The Karnataka Police on Wednesday took activist and poet Varavara Rao into custody in connection with a 2005 Maoist attack, ANI reported. Rao was taken into custody from the Yerwada jail in Pune where he is lodged in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case.
The 2005 case relates to an alleged Maoist attack in which six jawans of the Karnataka State Reserve Police, a cook and a civilian were killed, according to The Indian Express. The case was registered at the Thirumani Police Station in Pavagada in Tumkur district of Karnataka. The case was registered under Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code and sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Explosives Act.
The police said Rao was believed to be one of the main conspirators. Rao was accused of having a nexus with top fugitive Maoist operatives and of being actively involved in the procurement of arms and ammunition, recruitment of students and funding of Maoist activities, PTI reported.
According to the police, a split chargesheet was filed in the case. The Karnataka Police had recently moved the High Court challenging the acquittal of those named in the one of the chargesheets.
The police initiated steps to arrest Rao in the case after the recent hearing in the Karnataka High Court, according to The Indian Express. A team of Karnataka Police took production warrant for Rao from a local court and arrived in Pune, where they obtained a no objection certificate from a court. Rao was taken into custody by the Karnataka police on Wednesday morning. He is expected to be produced before a court in Karnataka on Thursday.
Rao is among five activists who are accused of organising the Elgaar Parishad event to mark the 200th year of the battle of Bhima Koregaon on December 31, 2017. The Pune city police claim incendiary speeches at this conference led to planned violence at Bhima Koregaon village on January 1 and 2, 2018.