Probe no longer restricted to Elgaar Parishad: Pune Police commissioner

Police have said speeches made at Elgaar Parishad, held a day ahead of the 200th anniversary of Battle of Bhima Koregaon, contributed to the violence the next day, in which one person was killed.

Written by Sushant Kulkarni | Pune | Published: August 31, 2018 2:38:50 am
Pune police commissioner K Venkatesham told The Indian Express that the material found during investigation had led police to probe the larger networks and operations of the banned CPI-Maoist and Tuesday’s arrests were a fallout of this.

Pune Police has said its investigation that led to the arrests of five activists two days ago was no longer restricted to just the involvement of Maoist groups in the organisation of Elgaar Parishad on December 31, but had expanded to look at the larger conspiracies being hatched by banned outfits.

Pune police commissioner K Venkatesham told The Indian Express that the material found during investigation had led police to probe the larger networks and operations of the banned CPI-Maoist and Tuesday’s arrests were a fallout of this.

READ | Supreme Quote: Dissent safety valve of democracy, pressure cooker will burst if not allowed

“The probe was initially only about Elgaar Parishad and whether it had led to the violence on January 1. But as investigations continued, we kept getting new material and evidence that led us to probe larger matters. It (investigation) is now about many more things,” Venkatesham said.

“The starting point of this expansion was the searches conducted before the first set of arrests (in June, when five people were arrested). The probe into those seizures had led to a lot of crucial information which has been carefully scrutinised. The investigation is ongoing,” he said.

One of the arguments being used by defence lawyers is that Pune police had not given any evidence to “connect the dots” between the “present accused” — those arrested on Tuesday —, organisation of Elgaar Parishad and the violence on January 1.

Police have said speeches made at Elgaar Parishad, held a day ahead of the 200th anniversary of Battle of Bhima Koregaon, contributed to the violence the next day, in which one person was killed. It has also said that banned Maoist groups were involved in organising Elgaar Parishad.

READ | The five arrested in Elgaar Parishad probe: Activists with prior arrests to lawyer, poet

“The police have miserably failed to connect the basic dots on which prosecution presents its theory. The original case is about Elgaar Parishad and the speeches therein leading to violence. Police have nothing that connects present accused to that,” Rohan Nahar, defence counsel for P Varavara Rao, one of the arrested people, told The Indian Express.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App