The Pune Police on Thursday told a local court that five people arrested last week in connection with the violence in Bhima Koregaon earlier this year were planning to organise a series of lectures in Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University on a Maoist leader who was killed, The Indian Express reported. The five are suspected of being members of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).
The court extended the police custody of four of them – Committee for Release of Political Prisoners activist Rona Wilson, Republican Panthers Jati Antachi Chalwal activist Sudhir Dhawale, Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen, and former Prime Minister Rural Development Fellow Mahesh Raut till June 21, PTI reported. Lawyer Surendra Gadling, the fifth accused, is in hospital with cardiac problems. He has been remanded to judicial custody and lodged in Yerwada Jail.
The five planned to organise lectures on Naveen Babu, who was killed by the police in Andhra Pradesh in February 2000. They wanted to entice and motivate students to join the Left-wing party, alleged public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar.
“All accused have links with the banned CPI (Maoist) and investigation regarding their preparations, execution and implementation of anti-national activities, is at a very crucial stage,” she told Additional Sessions Judge KD Vadhane. “Letters investigated by [the] police show funds were also provided to implement rashtravirodhi [anti-national] activities. Cash amount of Rs 80,000 has been seized from accused Rona.”