Police today told a court here that four accused, arrested in connection with Bhima Koregaon violence, were allegedly involved in planning and executing a lecture series in JNU in Delhi “in the memory” of a Naxal, who was killed in a police encounter, to instigate students to join the proscribed CPI (Maoist) outfit. The court extended the police custody of the four accused — Sudhir Dhavale, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen and Rona Wilson, till June 21 after they were produced before it. Seeking their further custody, public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar told Additional Sessions Judge K D Vadhane that enticing students to join the banned organisation is a deep rooted conspiracy, which needs to be investigated as “it is a big threat to national security”.
“A lecture series in memory of slain Naxalite Naveen Babu, who was killed in a police encounter, was organised in JNU. It was on the Naxalites’ directions the lecture series was organised in the JNU campus and the event is to instigate, provoke and motivate students to join this banned organisation,” Pawar told the court. Pawar told the court that the accused were tasked to execute the lecture series plan at the behest of the CPI (Maoist) outfit.
“Documents (seized during the searches) establish that all these accused were involved in anti-national activities. It is very crucial to investigate their role in the execution of the programme and that is why further police custody is necessary,” she said. She also told the court that funds were provided to the execute “anti-national activities”. “It is revealed that to implement anti-national activities, funds were provided and police have recovered Rs 80,000, during the seizure operation, from Wilson’s house in Delhi,” Pawar said.
She told the court that Wilson was not divulging details of the seized money. “Taking the lecture series in JNU, enticing students by giving provocation to join the banned organisation is a deep rooted conspiracy and is a big threat to national security,” she said. The prosecution also told the court that police had recovered 25 TB (terabyte) of data during the seizure and further custody of the accused was needed to investigate the data.
The six were arrested for alleged Naxal links following a probe into violence in Pune district’s Bhima Koregaon town on January 1, a day after Elgar Parishad was held at historic Shaniwarwada in Pune. “Elgar Parishad is a small part of this conspiracy as the overall conspiracy against the nation needs to be investigated,” Pawar said in her submission. The four were arrested on June 6.