The National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Wednesday remanded Pune-based cultural group Kabir Kala Manch ’s (KKM) artiste Jyoti Jagtap to NIA custody till September 11 in the Bhima Koregaon violence case .
Ms. Jagtap from Kondhwa was arrested on September 8 by the NIA and was represented by advocate Susan Abraham in court on Wednesday. Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Shetty appeared for the central probe agency and sought her remand on the ground that she is named in the original FIR on January 8, 2018 and since then the police has been searching for her. He also said, “Deep rooted conspiracy committing serious offences have severe social impact is found committed by her along with the other arrested accused.”
Special Judge R. R. Bhosale recorded, “The FIR was originally lodged and thereafter various accused persons were arrested and investigation is conducted. As noticed, serious offences having severe impact on society are under investigation since long period. In this situation, Ms. Jagtap certainly requires to be interrogated in the line of the earlier progress of investigation. Prima facie sufficient material is evident against her for grant of custody.”
Mr. Shetty told The Hindu , “She has received training in arms in the forests by absconding accused, who is Milind Teltumbde. All the accused are spreading Maoist ideologies and activities in urban areas.” He also said that she is remanded up to September 11 as that is when other accused, Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor, will be produced.
KKM is a troupe made up of Dalit and working-class musicians and poets who came together after the anti-Muslim Gujarat riots of 2002. Their songs took a militant tenor after the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of anti-Dalit atrocities at Ramabai Nagar in 1997 and Khairlanji in 2006. Some of these songs and performances feature in the National Award-winning documentary Jai Bhim Comrade . The group is alleged to have links with the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist.
The trio were organisers of the Elgar Parishad event ‘Bhima Koregaon Shaurya Din Prerana Abhiyan’ on December 31, 2017. They have been charged under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.