CPI (Maoist) member acquitted in the case

A fast track court in Nagpur on Wednesday acquitted Angela Sontakke, the alleged Maharashtra State Committee member of the CPI (Maoist) in a Naxal related case but convicted two others under the Arms act and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

In August 2007, police arrested Vernon Gonsalvis and Sridhar Shrinivasan from Mumbai on the charges of having links with the Naxals.

Angela Sontakke, who was arrested from Thane in April 2011, was also named in this case by the police.

Angela is the wife of Milind Teltumbde, the Maharashtra area secretary of the CPI (Maoist).

The police had claimed to have recovered detonators, a hand grenade, two firearms, 20 gelatin sticks, laptops, pen drive, mobile phones and 'banned literature' from the duo when they were arrested from Govandi area in Mumbai.

The accused were charged for offenses punishable under Section 120-B,121-A of the Indian Penal Code, 10,13,16,17,18, 20, 23 and 40 of the UAPA, Section 3 of Arms Act, Section 6 and 9(B) of the Explosives Act and Section 3,4,5 of Explosive Substance Act.

“Angela has been acquitted in this case. Vernon and Sridhar have been sentenced under the arms act and section 10 and 13 of the (UAPA). Sridhar has also been convicted under the Explosives Act and given six years of imprisonment” Surendra Gadling, counsel for the accused, told The Hindu.

“Shridhar and Vernon have been acquitted from section 16, 17, 18,20,23,40 of the UAPA which shows that they have been acquitted from the charges of being associated with any of the banned organizations” pointed out Mr. Gadling .

Vernon Gonsalvis who was sentenced for five years imprisonment on Wednesday, would walk free on Thursday because he had already spent five years and 10 months in Jail, Mr. Gadling said and added that the court acquitted the duo from charges of waging war against the State and they were also not found involved in any terror activities.

Shridhar has also spent more than five years in Jail and will be sent back to jail to serve remaining term of his six years sentence.

Angela Sontakke is facing five more cases under different sections and she is currently in Byculla jail in Mumbai.

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