In a new development in the 2017 Elgaar Parishad case, the Pune police on Tuesday has conducted searches at the residence of Delhi University (DU) professor Hany Babu in Noida in Uttar Pradesh for alleged Maoist links. Babu, aged 45 years, teaches English at Delhi University.
"We have conducted a search operation at Hany Babu's residence in Noida in connection with the Elgar Parishad case registered at the Vishrambaug police station in Pune," Assistant Commissioner of Police Shivaji Pawar said, as reported by PTI.
He added that police had recovered some electronic devices, but no arrest had been made so far.
The Elgar conclave was held at historic Shaniwar Wada in Pune on December 31, 2017, ahead of the 200th anniversary of the battle of Koregaon Bhima.
In the 1818 Koregaon-Bhima battle, the then Peshwa rulers were defeated by the British army comprising a large number of Dalit soldiers. Every year, the battle anniversary is marked by thousands of Dalits marching from Pune to the war memorial at Koregaon-Bhima.
According to police, speeches made at the Elgar conclave aggravated the caste violence around Koregaon Bhima village in the district of Pune on January 1, 2018, in which one person, identified as 28-year-old Rahul Fatangale from Nanded, was killed and many others were injured.
In November last year, the Maharashtra police filed a 5,600-page charge sheet at a Pune court. They filed evidence including purported seizures from raids on the activists, letters, call record details, statements of police officers, and people involved in the organization of Elgar Parishad. It went beyond the caste violence and alleged a Maoist conspiracy to stage violent attacks, including a plot to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Police had recovered some documents which talked about a plot to assassinate PM Modi in a way similar to that of that of the Rajiv Gandhi's assassination.
Sudhir Dhavale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, and others were arrested on charges of inciting the Koregaon-Bhima riots. Police have so far arrested nine persons in the case.
In June this year, a team of Pune Police led by Assistant Commissioner Shivaji Pawar raided Stan Swamy’s house and seized digital devices and other material from the spot. According to the Pune Police, Stan Swamy was in touch with accused persons in the case. Incriminating documents and electronic devices including a hard disk have been recovered from his Jharkhand home.