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Bhima Koregaon: 5 People Booked by Police for Inciting Violence

The Pune police began to make the arrests in the early hours of 6 June.

Updated
India
4 min read
 Dalit groups protesting at Thane railway station during the Maharashtra Bandh on 3 January following clashes between two groups in Bhima Koregaon near Pune.
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The Pune police on Wednesday, 6 June, arrested multiple persons in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence that erupted in Maharashtra in January.

The accused include Rana Jacob, Rona Wilson, Advocate Surendra Gadling, Professor Shoma Sen and Sudhir Dhawle.

While Gadling and Sen were picked up by the police from Nagpur, Dhawle was arrested from Mumbai and Wilson from Delhi.

ANI reports that the accused have been arrested on charges of distributing controversial pamphlets and delivering hate speeches to incite clashes that broke out in the state on 1 January, marking the bicentenary celebrations of the historic battle of Bhima-Koregaon that was fought in 1818.

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The Pune police have arrested the accused on the behest of their alleged links with Maoist groups, and have claimed that they are “top urban Maoist operatives”, reports The Indian Express.

“It was already known that the violence in Bhima Koregaon was a well organised conspiracy to defame the Maharashtra and Central governments. Police investigation has proved that the movement was made violent by the organisations who work in favour of urban-Naxalism,” Hansraj Ahir, MoS of Home Affair.

As per the report, the police carried out searches at the residences of Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen in Bharat Nagar, Nagpur and Mahesh Raut, who was formerly a part of the Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellowship (PMRD), in East Nagpur.

Following the forensic evaluation of electronic and other evidence regarding the clashes, the Pune police began the arrests of the accused in the early hours of Wednesday, 6 June. 

As per the report, Dhawale was picked up by the police from his office-cum-residence in Govandi, Mumbai around 6 am. Speaking to ANI, his lawyer Arun Ferreira said:

At the moment when an investigation board has been set up by the Maharashtra government to find the real cause behind Bhima-Koregaon incidents, the police are trying to fabricate papers and link the incidents with Maoists.
Arun Ferreira 

Simultaneously, Wilson was picked from the Munrika area in Delhi and Gadling from North Nagpur.

ANI reports that the Delhi Police Special Cell provided the Pune Police with information, that helped them arrest Jacob, who was then produced before a Patiala House Court in Delhi.

Rana Jacob. 
Rana Jacob. 
(Photo: ANI)

The Delhi Patiala House Court sent Jacob, to a two-day transit remand. He will be produced before the local court in Pune on Friday, 8 June.

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Letter Recovered From Rona Wilson’s Laptop

Pune Police have reportedly recovered a controversial letter from the laptop of Wilson, which allegedly praised the efforts made by him and the other accused into making the Elgaar Parishad a “success”.

DNA quotes the police’s claims which state that the letter also contains details of a “larger conspiracy” that the group intended to carry out in BJP-dominated areas.

As a result, rumours regarding the Congress’ role in inciting the clashes have started doing the rounds.

Speaking about the letter and its content, BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra said:

This letter isn’t just a letter, it strips every cloth of modesty Congress party was trying to wear. They’ve been exposed before the people. Dalits were being used as tools.
Sambit Patra, as reported by ANI
Sambit Patra. 
Sambit Patra. 
(Photo: ANI)

He also insinuated that the letter worked as a “means of communication” to how the violence that broke out during the clashes could be perpetrated. The reason, he says, is because it falls within the timeframe of when the Bhima Koregaon clashes culminated.

“Letter on funding has references to Elgar Parishad. Many organisations were involved in organising Elgar Parishad, but not all of them have have links with Maoists. Sudhir Dhawale's name has also appeared (in the letter),” Ravindra Kadam, Joint Police Commissioner told ANI said.

In one document there are references (to links with the Congress), but till what extent it is right or wrong can be said after further investigation.
Ravindra Kadam, Joint Police Commissioner
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Ravindra Kadam, Joint Police Commissioner. 
Ravindra Kadam, Joint Police Commissioner. 
(Photo: ANI)

He also said that if required, the police would summon youth leader Jignesh Mevani as part of the investigations.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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