Activists arrest: Pune court orders police to comply with Supreme Court direction

Updated - August 30, 2018 01:17 am IST

Published - August 29, 2018 09:54 pm IST - Pune

P. Varavara Rao

P. Varavara Rao

The sessions court at Shivaji Nagar here on Wednesday directed the Pune police to place under “house arrest” three of the alleged “urban Maoists” arrested on Tuesday, following a Supreme Court order.

Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Varavara Rao were produced in the Pune court, where police sought 15-day custody for further interrogation. They were arrested from their homes in Mumbai, Thane and Hyderabad, respectively. The police said they would be taken to their homes on Thursday.

Accusing the three of waging war against the Government of India and training youth and students in Naxal activity, special public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar demanded their police custody. The state alleged that the accused were working under the guise of an anti-fascist front called the All India United Front to overthrow the government.

Ms. Pawar said the arrests were made based on an investigation of an FIR filed on January 8 by Tushar Damgude against the organisers of the Elgar Parishad in Pune on December 31, 2017.

The state submitted a total of seven letters to the court, allegedly exchanged between members of the banned CPI(Maoist), where the names of the three accused were mentioned.

None of the letters was correspondence between any of the accused. According to Ms. Pawar these letters were retrieved from seized material after the arrests of Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson, Mahesh Raut and Sudhir Dhawale in June.

She said Varavara Rao was assigned the task of amassing weapons from Nepal and Manipur. Mr. Ferreira and Mr. Gonsalves were given the task of identifying young students, recruiting them, sending them to Naxal areas, training and using them against the Indian government.

One of the letters read out by Ms. Pawar said CPI (Maoist) commander Comrade Ganapathy wanted to meet Mr. Rao. The prosecution said the CPI (Maoist) had developed links with separatist groups in Jammu and Kashmir.

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