A plan was hatched to assassinate PM Modi in a "Rajiv Gandhi-type incident", according to Pune police
New Delhi: A plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a "Rajiv Gandhi-type incident" during one of his roadshows has been revealed in a letter seized from a suspected Maoist, the Pune police told a court on Thursday. Soon after, it was reported that Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has also received letters, alleged from Maoist outfits, threatening him and his family. Home Minister Rajnath Singh said: "We are always concerned about our PM's security. Maoists are just fighting a losing battle".
Here are the 10 facts to this story:
- The letter, dated April 18 2017 and addressed to one "Comrade Prakash", was found from the home of Delhi-based activist Rona Wilson, the police claimed. Rona Wilson and four others were arrested on Wednesday for links with the banned CPI-Maoist. The letter is signed "R" which, the police suspect, is for "Rona Wilson".
- Pleading for their custody before a sessions court, the police referred to a letter that they claimed had been found in the Delhi home of Rona Wilson, a member of the group Committee for Release of Political Prisoners.
- A copy of the letter, released by news agency ANI, says "defeating Hindu fascism has been our core agenda and a major concern" and adds: "We are working to consolidate ties with like-minded organisations, political parties, representatives of minorities across the country."
- It says despite "big defeats like Bihar and West Bengal, PM Modi had successfully established BJP governments in more than 15 states." Stating that the trend would mean trouble for the party on all fronts, the letter talked about "senior comrades" proposing "concrete steps to end the Modi-era." The letter also talks about raising Rs 8 crore to buy American M-4 rifles and four lakh rounds.
- The part that public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar read out in court did not refer to the Prime Minister. "We are thinking along the lines of another Rajiv Gandhi-type incident. It sounds suicidal and there is a chance that we might fail but party must deliberate on our proposal...," the prosecutor was quoted as reading out.
- Devendra Fadnavis has complained to the police about two threat letters he received a week ago, said news agency PTI, quoting sources in the state Home Department said today. The letters reportedly came after the recent anti-Naxal operations in Gadchiroli, in which 39 Maoists were killed.
- "It is a very serious matter. It is known that Naxals are under pressure. It is sinister and dangerous. Many of these elements tend to link up with mainstream parties," said the BJP's Nalin Kohli.
- CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said: "Security agencies will do their work. The court is hearing. Let the court decide."
- Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam said he believed that the news could be "planted". He told ANI news agency: "I am not saying this is completely untrue, but it has been Prime Minister Modi's old tactic, since he was Chief Minister of Gujarat. Whenever his popularity declines, news of an assassination plot is planted. So, it should be probed how much truth is in it this time."
- Rona Wilson is among five people arrested on Wednesday for links with the banned CPI-Maoist. The others are Dalit activist Sudhir Dhawale, lawyer Surendra Gadling and activists Mahesh Raut and Shoma Sen. Described by the police as the "top brass of the urban Maoists", they were arrested in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon caste violence in January. Their lawyers said the documents cited by the prosecution were fabricated and an attempt to frame them.
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