In its 10,000-page chargesheet in the 2017 Bhima-Koregaon violence case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has alleged that IIT Professor and intellectual Anand Teltumbde visited and attended international conference 'under the guise of academic visits abroad' and brought back Maoist literature and videos on 'ideology, tactics, weapons' to show members of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).
"Anand Teltumbde used to attend international conferences under the guise of his academic visits abroad eg. Philippines, Peru, Turkey, and other countries and used to bring Maoist literature and videos (in pen drive/ memory cards) related to their ideology, tactics, weapons used by them, a period of attacks, planning of sudden attacks in spite of routine Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign during Naxal weeks, an extension of zones and increasing members of recruitment for CPI (Maoist) organization," NIA's chargesheet as quoted by The Indian Express.
It further read that the said foreign literature and videos were shown to members of CPI (Maoist) in training and classes after approval in Central Committee Member meetings. The NIA also said that people who have been arrested in the case were trying to 'reinvent Dalit militancy' in the country.
However, Teltumbde denied all such allegations during his probe and said the visits for academic conferences were through official invitations and well-documented.
The agency filed the chargesheet on October 9 before a special court in Mumbai, also which also includes a statement by a witness claiming that Teltumbde made a statement during a meeting to 'reinvent Dalit militancy as well as revolutionary resurgence under Maoist leadership'. The witnesses have also claimed that various student leaders and academicians from Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University were either 'Naxal sympathisers' or 'urban party members of CPI (Maoist)'.
Apart from Anand Teltumbde, other names in the chargesheet include his brother Milind, journalist Gautam Navlakha, Delhi University associate professor Hany Babu, three artists of Kabir Kala Manch — Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor and his wife Jyoti Jagtap and tribal rights activist Stan Swamy.
The agency has booked overall 16 people who are activists, lawyers and intellectuals, including activist Arun Ferreira, Professor Shoma Sen, human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling, activist Rona Wilson. Late Professor S.A.R. Geelani's name was also included.
The agency arrested Teltumbde and Navlakha in April, Hany Babu in July, Gaichor and Jagtap in September. The 10,000-page chargesheet accuses all of them of their alleged involvement in inciting violence at Bhima Koregaon in 2018. All of them have been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, anti-terror law and even under the UAPA Act.
The NIA claims to have busted a 'systematic network' of Maoists that operated for the supply of arms and ammunition, and their plan to carry out an urban revolution, along with funding activities were revealed during their investigation.
The NIA claims Teltumbde to be one of the main convenors of the 2017 Elgar Parishad event, that was held under the banner of "Bhima Koregaon Shaurya Din Prerana Abhiyan". He was also allegedly present at Shaniwar Wada on the day of the event, the agency added.
On Navlakha, NIA says he was given the responsibility of 'uniting intellectuals against the Indian government forces to defeat them both physically and otherwise', and recruiting people for the banned outfit Communist Party of India-Maoist. Navlakha has also been accused of being in touch with Pakistan's spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence.
Hany Babu was allegedly responsible for organising visits of foreign journalists to Maoist areas and has been accused of being in contact with banned terror groups in the northeast.
The Kala Manch artists - Gorkhe, Gaichor and Jagtap have been accused of conspiring and propagating the Maoist conspiracy throughout Maharashtra, and using the organization as their front.
The 83 year-old Swamy has been accused of being involved in the activities of the CPI (Maoist). The NIA claims to have seized several documents, literature, and propaganda material of the CPI(Maoist) from him.
Media organization The Wire accessed a few witness statements from the chargesheet:
One of the witnesses, who had reportedly worked closely with arrested writer Varavara Rao, has claimed that he was approached by Rao to handle the editorial responsibility of a Maoist journal named 'Awami Jung, an internal journal of the party, which was earlier run by the Maoist party's central committee leaders. The witness said he accepted the work since he was inspired by Rao's writings.
The witness further stated that he had also participated in organizing an event in which several accused persons were present. According to the him, Teltumbde had spoken about 'reinventing Dalit militancy' and revolutionary resurgence under Maoist leadership" in the country.
Another witness has claimed that cultural activists of the Kabir Kala Manch have visited Gadchiroli for over 20 days in 2012, and had undergone 'arms training' during this stay.
Anand's brother Milind Teltumbde is believed to be the leader of the banned CPI (Maoist) organization and has allegedly been involved in several underground movements since 1996, reported the media. Witnesses claim that Milind was inspired by his brother Anand Teltumbde and joined the armed movement.
The witness has also alleged that several persons had joined the arms movement under the influence of Surendra Gadling.
The Pune police had Bhima Koregaon case under them until January this year when the National Investigation Agency took over. The Pune Police had also claimed that the arrested accused were trying to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A witness who claims to have attended meetings organized by lawyers collective named 'Indian Association of People's Lawyers', stated that Wilson and Hany Babu allegedly 'insisted on defending political prisoners', providing legal support to Naxal cases etc. The two, according to the witness, were also responsible for "inciting Maoist sympathies in the students in Delhi, specifically among Dalit and students from other backward classes.
Both Wilson and Hany belonged from such backgrounds. According to the report, Wilson's work largely focused on prisoners' rights, while Hany worked majorly towards the anti-caste movement. His academic writings too focused on the lack of representation of Bahujans, especially the OBCs, in the university spaces.
The NIA claims that the violence against Dalits who were assembled at Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 2018, was the result of the incitement through several speeches made at the event by these people. It is to be noted that a separate FIR was also lodged by the Pune police that identified Hindutva leaders Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide for allegedly inciting people that further led to the violence.
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