Elgar Parishad deny links with Maoists

"Those arrested have nothing to do with Elgar Parishad. They were not the organisers," Justice Sawant said.

The two chief organisers of the Elgar Parishad at Pune has denied any links with Maoists and Maoist organisations.

The two main organisers were Justice (Retd) P B Sawant, a former Supreme Court judge and former Chairman of Press Council of India and Justice (Retd) B G Kholse-Patil, a former judge of Bombay HIgh Court and a veteran activist.

"It is baseless...The Elgar Parishad has no links with Maoists and Maoist organisations...we have no role in the Koregaon-Bhima riots," Justice Kholse-Patil said.

"Those arrested have nothing to do with Elgar Parishad. They were not the organisers," Justice Sawant was quoted saying.

The Elgar Parishad was held on 31 December 2017 in Pune city on the eve of the 1 January 2018 caste riots of Pune.

The statement of the two former judges assumes significance in the wake of the statement of Pune police that claims that the CPI (Maoist) had funded the Elgar Parishad.

The Pune police has also claimed that they have evidence against revolutionary writer P Varavara Rao from Hyderabad, Sudha Bharadwaj from Faridabad, Gautam Navlakha from New Delhi, Vernon Gonsalves from Mumbai and Arun Ferreira from Thane.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Shirish Sardeshpande of Pune police has said that the seized documents reveal a conspiracy of the banned CPI (Maoist) to form an All India United Front as per the strategy and tactics of the Eastern Regional Bureau, their underground formation, to overthrow the government established by law. In pursuance of this conspiracy, efforts were made to form such front in Maharashtra also through Elgar Parishad.

He also said that the CPI (Maoist) has a nexus with other organisations that support violence. "They have shown intolerance to the present political system,, and decided to target organisations, functionaries...and planning to target even highest political functionaries," he said.

The Pune police maintained that the arrests were made on the basis of strong and conclusive evidence.

He said that Varavara Rao and other accused are part of the larger conspiracy hatched by CPI (Maoist). "The evidence so indicates radicalisation of students and youth by urban Naxals, provision of funds and provisions of arms," he said.

As per the directives of the CPI (Maoist), a large number of security personnel and innocent civilians have been killed, he said.

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Elgar Parishad deny links with Maoists

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