Mumbai: The Pune Police on Thursday filed a 5,000-page charge sheet against 10 accused of provoking communal tensions by organising Elgaar Parishad in Pune in December 2017.
The charge sheet names advocate Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, Sudhir Dhawale and Rona Wilson who are presently in judicial custody after their arrest in June this year.
It also names five more accused who are absconding, including members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) Milind Teltumbde, Prakash Goswami, Prashant Bose and two others identified as Manglu and Deepu.
"The charge sheet has been filed based on an FIR registered at Vishrambag police station in January for organising Elgaar Parishad,” joint police commissioner Shivaji Bodkhe told News18.
Statements of around 80 witnesses, including surrendered naxals, have been added in the charge sheet.
It has been stated that the violence at Bhima Koregaon was aggravated due to the overall campaign of Elgaar Parishad and the speeches delivered at the event. The charge sheet also states that the accused are linked to the banned CPI(M) and used their funds to organise Elgaar Parishad.
Tushar Damgude, a 38-year-old businessman from Pune had filed a complaint at the Vishrambag police station on January 8, 2018. In his complaint, Tushar named Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor, Jyoti Jagtap and Deepak Dhengle of the Kabir Kala Manch and Harshali Potdar and Dhawale of Republican Panthers for creating communal tension by delivering provocative speeches in Elgaar Parishad organised at Shanivar Wada in Pune on December 31, 2017.
Based on the complaint, an FIR was registered against the activists and after investigation, five of them — Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, Sudhir Dhawale and Rona Wilson — were arrested by Pune police and charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
In August this year, the Pune Police raided various places and arrested five more activists — Sudha Bharadwaj, Vara Vara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Gautam Navlakha. Police alleged that all these activists are members of CPI-Maoist members and are involved in waging a war against the nation.