On Wednesday morning, Pune police carried out raids at different locations in the country to arrest five suspects related to the Bhima Koregaon caste-violence that affected Maharashtra in January 2018. According to reports, those associated with the organising team of the Elgaar Parishad — the event that marked the 200th year of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon — were arrested.
Delhi-based activist Rona Jacob Wilson was arrested from South Delhi’s Munirka locality, Elgaar Parishad organiser and Republican Panthers Jati leader Antachi Chalwal and Sudhir Dhawale were arrested from Mumbai. Activists Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut and lawyer Surendra Gadling were arrested from Nagpur. Gadling is member of Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL).
According to The Indian Express, police sources said those arrested are “top urban Maoist operatives”. The Pune police had conducted search operations at residences of several activists including Wilson, Gadling, Pune-based Sagar Gorkhe, Deepak Dhengle — they are associated with cultural group, Kabir Kala Manch. The police will now present those arrested to the local courts seeking transit remand.
Complaint against organisers of the Parishad — Dhawle and Harshali Potdar — was lodged by one Tushar Damgude at the Vishrambag police station in Maharashtra. In the complaint, Damgude had alleged that the duo and members of KKM worked as per the plans of CPI-Maoist and tried to mislead Dalits and incite violence.