Bhima-Koregaon violence: Pune Police justify arrest of activists; say they have evidence

Police also claimed to have evidence to suggest that the arrested people had links with Kashmiri separatists.

Published: 29th August 2018 08:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 31st August 2018 04:37 PM   |  A+A-

The raids were carried out as part of a probe into a conclave -- Elgar Parishad -- held in Koregaon-Bhima near here on December 31 last year. | Image Courtesy: Agencies

By Express News Service

MUMBAI: In an attempt to justify their action, the Pune police on Wednesday stated that they have enough evidence to implicate the activists who were arrested on Tuesday only after a sustained surveillance.

Joint Commissioner of Pune Police Shivajirao Bodkhe, who read out a statement justifying the arrests, said the police has evidence which suggests that the arrested people had links with Kashmiri separatists.

All the activists have links with the banned CPI (Maoist) and have shown a strong intolerance towards the political system, he said. Bodkhe said that the 'evidence' was collected after the arrests of five other activists in June in the Bhima Koregaon probe.

Also Read | Delhi High Court questions Maharashtra police on activist Gautam Navlakha's arrest

He, however, did not take questions from the media.

According to officials of the Pune police, the 'evidence' includes around 25 to 30 terabytes of data, which has been examined in the presence of the legal and IT cell of Pune police.

Arrested activists were planning a "big conspiracy" to target the "highest political functionaries", the sources said.

Also Read | RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav decries arrest of Left-leaning activists, says country moving towards dictatorship

Bodkhe also claimed that the banned organization CPI (Maoists) funded the Elgar Parishad and added that after assessing the 'evidence' that allegedly point to Maoist connections, police surveilled the activists for almost a week before conducting raids.

During the search operations, multiple laptops, mobile phones, SIM cards, cameras and other writings and documents have been confiscated.

The activists were charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

The police have maintained that these activists were connected to the violence that erupted in Bhima Koregaon near Pune in January following the Elgaar Parishad conclave on December 31, 2017, the officer said.

Also Read | Bhima-Koregaon violence: Pune court asks cops to send arrested activists back to homes

Meanwhile, the district and sessions judge K D Vadane of Pune district court ordered Pune police to send Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira back to their residences, where they will be kept under 'house arrest', said Assistant Commissioner of Police, Shivaji Pawar.

"We had contended before the court here to allow them to be put under arrest at a guest house in Pune. However, due to specific directions of the apex court, the judge ordered that they be sent back to their respective cities for house arrest," he said.

The three activists may be sent back to their cities by tomorrow, police said.

Pune police had arrested them and two others - Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha - in connection with an FIR lodged following the 'Elgaar Parishad' conclave held in Pune on December 31 last year that had triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima village. 

Follow The New Indian Express channel on WhatsApp


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp