Pune : The Pune police are working hard to probe alleged “Naxalite link” to the Elgar Parishad which was held here in December last and questioned its members, who were part of the organizing committee of the event.
The Parishad was organised to commemorate 200 years of the Koregaon Bhima battle. A caste clash had broken out in Bhima Koregaon village in Pune district on January 1 this year, a day after the Elgar Parishad was held at historic Shaniwarwada in Pune.
It was said some Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) activists had allegedly made provocative speeches at the event leading to violence at Bhima-Koregaon in the district. An FIR was registered against KKM in this regard.
According to available information, the Assistant Commissioner of Police Shivaji Pawar, the Pune police questioned members of various organizations in connection with the case registered at the Vishrabaug police station and their statements have been recorded.
Anjum Inamdar, whose Mulnivasi Muslim Manch was one of the organisers of the Parishad, said besides him, city unit president of Bharip Bahujan Sangh M N Kamble, Bhim Army’s Datta Pol, who was one of the organizers of the Parishad, Akash Sabale, Ashok Kamble, Jyoti Jagtap, Ramesh Gaychor, and Sagar Gorkhe of the KKM were summoned by the police today.
According to one of the members whose statement was recorded today, police also inquired about the source of funding for the event.
Pune Police had earlier claimed to have unearthed naxalite links to the parishad and subsequently, the Pune police arrested prominent Dalit activist Sudhir Dhawale from Mumbai, lawyer Surendra Gadling, activist Mahesh Raut and professor Shoma Sen from Nagpur and Rona Wilson from Delhi for alleged naxal links in connection with the Parishad.
“While investigating the case registered at Vishrambaug police station, we conducted some searches at various places in the state. During the searches we found some evidence which was indicating that all those arrested had close links with the naxalites,” claimed the Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Kadam.
The Parishad was attended by Gujarat MLA and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani, JNU student leader Umar Khalid, Rohit Vemula’s mother Radhika Vemula, and Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh president Prakash Ambedkar. The police are also probing the role of Ambedkar, who is also a close relative of an underground naxalite. The FIR was registered against Sudhir Dhawale, Sagar Gorkhe, Harshali Potdar, Ramesh Gaychor, Deepak Dengle and Jyoti Jagtap.
The complaint had stated that the “inciting speeches and presentations” led to the violence. One person was killed in the caste violence between two groups near Sanaswadi, adjacent to Koregaon Bhima. The violence led to the statewide Dalit agitation and properties worth of crores of rupees were damaged by the frenzy mob during the period.