The over 40-year-old Baroda Dynamite Case was one of the most important chapters in the life of former Union minister George Fernandes.
George Fernandes, 88, who served as the defence Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, died in Delhi Tuesday after a long illness.
In June, 1976, he was arrested for a conspiracy to procure dynamite sticks to blow up government establishments and rail tracks. The case was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
An activist who worked with George Fernandes during the Emergency told news agency PTI that by procurement of dynamite, the plan was to give a message to the government that they would "not take imposition of Emergency lying down".
George Fernandes was one of the leaders who had gone underground during Emergency. He slipped into Gujarat in July 1975 and continued to oppose Emergency along with other socialists of that time.
The former Defence Minister was shown as the ''mastermind'' of the conspiracy in the charge sheet filed by the CBI in a Delhi court where the case was heard. The charge sheet had named 25 accused in all.
George Fernandes reached Ahmedabad around mid-July 1975 and held secret meetings with co-accused, the charge sheet said, adding he "entered into criminal conspiracy to overthrow the government".
Apart from ten bags of dynamite sticks obtained from a stone quarry, 200 detonators and eight rolls of fuse wire were later procured, it said, adding dynamites were sent to different parts of the country and an explosion happened in Mumbai.
George Fernandes was arrested in June 1976 along with 22 others from different parts of the country and sent to Tihar Jail in Delhi. In his defence before the court, George Fernandes denied a conspiracy on his part and said the CBI charge sheet was "cooked up".
"My fight against the dictatorship was born out of the conviction that evil should be fought, but it never entitled killing or what the prosecution say ''criminal force''," he had said.
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