an underground Maoist operative and brother of Anand Teltumbde.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines