Pune city police Thursday filed a chargesheet against five activists arrested in June this year for their alleged Maoist links in the ongoing investigation of Elgaar Parishad case.
Among those named in the 5,000-page chargesheet include activist Rona Wilson, Nagpur-based lawyer Surendra Gadling, Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen, former ‘Prime Minister Rural Development’ fellow Mahesh Raut and Sudhir Dhawale of Republican Panthers. Also, five alleged underground Maoists who are absconding — Milind Teltumbde, Prakash alias Ritupam Goswami, Prashant Bose alias Kishan da, Manglu and Deepu — were named in the chargesheet.
Investigating officer ACP Shivaji Pawar filed the 5000-page chargesheet in the court of Additional Sessions Judge KD Vadane.
The FIR in the case, lodged by Pune resident Tushar Damgude on January 8, had initially named Harshali Potdar and Dhawale of Republican Panthers, Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor, Jyoti Jagtap and Deepak Dhengle of the Pune-based Kabir Kala Manch. The FIR claimed that the accused, as per the strategy of the CPI-Maoist, “mislead the Dalits and spread thoughts of violence” in their minds.
On June 6, police had arrested Wilson, Gadling, Sen, Raut and Dhawale in connection with the case. Cops alleged these suspects played a role in providing funds of banned CPI-Maoists to Elgaar Parishad. All were charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
On August 28, in the second round of arrests, police conducted raids at the houses of and arrested five prominent activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Vara Vara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Gautam Navlakha, alleging them to be active CPI-Maoist members
Speaking about the chargesheet, Pawar said, “Our investigation has revealed that the Elgaar Parishad and previous campaigning for it, aggravated the violence at Koregaon Bhima. The Elgaar Parishad and the campaigns leading to it were inspired by, directed by and funded by the members of banned CPI Maoist organisation.”
Speaking about the role played by some of the accused named in the chargesheet ACP Pawar said, “Probe has revealed the role of some of them regarding procurement of arms and ammunition for terror acts, funding by the CPI Maoist and mobilisation for Elgaar Parishad. The absconding accused Milind Teltumbde has been coordinating the urban network of the CPI Maoist and has played a role in Dalit mobilisation.” He added, “We have included statements of around 80 witnesses and the chargesheet has 5160 pages. We have even taken the statement of recently surrendered Maoist leader Pahad Singh.”