Elgar Parishad case: ‘Waging war on country’ among NIA draft charges against 15 accused

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Updated: August 23, 2021 10:15 AM

In its draft charges, the NIA has said the accused conspired to organise sophisticated weapons “to attempt or cause death of public functionary”.

In its draft charges, the NIA has said the accused conspired to organise sophisticated weapons “to attempt or cause death of public functionary”. (Express Photo)

The National Investigation Agency has proposed to charge the 15 people in the Elgar Parishad case under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including waging a war against the country which has a maximum punishment of death, The Indian Express has reported. 

In its draft charges submitted before a special court earlier this month, the NIA has said the accused conspired to organise sophisticated weapons “to attempt or cause death of public functionary”.

The Pune Police, which had conducted initial investigation in the case, had said in its proposed draft charges that the weapons were linked to a conspiracy to “assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.

The NIA, in its draft charges, has however not specifically mentioned the prime minister with one of its senior officials saying that the charges have not gone into specific allegations and the evidence on this will be part of the trial.

On Friday, the NIA told the Bombay High Court that charges against the accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case will not be framed till August 25. The framing of charges — after which a trial starts — at the special NIA court was to take place on August 23, but the accused’s lawyers moved the high court saying that they had not yet received certain key documents from the prosecution.

On August 9, the NIA filed draft charges before the special court against the 15 accused. Once draft charges are filed, the court hears the accused on each count and ‘frames’ the charges following which the trial begins.

The NIA has alleged that the 15 accused are active members of banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) and the Elgar Parishad event in Pune on December 31, 2017 was organised “to exploit the communal sentiment of Dalit and other classes across the state and provoked them in the name of caste in order to create violence, instability and chaos in District Pune, at various places including Bhima Koregaon and in the state of Maharashtra”.

It has said that the accused conspired to demand and organise Rs 8 crore for “annual supply of M-4 (sophisticated weapon)” and had recruited students from various universities for “commission of terrorist activity”.

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