In a major development, Varavara Rao was taken into custody by the Karnataka Police on Wednesday in connection with the 2005 Tumkur Naxal attack case. Rao is currently in judicial custody in Pune in the Bhima Koregaon case. A senior officer at the Pune police station said the Bengaluru police took Rao's custody in the 2005 Tumkur Naxal attack case.
On February 6, 2005, Maoist leader Saket Rajan alias Prem was killed in an encounter in Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka. In retaliation, Maoists attacked the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) battalion in Venkammanahalli in Tumkur district five days later and killed seven KRSP personnel and a civilian. Varavara Rao had addressed public meetings in the Chikkmagaluru area in early 2003.
Rao's arrest in Bhima Koregaon case
Earlier on August 28, 2018, Varavara Rao was arrested by the Pune police in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case along with Sudha Bhardwaj, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, and Gautam Navalakha. Rao was accused of having a nexus with top fugitive Maoist operatives and of being actively involved in the procurement of arms and ammunition, recruitment of students and funding of Maoist activities. After Rao's house arrest ended on November 15, he was taken into custody in Hyderabad November 17, and his petition to quash the transit remand was disposed of by a court there on November 16.
Police said the Maoist-backed Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, and the speeches at the event aggravated the violence at the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in Pune district the next day.
The police, in its charge sheet, had alleged that the "speeches delivered at Elgaar Parishad aggravated the Bhima Koregaon violence."
The charge sheet further stated that a letter recovered from one of the arrested accused revealed that a conspiracy was being framed to plan a Rajiv Gandhi like assassination to take down Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
(With PTI inputs)