Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 8
Police, investigating the Maoist links to the Koregaon-Bhima caste riots, have stumbled upon letters that point to plans to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, officials said here on Friday.
Pune Police intercepts internal communication of Maoists planning a 'Rajiv Gandhi type' assassination of Prime Minister Modi. pic.twitter.com/o2rt2al4aj— ANI (@ANI) June 8, 2018
Police have also released pictures of four more persons involved in the Koregaon-Bhima riots of January 1, that left one person dead, and appealed to the public to inform them of their whereabouts.
One of the incriminating letters has been found from the home of Delhi-based activist Rona Wilson, who was among the five activists arrested from different parts of India on Wednesday as part of the probe into the riots conspiracy and "urban Maoist sympathisers".
The letter refers to a requirement of Rs 8 crore to procure M-4 rifles and 400,000 rounds and speaks of "another Rajiv Gandhi-type incident".
Excerpt from internal communication of Maoists intercepted by the Pune police said, “Comrades proposed concrete steps to end Modi-raj. We are thinking of Rajiv Gandhi-type incident. There is a good chance we might fail but the party must deliberate on it. Targeting his roadshows can be effective. We collectively believe that survival of the party is supreme to all sacrifices.”
It may be recalled that former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991 in Sriperumbedur, Tamil Nadu, by a suicide bomber from neighbouring Sri Lanka while on the campaign trail.
The Pune police told a court on Thursday that they seized the letter from the residence of one of the five persons they had arrested in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence. The letter was allegedly found in Bhima-Koregaon activist Rona Jacob’s laptop.
"Modi-led Hindu fascism is bulldozing its way into the lives of indigenous Adivasis. In spite of big defeats like Bihar and West Bengal, Modi has successfully established BJP government in more than 15 states. If this pace continues, then it would mean immense trouble for the party on all fronts. Greater suppression of dissent and more brutal form of Misson 2016 (OGH)," the letter read.
In the letter, it is written that for Moaists "defeating Hindu fascism has been our core agenda and a major concern for the party".
"Several leaders from secret cells as well as open organisations have raised this issue very strongly. We are working to consolidate ties with like-minted organisations, political parties, and representatives of minorities across the country," the letter further added.
In a press conference on Thursday, Pune Joint Commissioner of Police (CP) Ravindra Kadam said that during the investigation the police recovered "pen drive, hard disk and some other documents" which were later sent to forensics.
Rona Jacob was arrested in Delhi, Sudhir Dhawale in Mumbai and lawyer Surendra Gadling, who has defended several Maoists, besides Mahesh Raut and Shoma Sen from Nagpur.
Wilson, 47, was nabbed from a south Delhi neighbourhood in a joint operation by Delhi and the Maharashtra police.
Deputy Commissioner of Delhi Police Sanjeev Yadav said Wilson, a Jawaharlal Nehru University alumnus, was hiding in a DDA flat in Munirka near the varsity.
The Nagpur homes of Raut and Sen were also raided even as the police were reportedly contemplating invoking the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against the accused.
Raut is a former Prime Minister Rural Development Fellow and has alleged links with Maoist groups in Gadchiroli in Maharashtra.
The arrested, according to police, had organised the Elgaar Parishad in Pune on December 31 last year to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the historic Anglo-Marathi battle between the British forces and the Peshwa Bajirao II.
The gathering was addressed, among others, by Gujarat Dalit leader and MLA Jignesh Mewani, former JNU student leader Umar Khalid, Chhattisgarh activist Soni Sori and Bhim Army President Vinay Ratan Singh.
A day later on January 1, there was the outbreak of caste riots in the Koregaon-Bhima which left one dead. A retaliatory Maharashtra shutdown call issued by Bharipa Bahujan Mahajan Sangh leader Prakash Ambedkar and other parties on January 3 also claimed one life.
Harshali Potdar, one of the coordinators of the Elgaar Parishad, said the arrests were "illegal... a ploy to victimize us and intended to save Sambhaji Bhide Guruji and Milind Ekbote".
Bhide and Ekbote are Hindutva activists accused of triggering anti-Dalit violence.
Bhide is the founder-leader of Shree Shiv Pratisthan Hindustan and Ekbote is the leader of Samastha Hindu Aghadi.
Bhide was given a clean chit by the Maharashtra government but Ekbote was arrested in March for his role in the Koregaon-Bhima riots and later granted bail in April.
Leftist and Dalit groups staged protests in Mumbai and Nagpur and many activists condemned the arrests of their leaders.
In April, the Pune police raided homes and offices of these activists in different parts of the country and questioned them for their involvement in various activities.
Plot to 'kill' CM Fadnavis
Meanwhile, the office of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis claimed to have received two letters threatening to get him killed.
The letters allegedly threatened retribution for an encounter at Nagpur's Gadchiroli district last month where 37 alleged Maoists were killed in an encounter. Fadnavis told reporters that the letters have been handed over to the police.
'Serious about PM's security'
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said his government was serious about the Prime Minister's security.
"We are always serious about the prime minister's security. The Maoists are fighting a losing battle. They are now active only in 10 districts in the country," he told a press conference here after a two-day tour of Jammu and Kashmir.
Singh said the Naxal violence will come to an end soon as their area of influence has come down from 135 districts in the country to 90 but they are very active in only 10 of these.
We've reporduced the letter below.
Dear comrade Prakash
We received your last letter (20/3). Regarding the current situation here Arun, Vernon and others are equally concerned about the two-line struggle that is slowly taking shape on the urban front. Followed by the very unfortunate demise of Bijoy da. He was a strong leader with great vision and selfless devotion to the party and the Red revolution! His leadership was greatly needed in today's critical times. Things were far better before Prashant's egoist agenda took over the larger interest of the Party and the pol. prisoners. Com. Saibaba had raised this issue with you back in 2013 when Prashant revolted against Saibaba. We think that in one way the Gadchiroli court's judgment has helped by restraining Prashant in doing further harm to the Party. With that said, we are working tirelessly to put up a strong defense for Saibaba. Every possible legal help in favor of the jailed comrades is being sought. HB has been given all the responsibility to coordinate programs and protests to raise public opinion in our favor. On 20th April we will organise another program under the banner- Committee for the Defense and Release of G N Saibaba. We would leave no stone unturned in providing relief to all pol. prisoners. Com. Ashok B, Amit B, Seema, and Sudhir have strongly pitched for more frequent meetings of CRPP EC. It will facilitate smoother coordination of numerous pending cases in Delhi, MH, 1H, Odisha, CHH. On the other side com. Siraj has shown willingness to contribute for the party in all possible ways. He has been studying the party literature, resolutions and the party constitution for past several years. Despite challenging situations he is ready for second APT cross-over. This time I would like to send another comrade with Siraj. His CV is in the memory chip with this letter. Sometime in last year Vishnu had met com. Basanta to facilitate the deal. At that time com. Kisan was unable to meet directly. I hope by now you have received details of the meeting and requirement of 8Cr for annual supply of M4's with 400000 rounds. Please convey your decision.
Defeating Hindu fascism has been our core agenda and a major concern for the party. Several leaders from secret cells as well as open organisations have raised this issue very strongly. We are working to consolidate ties with like-minded organisations, pol. parties, representatives of minorities across the country. Modi led Hindu fascist regime is bulldozing its way into the lives of indigenous adivasis. In spite of big defeats like Bihar and West Bengal, Modi has successfully established BJP govt in more than 15 states. If this pace continues then it would mean immense trouble for the party on all fronts. Greater suppression of dissent and more brutal form of Mission 2016 (OGH). Com. Kisan and few other senior comrades have proposed concrete steps to end Modi-raj. We are thinking along the lines of another
Rajiv Gandhi-type incident. It sounds suicidal and there is a good chance that we might fail but we feel that the party PB/CC must deliberate over our proposal. Targeting his road-shows could be an effective strategy. We collectively believe that survival of the party is supreme to all sacrifices. Rest in the next letter.
With warm greetings 18104/17
#WATCH CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury reacts on Pune Police intercepts internal communication of Maoists planning a 'Rajiv Gandhi type' assassination of Prime Minister Modi. pic.twitter.com/jE5TV1j5KX— ANI (@ANI) June 8, 2018
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