MUMBAI: The Elgaar Parishad, which allegedly led to violence at Bhima Koregaon on January 1 this year, was funded by the Maoists. The money was sent in two instalments and an elaborate arrangement was made to create communal tension and destabilize the state. This has been exposed by a letter recovered during the searches, Maharashtra police said on Friday.
"Rs 10 lakh was allocated to organize Dalit meets and "polarising lectures" and the funds were used to mobilize huge crowds for Elgaar Parishad and other meetings. Over 4,000 to 4,500 people participated in Elgaar Parishad," Additional Director General of Maharashtra Police, Parambir Singh, said while replying to queries during a press conference at the state police headquarters.
To establish a link between the Maoists and the Bhima Koregaon violence, Singh also read out a letter written by the secretary of the Maoist Central Committee, Milind Teltumbde, on whose head there is a reward of Rs 60 lakh, to Rona Wilson, the Delhi-based contact point between the underground and overground Maoists.
The letter, written on January 2, 2018, read, "Comrade Manglu, Comrade Dipu had been coordinating the Koregaon programme since two months with Comrade Sudhir. They have been able to gather support from large sections of Dalits across the state. The higher committee has provided two rounds of funds to Comrade Sudhir for this work. Comrade Shoma and Comrade Surendra have been authorized to provide further funds. Bhima Koregaon agitation has been very effective. The unfortunate death of a youth must be exploited to prepare for future agitations and propaganda materials. Please exploit the possibility of new fact-finding to further highlight the incident."
The letter also said, "Dalit sentiments are clearly against the Brahmin-centric agenda of BJP-RSS. This should be converted into large-scale mobilization and chaos."
Singh also read out a letter written by Sudha Bhardwaj to Comrade Prakash that spoke about the use of social media to highlight rights abuse. She also said that work against the enemies was on track. Sudha had sought financial aid from Prakash, Singh said.