NIA chargesheets eight accused in Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case

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By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: October 9, 2020 4:28:33 pm

elgaar parishad, elgar parishad case, bhima koregaon case, Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case, Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha, Hany Babu, indian express newsFrom clockwise: Gautam Navlakha, Stan Swamy, Hany Babu, and Anand Teltumbde.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Friday filed a supplementary chargesheet before a Mumbai court against eight persons in the Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case.

The first chargesheet filed by the central agency since it took over the probe from Pune police in January is against academic Anand Teltumbde, activist Gautam Navlakha, Delhi University associate professor Hany Babu, members of cultural group Kabir Kala Manch— Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor and Jyoti Jagtap—Jharkhand-based Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy and absconding accused Milind Teltumbde, who is alleged to be a top operative of banned CPI (Maoist).

The Pune police had filed chargesheets against the nine accused arrested earlier including Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Arun Ferriera, Vernon Gonsalves, P Varavara Rao, Shoma Sen and Sudha Bharadwaj.

The 83-year old Swamy, who was arrested on Thursday, was brought to Mumbai from Ranchi and produced before a court at 1.30 pm today. The court directed him to be sent in judicial custody till October 23. He will be lodged at Taloja central jail.

The case relates to an FIR filed on January 8 in Pune related to an event organised at Shaniwar Wada called Elgar Parishad on December 31, 2017. The Pune police arrested activists claiming that the event was organised as part of alleged Maoist activity and the accused were its members.

It claimed that the event led to the violence which took place on January 1, 2018 at Bhima Koregaon, where lakhs of Dalits had gathered to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon, won by the British army— which comprised largely soldiers from the Dalit community— against the Peshwas in 1818. Another FIR registered on January 2 had named Hindutva leaders Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide, for alleged incitement leading to the violence.

After the initial probe by the Pune police for two years, the case was transferred to NIA in January this year. The agencies claimed that incriminating evidence was found in the form of letters and documents on devices of some of the accused showing their links to the banned group.

The accused have denied any Maoist links and have said that they are being targeted.

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