Updated: August 29, 2018 8:10:28 pm
Some of the individuals arrested as part of a probe into Elgaar Parishad or conclave, which was held on the eve of the Bhima Koregaon violence, belonged to organisations identified with linkages to the outlawed CPI (Maoists), Pune Police said in a strongly-worded letter to the Centre on Wednesday.
“The UPA Government had, in Dec 2012, identified 128 organizations with linkages to the CPI(Maoists) and written to all the States asking them to take action against people involved with these organizations. Seven of those (Varavara Rao, Sudha Bhardwaj, Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Mahesh Raut) arrested belong to organizations appearing in this list,” the police said.
Facing flak from several quarters for its crackdown on prominent left-wing activists, Pune police said it was probing the linkages of the arrested individuals with the CPI(Maoist). “What is under investigation in the instant case are the linkages of these individuals with the CPI(Maoist), a banned organization operating with the devious objective of overthrow of the democratic order and the support provided by them to the CPI(Maoist),” Pune police said in the letter.
In its report, the police also said that such individuals cannot “escape responsibility for aiding and abetting the violent acts committed by CPI(Maoist)’s underground cadres.”
According to data from Ministry of Home Affairs, the Maoist insurgency has taken a heavy toll on life and property in the country. Since 2001, a total of 6956 civilians and 2517 security forces have been killed by the CPI(Maoist).
On Tuesday, Pune police had conducted searches at the houses of nine persons and arrested five of them as part of an investigation into the alleged involvement of Maoists in the Elgaar Parishad meeting in Pune on the eve of the January 1 violence that targeted Dalits at Bhima Koregaon.
This prompted a strong reaction from several opposition leaders and people from different walks of life today, with some of them terming it as a “manifestation of autocracy”.
While Rao, Bhardwaj, Ferreira and Gonsalves were arrested yesterday, Gadling, Wilson and Raut were arrested on June 6.
“The CPI(Maoist), towards achievement of their ultimate objective of seizure of political power through protracted peoples war, attaches immense importance to the ‘Urban Movement’ which works towards creation of a United Front in support of their movement,” the police said. “The urban movement is the main source for providing leadership and resources to CPI(Maoist). The responsibility for provision of supplies, technologies, expertise, information and other logistic support is also shouldered by overground activists in urban centres.”
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