ELGAR PARISHAD CASE HEARING

Vishwas Kothari@timesgroup.com

Pune:

District government pleader Ujjwala Pawar said on Thursday that the prosecution has furnished to the special UAPA court all the investigation papers and seized documents, including electronic evidence and phone records, to show that a prima facie case exists against all the accused in the Elgar Parishad case and they are not entitled for bail.

“The evidence shows actual involvement of the accused not only in offences like conspiracy and sedition under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) but also those relating to terrorist act, raising funds for terrorist acts and terrorist organisations, recruiting person(s) for terrorist acts and being members of terrorist organisation, among others, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA),” she said, while wrapping up her arguments against the bail pleas by Surendra Gadling, P Varavara Rao and five other arrested activists.

The prosecutor focussed much of her arguments over the involvement of the accused with the banned CPI (Maoist)’s frontal organisations such as the Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL), Jagdalpur Legal Aid and Bastar Solidarity Network, Anuradha Ghandy memorial committee and factfinding committees; how they were being funded by the Maoists and their objectives vis-a-vis creating unrest against government.

Once again relying extensively on the seized letters, purportedly exchanged between the accused (Gadling, Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Rona Wilson) and underground Maoist leaders like Comrades Prakash, Milind Teltumbde and Sudarshanda, among others, Pawar highlighted how the IAPL, Jagdalpur Legal Aid and Bastar Solidatiry Network, which claim work for political prisoners, “was actually providing legal help to secure freedom for comrades arrested under UAPA cases, with funds coming from the CPI (Maoist).”

She said, the letters showed how the IAPL members were working on instructions of top Maoist leaders; serving as couriers for jailed comrades when produced in courts; spreading its footprint in Kerala, networking with separatists in Kashmir and providing legal assistance in cases like the one in the Supreme Court relating to the use of pellet guns; organising conferences involving intellectuals and covert Maoist operatives to create an opinion against the UAPA and organising debates in support of convicted Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, among others.

Pawar submitted that arranging fact-finding committees was part of the IAPL strategy to project the comrades killed in police action as tribal and not Maoists, thereby, creating hatred for the forces and government among the tribal people and destablise the government.

Targetting institutions for gaining support from the young generation, recruiting and training students in jungle warfare, training woman activists in laying booby traps and several other unlawful activities are evident from the seized letters, she submitted.

Gadling will make his counter reply to Pawar’s arguments on Friday. Apart from him and Rao, Sudhir Dhawale, Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves are the other bail applicants.

TOI