Nagpur : A huge force of around 200 policemen on Tuesday raided residence of Nagpur-based lawyer Surendra Gadling at his Jaripatka residence in connection with Bhima Koregaon riots that flared up earlier this year.
According to available information, the Pune and Nagpur police, apart from raid in Nagpur, carried out multi-city raids against prominent Dalit activists and supporters. An offence for abetting the communal clash and subsequent riot has been registered against Elgaar Parishad and Kabir Kalamna Manch activists at Vishrambagh Police Station of Pune City in connection with the January 1 riots.
Jaripatka police sources said the Pune team had already informed them on the previous day evening. Though the search is underway, it’s reliably learnt Pune police have already come across substantial incriminating evidence against Adv Gadling who also represented the Indian Association of Public’s Lawyers. Gadling had appeared in several cases pertaining to Naxalites in different courts.
Police suspected that Gadling, one of the active organisers of Elgar Parishad, was allegedly involved in promoting enmity between various groups at the December 31 event held at Shaniwarwada in Pune to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima Koregaon in Pune.
The event to mark the 200th anniversary of the historical battle of Bhima Koregaon which took place on January 1, 1818, in which British army defeated Peshwa-led Maratha forces and organisers believed that the Britishers were better rulers than Peshwas.
It was said that Gadling, a known naxalite sympathiser, was instrumental for organizing the march from Khairlanji in Bhandara district to Pune during the period. An FIR was registered against him with the Pune police station.
The role of Maoists has come under the scanner following the Bhima Koregaon violence. The agencies reached the conclusion about the involvement of Maoists after it learnt about a meeting held in Pune a day before the violence. The meeting in question was the one by Elgar Parishad that was attended by several persons, including Umar Khalid, connected with the group. There were several persons directly and indirectly associated with the Maoist, documents that were seized show.
According to Gadling around 200 policemen came to his Jaripatka house in north Nagpur at around 6.30 am and raided the house till 1pm. They have taken hard disks and pen drives of his computer and some rare books, few pamphlets and magazines.
The Nagpur lawyer accused the Devendra Fadnavis government for trying to divert attention by allowing such FIRs against them instead of taking action against those behind the January 1 Bhima Koregaon violence.