Bhima-Koregaon case: police files charge sheet

Bhima-Koregaon case: police files charge sheet

Protesters burn a bike at Vikroli in Mumbai during a protest over Bhima Koregaon violence. PTI file photo

The outlawed CPI (Maoist) were attempting to kill the prime minister and overthrow the democratically elected government, according to the charge sheet filed by the police against five activists arrested for the Elgar Parishad-Koregaon Bhima riots.

The five human rights activists and civil right defenders — Rona Wilson, revolutionary writer Sudhur Dhawale, Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen, veteran lawyer Surendra Gadling and activist Mahesh Raut — were arrested on June 6.

All the five activists have been charged with spreading terror and furthering the agenda of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) by engaging in anti-national activities including making attempts to overthrow a democratically elected government through means of violence.

Besides, they have been charged for hatching a conspiracy to kill the prime minister and push the country into chaos.

The charge sheet also states that they were in touch with several underground members of the Maoist organisation and were also recruiting people for the violent movement.

All of them have been charged under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Indian Penal Code.

The nearly 5,000-page charge sheet with several annexures was filed before Additional Sessions Judge KD Vadane, who preseided over a special UAPA court at Shivajinagar in Pune, by Assistant Commissioner of Police  Shivaji Pawar, the investigating officer in the case.

The charge sheet stated that investigations so far revealed that the accused were part of a conspiracy — and this was established from the material seized from them like books, letters, computers, phones, CD, messages, Facebook posts and so on.

From the investigations, it has been established that the CPI (Maoist) was working towards overthrowing the government established by the law, as part of a conspiracy, and for this very purpose, the Elgar Parishad was organised.

It said that members of the Kabir Kala Manch, in the name of Bhima Koregaon Shaurya Din Abhiyan, had organised the Elgar Parishad at Shaniwarwada in Pune from 1400 hrs to 2200 hrs on 31 December, 2017.

In the said meeting, Sudhir Dhavale said objectionable words, "jab julm ho toh baghawat honi chaniye shehar me, agar bagawat na ho toh behtar hai shahar jal jaye khak mey, yeh to satra hai, yeh title hi hai aap me... ladai ka ailan ho." (There has to be rebellion in the face of atrocities, if there is no rebellion, then it's better that the city is burned to ashes... let the battle begin). 

People with links to CPI (Maoist) and those from the Kabir Kala Manch on the day of the 200th anniversary of Bhima Koregaon, on January 1, 2018 and they provoked the people assembled, which resulted in violence, it states.

Similarly, it is the objective of the CPI (Maoist) to misguide people from the SC community, and call them to be part of the outlawed Maoist revolution. For this, Sudhir Dhawle and others have been visiting various parts of Maharashtra and delivering inflammable speeches.

In the second round, the five others were arrested on August 28 — P Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira.  In this case, the charge sheet is yet to be filed.

On September 2, Additional Sessions Judge K D Vadane of Shivajinagar court granted additional time to the Pune Police to file the charge sheet against those arrested in the first round of raids, as 90 days mandatory limit of filing charge sheet had expired by then.

Gadling, who is a lawyer, had challenged it in the Bombay High Court, which set aside the Pune court's order of giving additional 90 days time to file charge sheet.