A retired Bombay High Court judge claimed that the money for organising the Elgaar Parishad event was solely raised by him and former Justice PB Sawant as convenors. Refuting any Maoist links to the event, the judge, who was in Kolkata, said the allegation that the “money was paid by Maoists to Dalits to instigate them” is untrue.
The December 31, 2017, event was hosted by two retired judges, BG Kolse-Patil and PB Sawant, as the convenors. Attending a conference in Kolkata on Friday, Patil said, “Maoists paid money to Dalits to instigate them, this allegation is untrue. So is the lie that Maoists gave money for the meeting.” He was attending a conference on growing communalism and Hindutva forces.
“We were the main organisers and sole funders of the event. There was no need to take money from Maoists,” the retired Bombay High Court judge said lashing out at the recent arrest of the activists.
Talking about the Bhima Koregaon violence, Patil said, “In three investigations of the case, two names have come up — Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide. Both are prominent Hindutva leaders but they haven’t been arrested. The arrested people are the country’s respected men associated with various public works.” It is to be noted that Ekbote was arrested in March and was later released on bail by a local court in April.
Observing that “dissent is the safety valve of democracy… if it is not allowed, the pressure cooker will burst”, the Supreme Court had issued a notice to the Maharashtra government and directed that five rights activists and lawyers arrested by Pune Police be placed under house arrest.