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Abhishek Dey @abhishekdey04
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#activists arrested:
Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and VV Rao produced at the Pune sessions court at 3.35 pm. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(2/n) Prosecutor reads "resolutions" of groups referred to as "anti-fascist" front. Says intention was to overthrow government. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(3/n) state prosecutor says one of the resolutions directly called for "waging war against the State". Elgaar Parishad was formed through Kabir Kala Manch by the "anti-fascist" front. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(4/m) prosecutor tells court all accused are "active members" of Communist Party of India (Maoist). Also cites GN Saibaba case. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(5/n) Prosecutors mention about fund of Rs 8 cr sought for M-4 arms and 4 lakh rounds, as alleged by Tushar Damude in his police complaint lodged in January. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(6/n) Here comes the Modi assasination letter. Prosecutor tells court about threat of Rajiv Gandhi-like assasination attack. First letter submitted to court. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(7/n) Prosecutor: "anti-fascist front" which works for "CPI(Maoist)" had also started negotiating with an arms dealer based in Nepal. Accused VV Rao was acting as conduit. Prosecutor then submits catalogue of arms allegedly received from dealer. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(8/n) prosecution points out "FFT" is a term for Fact Finding Team used by Maoists. Mentions conversations between Ferreira and Maoist leaders. Says his photo exhibitions on mob "launching" across cities, creates anti-govt opinion among young minds. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(9/n) Prosecution: Ferreira's work is nothing but propaganda for Maoists which inspires many young minds and eventually push them to the jungles to join Maoists. So, he is also involved in recruitment. Two students were specifically radicalised by him. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(10/n) prosecution (panting): the accused are involved in hiring of young students, their recruitment, their training as Maoists. prosecutor gives up English and starts in Marathi. Talks about Nepal, Manipur. Hence, they were arrested. Magistrate nods. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(11/n) Prosecution (Now in Hindi): Funds were basically routed in the garb of fact finding. Cites another letter recovered from memory chip, in which one comrade (VV Rao) rants about not receiving Rs 15 lakh in time. Another letter coming up... @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(12/n) Prosecution: Current priorities of the Maoists are:
1. Release of GN SaiBaba.
2. Hiring of best lawyer for release of comrades arrested in Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(13/n) Prosecution: Back to new letter, Arun Ferreira was about to leave for Kerala on Internatioal Human Rights Day to meet more Maoist cadres. He was to go there to convince young leaders to talk with VV Rao and take a call on qhat to do about Saibaba. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(14/n) Prosecution: On 16 Nov 2018, Ferreira was to leave for a recruitment drive across several states. He has deleted data.
Though the word "Urban Naxalites" is not clearly defined, but their systematic operations, the evidence, etc suggest so. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(15/n) Prosecution brings in #notebandi . VV Rao was supposed to send funds to Gadchiroli (Maharashtra) but he failed because of cash crunch and so many comrades were unhappy with him. Prosecution cites another letter (I have lost count). @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(16/n) Sudden awkward silence. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(17/n) Prosecutor fishes out another letter from bag. This times she murmurs to the magistrate. "Comrade G had explicitly expressed desire to meet Comrade V at the earliest this year amd teach him on how to influence students in Aurangabad, Mumbai, etc." @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(18/n) Prosecution Summarises : All the accused present before the court today had togetherly formed the All India United Front, which is nothing but an "anti-fascist" front. (I repeat, a lawyer representing the state acknowledges fascism) @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(19/n) Prosecution: the front was formed entirely to overthrow the government.
"They are not innocent, they are intelligent people. They engage in recruitment, they engage in training, in dealing of arms..." @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(20/n) *Important*
prosecutor: though their names are not there in the FIR, it is not in mandate of the law that there should be names of all suspects in FIR. Their names emerged during investigation into Elgaar Parashad. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(21/n) prosecution: for all accused who claimed that they do not understand Marathi, the state has made sure that the panchnama is translated for them. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(22/n) Prosecution: Explains meaning of conspiracy. Follows that up with saying that there are more letters which prove that leading Maoist comrades were happy with the work of the accused in the case. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(23/n) prosecution reads one letter saying Maoist leaders have acknowledged that Jignesh Mevani and Umar Khalid could make good full-time comrades if cultivated properly. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(24/n) Prosecution mentions Maoist links with unrest in Jammu and Kashmir. Alleges that accused were conduits. But she is yet to explain how.
Ends argument.
(25/n) Rohan Nahar, defence lawyer begins.
(26/n) Nahar cites provisions of UAPA concerning references to substances including bombs, firearms, or other substances that could be radioactive or hazardous in nature and potential damage. No such instances happened in Bhima Koregaon. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(27/n) Nahar challenges 'intent' of 'inciting speech' (assuming the suspects had indulged) eventually leading to violence in Bhima Koregaon. Which of the incitements does the police think calls for "waging war against state"? @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(28/n) What are the grounds of pressing UAPA?
Raids have taken place and materials were seized. What does those document suggest? Does that prove 'motive' or 'intent' under UAPA? The documants have been submitted for the court's perusal. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(29/n) Nahar cites Delhi HC's stay on Navlakha's transit remand to challenge pressing of UAPA. "Communications with any higher ups (if any) has got nothing to do with Bhima Koregao, unless the person is proved to be a direct member of a banned outfit."
@AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(30/n) Def. lawyer Rahul Deshmukh starts arguments. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(31/n) Def: Challenges what is "illegal" in forming a fact finding committee? What is wrong in that?
Meanwhile, murmur reaches the courtroom about Supreme Court's 5-days' house arrest order for all 5 accused.
Argument continues. @AarefaJohari @scroll_in
(n/n) Apologies for leaving the thread midway for a police press briefing. Had passed the torch to @AarefaJohari who did a splendid job. The court was adjourned for 30 mins. And then people returned enlightened: knowing about what the SC said. Thanks all for following the thread.
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