Lawyers defending the accused in the Elgaar Parishad case will receive ‘cloned copies’ of the information recovered from the digital material allegedly seized from their clients, the prosecution lawyer submitted before Special Judge K D Vadane in a Pune court on Friday.
The copies will be prepared under the supervision of court and then given to defence lawyers, said the prosecution lawyer. Police have alleged that organisers of the Elgaar Parishad — a one-day conference held at Shaniwar Wada on December 31, 2017 as part of events to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon — have links with the CPI-Maoist. They have claimed that “provocative” speeches at the Parishad triggered the violence in Koregaon Bhima the next day, January 1, when lakhs had gathered in the area to mark the anniversary of the battle.
Pune City Police had, in June last year, arrested five persons — Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen and Mahesh Raut — in connection with the case. The chargesheet had also named five alleged Maoist operatives who are “absconding” — Milind Teltumbde, Prakash alias Ritupan Goswami, Manglu, Deepu and Kishan alias Prashanto Bose. All of them have been charged under the (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) UAPA.
Pune City Police had claimed to have recovered about 25 TB data from the digital material seized from the five accused. They had claimed that in one letter recovered from the accused, one of the activists allegedly discussed the possibility of eliminating Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a “Rajiv Gandhi type” operation.
Some of the accused, including Gadling, a Nagpur-based lawyer, have filed bail applications before the court. During a hearing last month, Gadling had argued that police have not supplied him mirror copies of the electronic evidence in the case.
“Today, the prosecution said cloned copies of the evidence will be prepared with the help of experts under the supervision of court. The cloned copies of the evidence would then be given to us,” said defence lawyer Rahul Deshmukh. The matter will be taken up by the court again on January 22.
Police said the seized data was sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), which prepared cloned copies and gave it to the police for investigation. Now, more cloned copies of the same data will be prepared by forensic experts under the supervision of the court and given to defence lawyers.