The Pune Police on Thursday filed a charge sheet against 5 activists, in the Elgar Parishad case, who were held in June this year. The 5 activists were nabbed by the police in allegations of having links with the Maoists who had sparked the violence. The 5 accused were activist Rona Wilson, Nagpur-based lawyer Surendra Gadling, professor Shoma Sen, Sudhir Dhawale of Republican Panthers and activist Mahesh Raut. According to the reports, the investigating officer ACP Shivaji Pawar has filed a 5000-page charge sheet in the court.

The FIR in the case was lodged on January 8 by a Pune man Tushar Damgude, claiming that the accused activists having the CPI- Maoist ideology mislead the Dalits and spread thoughts of violence. Earlier this year in June, the Pune Police had held Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Sudhir Dhawale and Mahesh Raut as suspects of providing funds to banned CPI-Maoists to Elgaar Parishad and were charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

In the second round of arrests, police had arrested five prominent activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Vara Vara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Gautam Navlakha and leveled the allegations of being active members of banned CPI-Maoist group. The Pune Police had held them the after conducted raids at their houses in several states on August 8, 2018.

The case pertains to the ‘hate speeches’ made by five rights activist during an event called Elgar Parishad that held on December 31 last year. The Maharashtra Police, in its FIR, had alleged that Elgar Parishad event had triggered Bhima Koregaon violence.  

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