Two Pune youths
Kabir kala Manch activist Siddhartha Bhosale (26) and Jyoti Chorge (21), both from Pune, who were arrested by the ATS in April 2011 for alleged Naxal links and later granted bail, continue to be under police lens.The duo were on Saturday detained and questioned for allegedly carrying “Maoist literature” when they had gone to Gadchiroli for attending the court trial in the case of Maoists allegedly setting a gram panchayat office on fire. Police also seized over 300 books from them before releasing them.
Siddhartha, a former student of Fergusson College, and Jyoti were among the 15 people — including alleged top CPI (Maoist) operatives Angela Sontakke and her husband Milind Teltumbde — booked by the state ATS. They were booked under sections of IPC and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for allegedly spreading Maoist ideology in urban areas. The two were, however, released on bail by the Bombay High Court earlier this year.
But Siddhartha and Jyoti were arrested in two more cases at Purada police station in Gadchiroli. One was of Maoists attacking CRPF and police patrols on July 7, 2010, in which they were charged with attempt to murder. The second case pertains to Maoists allegedly setting the gram panchayat office in Yengalkheda village, Gadchiroli, afire on July 3, 2010.
Siddhartha said they have been acquitted in the case of attack on police patrol. “We had gone to Gadchiroli for the trial in gram panchayat fire case on September 27. When we reached Nagpur railway station on September 28, a police team detained us,” he said.
Police seized over 300 books and some CDs from the duo. Police said the content of the books and the motive behind circulation is being probed. An officer said the duo were not arrested and released after the books were seized.
“None of the seized books are banned. We earn some money by selling books at social functions. We collected 300 copies of a book —Ahimsecha Atirek ani Krantikari Karyakram (excess of non-violence and revolutionary programme), published in Nagpur, for selling in Pune and Mumbai. It is based on the beliefs of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Bhagat Singh. Remaining books included those written by KKM activist Sachin Mali, activist Prakash Reddy and others. All were seized,” he said.
“Besides harassment, I also suffered financial losses. Cops were not even ready to show their ID cards. It was only after our lawyer reached, we came to know they were from the special cell of Nagpur police. We were questioned for over one hour due to which we missed our train, causing additional problems,” he said.
Their lawyer Surendra Gadling said, “Police are harassing the innocent youths for no reasons. They came all the way from Pune to Gadchiroli for fighting cases in court in which they are falsely booked. We have got a copy of the seizure panchnama from the police. There was nothing objectionable in carrying these books.”