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Bhima-Koregaon: 90-day extension granted for filing chargesheet against five arrested in June


The Pune Police was granted a 90-day extension to file a chargesheet against the five activists who were arrested in June because allegedly they had connections with the Maoists and were involved in the Bhima-Koregaon clashes of January 1.

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The five accused — Dalit activist-publisher Sudhir Dhawale, prominent human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling, tribal activist Mahesh Raut, Nagpur University English Professor Shoma Sen and activist Rona Wilson were produced before the court in tight security today morning.

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar argued for more time to be given to the Police and alleged that the accused had got a funding of Rs 5Lakh for instigating the Bhima-Koregaon riots.

Ms. Pawar presented before the court that the police had evidence of the funds being given to the accused with instructions to foment the clashes. She also alleged that the police wanted time to find connections between the five accused and the five activists with the other five civil rights activists — Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Gautam Navlakha, Sudha Bharadwaj in Haryana, and poet Varavara Rao — who were arrested on August 28 by the Pune police for alleged Maoist connections.

The Hindu quoted the defence cousel Advocate Rohan Nayyar saying, “We have nothing to confirm or deny the allegations as we are not furnished with any report of the police’s investigations or their findings. We will come to know of the specific allegations only once the charge sheet is filed.”

The complaint had accused the activists of making a number of “inflammatory” speeches and delivering “socially divisive” presentations during the troupe’s performance at the ‘Elgaar Parishad’, which lasted nearly eight hours and witnessed the participation of thousands of persons from more than 250 social outfits including several left-leaning and Ambedkar groups across Maharashtra.

Also read: Bhima Koregaon caste violence row: Activists arrested from across the country

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