New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) submitted draft charges before a special court in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case earlier this month.
A copy of which was made available to the media on Monday, according to PTI, the accused persons wanted to establish their own government and “wage a war against the nation”.
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In the draft, the NIA put down 17 charges against 15 accused, including human rights and civil liberties activists. They have been sought to be charged under various sections of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The NIA has alleged that the accused persons are active members of CPI (Maoist). The accused include activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, Varavara Rao, Hany Babu, Anand Teltumbde, Shoma Sen, Gautam Navlakha among others.
According to the draft charges, the main objective was to establish a “Jantana Sarkar (people’s government) through revolution and armed struggle to seize power from the State”. It also stated that they attempted to “wage war against the Governments of India and Maharashtra”, said a PTI report.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackrey had in early 2020 had decided to let the National Investigative Agency (NIA) take over probe into the Elgar Parishad case from state police.
The draft also claimed that the accused would play provocative songs, enact short plays in Pune during the Elgar Parishad meeting and distributing Naxal literature. It further alleged that the accused had an intent to strike terror in the minds of people by using explosive substances.
“That the criminal conspiracy was an intention to bring about secession of a part of territory of India and incite individuals to bring about such a secession,” PTI quoted the draft.
“That accused recruited students from various universities including the Jawaharlal Nehru University and Tata Institute of Social Science for commission of terrorist activity,” it claimed.
The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at the Elgar Parishad conclave, held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed, triggered violence near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in the district the next day. The Pune police have claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists.
The accused have been charged under Indian Penal Code Sections 120-B (conspiracy), 115 (abetment of offence), 121, 121-A (waging war against state), 124-A (sedition), 153-A (arms in procession), 505(1)(B) (statements promoting mischief) and 34 (common intention). They have also been charged under UAPA Sections 13, 16, 17, 18, 18A, 18B, 20 (punishment for terrorist activities), 38, 39 and 40 (punishment for being part of terrorist organisation).