MUMBAI: The five activists arrested from various parts of the country today for suspected Maoist links had allegedly funded the 'Elgaar Parishad' conclave in Pune, held a day before the Koregaon-Bhima violence, police said today.
The speeches at the conclave, held on December 31 last year to mark the 200th anniversary of the Koregaon-Bhima battle, had fuelled the violence a day later, they said.
The five were arrested after the Pune police today carried searches in Mumbai, Thane, Hyderabad, Faridabad, Chhattisgarh, and Goa, an official said.
They had allegedly funded the 'Elgar Parishad' conclave, a police official said.
While Vernon Gonsalves was arrested from his residence in suburban Andheri in Mumbai, Arun Ferreira was apprehended from his residence at Charai in adjoining Thane, police said.
Both were also arrested in 2007 for their alleged links with Maoist groups, police said.
After his acquittal, Ferreira completed a law degree and started practice as a criminal lawyer in Mumbai, the official said.
Ferreira, who earlier lived in suburban Bandra, shifted to Thane along with his family a few years ago, the official said.
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Police had alleged that Gonsalves, a former professor in a prominent Mumbai college, was a Maoist central committee member.
Meanwhile, Susan Abraham, the wife of Gonsalves, said the BJP-led government in Maharashtra has "failed to take any action" against right-wing Sanatan Sanstha, which she claimed was behind the killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.
"This is an attempt to divert people's attention from the Sanatan case. That is why action is being taken in the guise of combating urban Naxalism," Susan, a Mumbai-based lawyer, told PTI.
The state government has not taken action against right-wing leaders Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote who were behind the Koregaon-Bhima violence, she said.
She claimed that her husband did not incite the Koregaon-Bhima violence, as alleged by the police.
"Police are taking action against people in connection with a fictitious plot of assassination of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," she said.