Police has no case to incriminate Varavara Rao: defence

“It is unjust to hold him [Mr. Rao] in custody on the basis of such thin evidence without a trial,” said advocate Nahar.

March 26, 2019 01:12 am | Updated 01:12 am IST - PUNE

Hyderabad: Poet-Social activist Varavara Rao as he returns home to be placed under house arrest, in Hyderabad on Thursday, Aug 30, 2018. Supreme Court gave relief to Rao and four other rights activists, who were arrested for their alleged role in Bhima Koregaon violence. (PTI Photo) (PTI8_30_2018_000051A)

Hyderabad: Poet-Social activist Varavara Rao as he returns home to be placed under house arrest, in Hyderabad on Thursday, Aug 30, 2018. Supreme Court gave relief to Rao and four other rights activists, who were arrested for their alleged role in Bhima Koregaon violence. (PTI Photo) (PTI8_30_2018_000051A)

The reported Maoist communications produced by the Pune police during their investigation into the ‘Elgaar Parishad’ and the subsequent Bhima-Koregaon clashes had nothing to incriminate poet-activist P. Varavara Rao, submitted the defence counsel for the jailed activist.

“The city police has not a shred of evidence through its dubious Maoist communiqués to link Mr. Rao to the Maoists,” said advocate Rohan Nahar, Mr. Rao’s defence counsel. Mr. Rao was remanded to judicial custody in November 26 last year.

He further said that the content of the letters was so flimsy that they were utterly insufficient to tie the 78-year-old Mr. Rao to a wider conspiracy allegedly unearthed by the Pune city police probing the Bhima-Koregaon clashes of January 1, 2018.

“It is unjust to hold him [Mr. Rao] in custody on the basis of such thin evidence without a trial,” said advocate Nahar.

The court had scheduled March 29 as the next hearing. The plea of tribal activist Mahesh Raut would be heard on that occasion as well.

He was first arrested on August 28 as part of a wider probe into the Elgaar Parishad and the subsequent Bhima-Koregaon clashes by the Pune police along with civil rights activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves.

Mr. Wilson was arrested along with advocate Surendra Gadling, Nagpur University English Professor Shoma Sen and activists Sudhir Dhawale and Mahesh Raut on June 6 last year

All nine activists have been charged with seditious activities, distorting history and attempting to overthrow a democratically elected government and are presently incarcerated in Yerwada Jail.

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