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Pune Police charges activist Sudha Bharadwaj, others in Bhima Koregaon case

In November 2018, the first charge sheet was filed by Pune Police in the case against ten persons at the special court for Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Pune Police charges activist Sudha Bharadwaj, others in Bhima Koregaon case

PUNE: A  supplementary chargesheet was filed by Pune Police on Thursday at a special UAPA court against five persons including human rights activists Sudha Bharadwaj and wanted Maoist leader Ganapathy in connection with Elgar Parishad case.

In November 2018, the first chargesheet was filed by Pune Police in the case against ten persons at the special court for Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

In its first chargesheet, Pune Police had said that the speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave in Pune on December 31, 2017 led to violence near Bhima Koregaon war memorial the next day. The police also said that the conclave was funded by Maoists.

"Today we submitted a supplementary charge sheet against Bharadwaj, (Telugu poet) Varavara Rao (activists) Arun Ferriera, Vernon Gonsalves and fugitive general secretary of the banned CPI (Maoist) Ganapathy alias Chandrashekhar," joint commissioner of police Shivaji Bodkhe was quoted as saying by PTI.

The charge sheet, which runs into more than 1,800 pages, was submitted before Additional Sessions Judge Kishor Vadane. "It includes evidence retrieved from electronic devices seized from the arrested activists," Bodkhe said.

He added that all the accused are charged with "waging war against the nation" and spreading the ideology of their banned organisation. They are also charged with creating caste conflicts, disaffection and hatred in the society, noted Bokhde.

In the first chargesheet, the police had named activists Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut and Sudhir Dhavale who were arrested in June 2018. Absconding Maoist leaders Dipak alias Milind Teltumbade, Kishan Da alias Prashant Bose and Prakash alias Rituparn Goswami were also named as accused in the first charge sheet. Bharadwaj and others were arrested in September.

The Elgar conclave was held to commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of the 1818 battle of Koregaon Bhima, in which Dalit soldiers of the East India Company had fought against Brahmin Peshwa, Pune's then ruler, and defeated Peshwa's Army. 

(with PTI inputs)