A Nagpur sessions court Tuesday convicted senior Naxalites Vernon Gonsalves and Sridhar Srinivasan,both Central Committee members of CPI (Maoist) under the Arms Act,Explosives Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
This is the first time in Maharashtra that Naxals have been convicted in a UAPA case.
Angela Sontakke,a CPI (Maoist) state committee member,who was arrested from Thane in 2011,was acquitted but her trial will continue in cases registered in Thane,said special public prosecutor Prashant Sathianathan.
Gonsalves and Srinivasan were found guilty of possessing arms and both were sentenced to three years in jail. Under the UAPA,Sridhar was sentenced to six years and Gonsalves to five years in jail. Srinivasan was sentenced to six years imprisonment under the Explosives Act while Gonsalves was absolved of the charge.
Gonsalves and Srinivasan were arrested by Anti-Terrorism Squad at Mumbai in 2007. Nine detonators,20 gelatin sticks,a walkie-talkie set,a computer,Naxal literature were also seized from the duo in a raid in a chawl in Govandi,Mumbai,according to the prosecution.
The two had been living there for about five months and were introduced to the landlord by a woman called Sharda,who identified herself as Sridhars wife. The landlord was one of the witnesses in the case.
Sathianathan said,Sharda had told the landlord that Sridhar was employed in Gujarat.
They were accused of planning terror acts. They were also planning to infiltrate workers unions and create undercover cadres for Maoist activities in industrial and urban areas, Sathianathan said.
The defence plea that all the material was planted by the ATS was rejected by the court.
Gonsalves and Srinivasans cases were transferred to Nagpur following a High Court order as there were several cases against the two here,Sathianathan said. The sentences will run concurrently,District and Additional Sessions Judge P M Dunedar said.
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