Activists, Delhi Professor Among 8 Named In Bhima Koregaon Chargesheet

The Bhima Koregaon case involves an event of December 31, 2017 in Pune which was followed by violence and arson in Maharashtra that left one person dead.

Activists, Delhi Professor Among 8 Named In Bhima Koregaon Chargesheet

Bhima Koregain: Several left-wing intellectuals, critical of the government, have been arrested.

Mumbai:

Eight people including prominent activists Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha and Delhi University associate professor Hany Babu were named by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday in a chargesheet into the 2018 violence in Maharashtra's Koregaon Bhima.

Activists Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor, Jyoti Jagtap, Stan Swamy and Maoist leader Milind Teltumbde were also named in the chargesheet for allegedly conspiring against the government by the anti-terror agency.

Besides Milind Teltumde, who is missing, all other named in the chargesheet are in judicial custody. NIA spokesperson and Deputy Inspector General of Police in the agency Sonia Narang said the chargesheet was submitted before a designated court in Mumbai.

The NIA chargesheet against the eight does not mention human rights activist Sudha Bharadwaj, who has been in jail since 2018. She was arrested by Pune Police in the case along with Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in August 2018.

The Bihma Koregaon case involves an event of December 31, 2017 in Pune which was followed by violence and arson in Maharashtra that left one person dead. The arrest of a number of left-wing intellectuals critical of the government in the case, some of whom have been jailed for over two years awaiting trial, have sparked accusations of attempts to stifle dissent.

Investigators have alleged the activists at the Elgar Parishad meet had made inflammatory speeches and provocative statements, which it said triggered violence the next day. The investigation also claimed to have uncovered a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

During investigation, the NIA said, it was revealed that senior leaders of the CPI (Maoist), a banned organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, were in contact with the organisers of the Elgar Parishad event as well as the accused arrested in the case to spread the Maoist and Naxal ideology and encourage unlawful activities.

The Pune Police filed a chargesheet and a supplementary charge sheet in the case on November 15, 2018 and February 21, 2019 respectively. The NIA took up the investigation of the case on January 24 this year.

Earlier on Friday, father Stan Swamy, an 83-year-old Jesuit priest and activist working with tribal people, was the latest to be arrested in the case, prompting outrage from sections of the civil society. The 16th arrest in the case and possibly the oldest, he was sent to jail till October 23 by a special court.

(With inputs from PTI)