NATIONAL NEWS

‘Maoists plot to assassinate Modi, Fadnavis’

Pune, June 8: Police, investigating the Maoist links to the Koregaon-Bhima caste riots, have stumbled upon letters that point to plans to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, officials said here on Friday. Police have also released pictures of four more persons involved in the Koregaon-Bhima riots of January 1, that left one person dead, and appealed to the public to inform them of their whereabouts.

One of the incriminating letters has been found from the home of Delhi-based activist Rona Wilson, who was among the five activists arrested from different parts of India on Wednesday as part of the probe into the riots conspiracy and “urban Maoist sympathisers”. The letter refers to a requirement of Rs 8 crore to procure M-4 rifles and 400,000 rounds and speaks of “another Rajiv Gandhi-type incident”. The investigators also claimed that the communication seized from the laptop of one of the arrested persons says that “Modi has successfully established BJP government in more than 15 states… if this pace continues, then it would mean immense trouble for the Maoist party on all fronts”. “It sounds suicidal and there is a good chance we might fail but we feel the party must deliberate over our proposal,” one of the letter reads.

The latest development in case follows the arrests of Wilson, who is the secretary of Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners, advocate Surendra Gadling, General Secretary of Indian Association of Peoples’ Lawyers, Shoma Sen, Head of Department of English at Nagpur University (both from Nagpur), Mumbai journalist and ‘Vidrohi’ editor Sudhir Dhawale, and Mahesh Raut, an activist of Bharat Jan Andolan and a former Fellow at Prime Minister’s Rural Development programme in Gadchiroli. Charged under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, they were produced before a Pune court and have been sent to police custody till June 14.

The Wednesday arrests were made on the basis of a complaint lodged by police in Pune on January 8 after the Elgaar Parishad on December 31, organised by the Kabir Kala Manch, and later the Koregaon-Bhima riots. The latest developments of Maoist plans to assassinate the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister have evoked reactions from different political parties in the country. (IANS)