After mentioning plot to assassinate PM Narendra Modi, they submitted on Thursday that a lecture at JNU was being organised in memory of alleged Naxalite who died in encounter
Almost a week after submitting in court that a plan on the lines of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination was being hatched, the Pune cops have now come up with a different stand while demanding custody of the arrested accused involved in Elgaar Parishad funding. The cops have claimed that the accused were planning a lecture at JNU in memory of alleged Naxalite Yalavarthi Naveen Babu, who died in an encounter in April 2000. The court has now remanded four of the total five accused in police custody till June 21.
The Pune police had arrested five people for allegedly funding the Elgaar Parishad in a bid to recruit more people for Naxal activities. They had further alleged that the accused were urban Naxals. The arrests come five months after right-wing activist and construction professional Tushar Damgude filed a complaint against organisers of the Elgaar Parishad for inciting violence in Koregaon Bhima on January 1.
On April 17, the cops conducted raids on some of these members. A month and a half later, they arrested Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut and Surendra Gadling. Cops had claimed that all the five are members of the banned communist party of India (Maoist) and booked them under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). When they were produced in court on June 7, cops had submitted a letter which stated that a plan for assassination was being hatched for which a weapon was being bought. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis later stated that it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was to be assassinated as part of this conspiracy. But during the hearing on Thursday, while the cops claimed that an anti-national activity was being planned, they failed to mention anything about the assassination conspiracy. Claiming that they have recovered new data, they also submitted four letters in the court, two of which they claimed were new. They also said that they have obtained 25 TB data from electronic gadgets that were taken in custody during the raids.
They, however, came up with a new theory which established a connection of the accused with Naxalites. While stating that they had obtained Rs 80,000 from the possession of Wilson, they also claimed that there was a plan to organise a lecture at JNU.
Speaking in the court, advocate Ujjwala Pawar, public prosecutor, said, “It is established that they were trying to establish this plan with the help of CPI (Maoist). They were also part of anti-national activities for which funds were provided. Also there are more accused along with the arrested ones. So we demand that the court remands them in 14 days’ of police custody.”
After his arrest, Gadling took severely ill and was sent to judicial custody earlier this week. Meanwhile, lawyers of the accused said that their health issues were being ignored by the cops, and demanded that they be remanded to magisterial custody. Highlighting loopholes in the remand of the cops, Susan Abraham, Sen’s lawyer, said, “Last time, they came up with a Modi assassinations plan. This time, they have a JNU theory. But they are not submitting a single proof. What exactly is going on?”
Lawyers also questioned submission of new facts from the same raid. Advocate Toushif Shaikh, Raut’s lawyer, said, “Cops conducted a raid on April 17 and obtained all the data from the same day. But they are coming up with new facts from the raids during every new hearing. We have demanded that they submit a list of what all they have procured during a single hearing in court.”