Prateek Goyal
‘Letters used for arrest not credible’

‘Letters used for arrest not credible’

PUNE: The five persons arrested for alleged role in organising Elgar Parishad have now been declared by a section of the media as alleged plotters of an assassination similar to that of Rajiv Gandhi. A section of television media has also accused them of a sinister plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi. All this is on the basis of two letters allegedly recovered from them.

But the said letters seem to have particular political motives and there are questions on their credibility, according to experts on Naxalism or Maoism.

Naxals greet each other with Lal Salaam but not with Lal Johar, says Gladson Dung Dung, a tribal rights activist working in Jharkhand and Odisha for last 15 years.

Dung Dung, who is the author of two books Endless Cry In The Red Corridor and Mission Saranda, which deals with the issue of Naxalism works in forest of Saranda on the Jharkhand and Odisha border. He said, “I have seen those letters. I can assure this that these letters are fabricated for political gains. Naxalites never write such letters and never mention the name of their cadres or details about their operations. We have encountered incidents in which police have brought guns and forced them on villagers and declared them Naxalites. Similarly such fake letters are being manufactured.”

“Maoists never reveal their names in letters that is why it becomes difficult for the police to find out details of their cadre. They keep changing their names and use fictitious names while writing,” he added.

He said Maoists don’t write long messages and they will use codes. He said, “While giving appointments to meet someone they will give few details. When they called Arundhati Roy in the forest of Dantewada, they didn’t even mention her name in the letter. They just wrote that you will meet a person at a particular point. The writer should have a coconut in her hand, tilak on forehead and the person who will receive her will have a banana and a copy of Outlook magazine and greet her with Namaskar Guruji.”

“They keep their work secretive and it’s absurd that a central committee member sitting in the jungle will send a letter to a Delhi-based activist mentioning names of comrades and their plan to gather weapons and carry out an assassination,” he added.

Senior journalist Suvojit Bagchi, who has studied Maoist movement in Chhattisgarh over a decade, said, “I can’t talk about letters as I’m not in forensics. But in the Maoist organisation, the party controls the Military Commission and Commission will not launch any operation without approval of the party’s highest committee. Now, the party or the Military Commision will not trust these civil rights activists as they are civilians, with no idea about military operations; they will never be given a job like this, the way India’s Military Intelligence will never give a job to collect information to a Sports Ministry official. Maoists don’t even trust their own people outside the Commission as far as operations are concerned.”

“Secondly, Maoists, do not have much of infrastructure to plan something of this scale. They can’t even attack a police station in Jagdalpore town, they told me. They can only mount small ambushes against stray groups of constables in the forests but can’t do an operation outside south Bastar. Even when they were powerful they could not have done that 10 years back so these allegations of civilians working for Maoist military wing is plain ridiculous to me. Besides there are logistical issues in engaging city-based civilians and to control them from forests,” added Bagchi.

Sakal Times has spoken to two persons whose names were mentioned in the letters written by Comrade R (Rona Wilson as per police) to Comrade Prakash, who according to police is Prakash alias Naveen alias Ritupam Goswami of Assam and is underground.

One person whose name appears in the letter, on condition of anonymity, said, “The letter is fake. Time and again the police claim that the CPI (Maoist) people never use original names of anybody in letters and now they have brought letters in which name of every person is mentioned. It’s silly. My name has appeared in the letter and the matter is in court otherwise I would have told this on record.”

Another person mentioned in the letter said, “This letter makes serious allegations including an assassination attempt on the PM. But anyone can see that it’s fabricated. It is a conspiracy with political motives.”

A source said, “Elections are near and some activists were arrested. They have been tagged as Maoists and accused of playing a role in organizing Koregaon-Bhima events. It means they have linked the event to Maoists and have created a notion that the life of PM is in danger. One can easily understand the politics behind it.”

Susan Abraham, the defence lawyer, said, “They have not filed those letters in court and are making serious allegations on their basis. They are fabricated.”

The letter dated January 2 talks about the upcoming fact finding on December 6, which is impossible as December comes before January.

Lawyer Surendra Gadling, one of the five who was arrested for allegedly organising Elgar Parishad was admitted to Sassoon Hospital on Thursday. A source close to Gadling said his blood pressure shot up because of which he was taken to the hospital.