Arrested activist spoke of “Rajiv Gandhi-like” event: Police
Mumbai, Aug 31 : Police today claimed they have “conclusive proof” to link Left-wing activists arrested in June and this week to Maoists, saying one of them spoke of a “Rajiv Gandhi-type event to end Modi-raj”.
An email between Rona Wilson, one of the arrested activists, and a Maoist leader, speaks of ending “Modi-raj” with a ‘Rajiv Gandhi-type incident’, Additional Director General (law and order) Parambir Singh told reporters here.
Wilson was arrested in Delhi in June in connection with the Koregaon-Bhima violence in Maharashtra in January.
Police have seized “thousands of letters” exchanged between the overground and underground of Maoists, he said.
Pune police had on August 28 raided the homes of prominent Left-wing activists in several states and arrested five of them – Varavara Rao in Hyderabad, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, Sudha Bharadwaj in Faridabad and Gautam Navalakha in Delhi.
The raids were carried out as part of a probe into the Elgaar Parishad conclave in Pune on December 31 last year, which allegedly triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima in the district the next day.
The Supreme Court has ordered that the five should be kept under house arrest till September 6.
In June, Pune police had arrested Sudhir Dhawale from Mumbai, activist Rona Wilson from Delhi and lawyer Surendra Gadling, professor Shoma Sen and Adivasi rights activist Mahesh Raut from Nagpur.
“The letter written by Rona to Maoist leader “Comrade Prakash” said: We have received your last letter regarding current situation here. Arun (Ferreira), Vernon (Gonsalves) and others are equally concerned about the urban front struggle,” he said.
The letter also spoke of requirement of Rs 8 crore for supply of rifles, grenade launchers and four lakh rounds (of ammunition), he said.
The letter asked Prakash to convey his decision, Singh said. “Comrade Kishen and a few other comrades have proposed concrete steps to end the Modi raj. We are thinking along the lines of another Rajiv Gandhi (assassination)-like incident,” Singh quoted the letter as saying.
Some of the letters exchanged between the arrested activists spoke of planning “some big action” which would attract attention, Singh said.
Delhi University professor G N Saibaba was arrested in 2014 on basis of similar evidence, including letters, he said.
“Police only moved to take action against these people (activists) when we were confident that clear links have been established between these overground activists and underground Maoists,” Singh said.
“The evidence in our possession clearly establishes their links with Maoists, he said.
Information obtained after seizure of such letters and other items shows the involvement of “overground” Maoist cadres in planning subversive acts, he said.
The central committee of Maoists communicated with these activists through password protected messages sent via courier, he said.
After the Elgaar Parishad at Pune on December 31, a case was registered by police on January 8 about the event where hate speeches were delivered, he said. Most of them (who allegedly delivered the hate speeches) were associated with Kabir Kala Manch, he said.
“Our investigation revealed that a big conspiracy was being plotted by Maoist organisations and the accused were helping them to take their goals forward,” Singh said.
On April 17, raids were conducted at six places, based on the information available, he said. The raids were videographed and there was proper “panchnama”, he added.
On May 17, sections under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act were evoked against the activists, he said.
Meanwhile, activists from Dalit and socialist organisations held a protest rally outside the suburban District Collectors office in Mumbai today, demanding the release of writer Sudhir Dhawale and four other activists arrested by Pune police in June.
Activists from these organisations held simultaneous rallies in Pune, Nagpur and Gadchiroli districts, to protest the polices claims that the five people arrested are top urban Maoists who incited the Koregaon-Bhima violence.