Pune: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has registered an FIR in the Elgar Parishad case and charged 11 people, including nine currently in jail, under provisions of the anti-terror law UAPA and the IPC, days after it was handed over the matter in Maharashtra by the Centre.
While the Pune police had applied IPC section 124A (sedition) in the case during the investigation, the NIA FIR does not have this charge, said advocate Siddharth Patil, representing some of the accused.
Violence erupted in the vicinity of a war memorial in Koregaon Bhima on January 1, 2018, allegedly after provocative speeches were made at the Elgar Parishad conclave a day earlier in Pune’s Shanirwada locality.
The Pune police claimed the conclave was backed by outlawed Maoist groups and arrested activists Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Varavara Rao for their alleged links with Naxals.
On January 24, the Centre transferred the case, registered at the Vishrambaug police station, from the Pune police to the NIA, a central agency.
As per the NIA’s FIR, which was part of the agency’s application in a special Pune court seeking transfer of seized data, court records and proceedings, 11 people have been charged under IPC sections 153 A (promoting enmity between groups ), 505 (1)(b) (with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public), 117 (abetting commission of offence by the public or by more than ten persons) among others.
They have also been charged under sections 13 (unlawful activities), 16 (terrorist act), 18 (conspiracy), 18B (recruiting of any person or persons for terrorist act) 20 (being a member of a terrorist gang or organization) and 39 (offence relating to support given to terrorist organisation) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The 11 include the nine arrested by the Pune police, while the two other names in the NIA FIR are activists Gautam Navalkha and Anand Teltumbde.
As per the NIA FIR, the list of accused comprises 11 who have been named as well as “others”.A senior Pune police official said more sections and names of accused could be added by the NIA once all the case papers of the probe are given to the federal agency.
The Pune police had filed two charge sheets in the case. Earlier in the day, the prosecution and the defence sought more time from a Pune court to file their response on the NIA’s application seeking transfer of the Elgar Parishad case to a special NIA court in Mumbai.