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Koregaon-Bhima Violence: Activists Were Mobilising Dalits to Overthrow Govt, Says Pune Police

The police claimed Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves were senior cadres of CPI (Maoist) and engaged in recruiting cadres for the banned outfit.

Radhika Ramaswamy | News18.com

Updated:March 13, 2019, 11:46 PM IST
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Koregaon-Bhima Violence: Activists Were Mobilising Dalits to Overthrow Govt, Says Pune Police
Police men guard after a violence broke out during celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon, in Pune. Image for representation. (Image: PTI)

Mumbai: The Pune Police on Wednesday informed the Bombay High Court that the activists arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence and for links with Maoists were “actively supporting and propagating the banned CPI (Maoist)’s unlawful activities to overthrow the government.”

Pune's assistant commissioner of police Shivaji Pawar said this in an affidavit filed before the court to oppose the bail plea filed by one of the accused, Arun Ferriera.

Emphasising that the accused were influencing and trying to mobilise Dalits, the affidavit said, “The Maoists were waging a people’s war by mobilising the public on a massive scale. They were rallying Dalit masses extensively by taking up struggles for their self-respect and against discrimination, oppression and degradation by the upper caste feudal forces in order to achieve their motive.”

The affidavit also claimed that the intention of the accused persons along with the banned outfit CPI (M) is to topple the democratically-elected governments by creating mayhem, spreading terror and hatred.

Apart from Ferriera, the police earlier arrested eight other activists, including Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj, P Varavara Rao, Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde.

Ferriera and Gonsalves later filed bail petitions which came up for hearing on Wednesday before Justice P N Deshmukh, who posted the matter for April 5. The police are yet to submit the affidavit over Gonsalves's petition.

In their affidavit, Pune Police claimed that Ferriera and the other accused were senior members of the banned terrorist organisation, Communist Party of India (Maoist).

During investigation, it was revealed that the motive of the CPI (Maoist) was "seizure of political power," the affidavit said further.

The Elgar Parishad meeting held on December 31, 2017, during which Ferreira and the other accused gave "inflammatory, provocative and rebellious" speeches, saw significant participation of Dalit organisations, they said.

The affidavit stated, “These Dailt organisations were systematically brought together by some active members of CPI(M) which had also funded the meeting.”

It further claimed that Ferreira and other accused distributed pamphlets with intentions to incite, abet and promote enmity between different groups on grounds of caste and religion, all of which resulted in the Bhima Koregaon violence and further added that their larger objective was to assassinate important public functionaries and strike terror in public.

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