Elgaar Parishad held as per Maoist plan hatched in 2015 meeting: Pune Police

The chargesheet alleges that the CPI-Maoist hatched a conspiracy to form an ‘Anti-Fascist Front’ during these meetings.

The Elgaar Parishad, a one-day conference held in Pune on December 31 last year, was organised as per a plan by the banned CPI-Maoist, to mobilise Dalit groups and other organisations against the government, the Pune City Police has claimed in its chargesheet. It further alleged that the “inciting speeches” at the event “provoked the masses and aggravated violence” in Koregaon Bhima the next day, January 1, when thousands of people had gathered there to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon.

The chargesheet names 10 accused, including activists Sudhir Dhawale and Rona Wilson, lawyer Surendra Gadling, professor Shoma Sen and former Prime Minister Rural Development fellow Mahesh Raut, all of whom were arrested on June 6. The other accused are Milind Teltumbde, Prakash alias Ritupan Goswami, Manglu, Deepu and Kishan alias Prashanto Bose, who are allegedly Maoist operatives “who are absconding”. All 22 accused in the case have been booked under the stringent UAPA and sections of Indian Penal Code.

The chargesheet also accuses Dhawale, Raut, Sen and Gadling of channeling Maoist funds for Elgaar Parishad.

The Parishad was held in accordance with the decisions taken at the meetings of the Eastern Regional Bureau (ERB) of the CPI-Maoist in 2015, claimed the chargesheet. Pune City Police also claimed that it has seized digital documents from the laptop and hard disk recovered from Wilson and Gadling, regarding the various decisions allegedly taken during CPI-Maoist’s ERB meetings, held between December 21 and 24, 2015.

The chargesheet alleges that the CPI-Maoist hatched a conspiracy to form an ‘Anti-Fascist Front’ during these meetings. Police also claimed to have recovered a document with the title ‘Gharelu Paristhiti’ and the “circular of the CPI-Maoist central committee”, titled ‘Present situation our tasks’, from Wilson.

The documents allegedly revealed how the banned outfit guided its operatives about different tasks, including “acts of terror”, as well as forming a “united forum” comprising Dalits, tribals and minorities, against the “Bramhanwad spread by the state and central governments”.

“To implement these decisions and the larger conspiracy of the CPI-Maoist, its operatives organised the Elgaar Parishad under the banner of the Koregaon Bhima Shauryadin Prerna Abhiyaan,” stated the chargesheet. It also alleged that Maoist operatives mobilised various Dalit groups and other organisations against the government through the Kabir Kala Manch, a cultural outfit which has been accused of being a Maoist front.

As per the “Maoist plan, inciting speeches, statements, songs and other programmes were allegedly organised at the Elgaar Parishad in Shaniwar Wada, as well as during previous campaigns for the event, and these provoked the masses and aggravated violence in Koregaon Bhima area on January 1, 2018,” says Pune City Police. One person was killed and several injured in the violence.

The chargesheet claims that the letter also revealed that arrested accused Dhawale, and “absconding” accused Manglu and Deepu, worked in coordination in the two months before the Parishad, November and December 2017, and were successful in securing the support of various Dalit groups in the state.

“In a coordinated manner, accused Dhawale and Potdar allegedly contacted various Dalits groups and created anti-government sentiments among them by spreading distorted history of the Battle of Koregaon Bhima and falsehoods about the factual situation,” it added.

The “ERB’s role” in the events of January 1 was allegedly found in a communication on January 2, the day after the violence, between Wilson and Milind Teltumbde, said Pune City Police.

The letter allegedly stated, “The overall agenda that was set in the last ERB meeting seems to have been largely followed on the ground… campaigns in support of the marginalised people are now visible in some states but there is still lot of ground to cover. Com. Manglu, Com. Deepu have been coordinating the Koregaon programme since the last two months with Com. Sudhir, they have been able to gather support from large section of Dalits across the state…Last year, in July and August, the higher committee has provided two rounds of funds to Com. Sudhir for the task…The Bhima Koregaon agitation has been very effective… the unfortunate death of a youth must be exploited to prepare future agitations and propaganda material,” It further stated, “Dalit sentiments are clearly against the Brahmin-centred agenda of BJP/RSS. This should be converted into large-scale mobilisation and chaos”.

Police submitted to the court that this communication showed “how Maoists wanted to intensify the situation after the riots”.

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