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Bhima Koregaon: Umar Khalid Claims He Was Invited To Elgar Parishad By Former Judge Of Bombay High Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
17 April 2022 5:00 AM GMT
Bhima Koregaon: Umar Khalid Claims He Was Invited To Elgar Parishad By Former Judge Of Bombay High Court
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The National Investigating Agency (NIA) submitted a bunch of additional documents and witness statements to the court in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad Case, in which student rights activist Umar Khalid claims that he heard that BJP-RSS persons had attacked visitors at the Bhima-Koregaon, near Pune. On January 1, 2018 several Dalit's had gathered to commemorate a...

The National Investigating Agency (NIA) submitted a bunch of additional documents and witness statements to the court in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad Case, in which student rights activist Umar Khalid claims that he heard that BJP-RSS persons had attacked visitors at the Bhima-Koregaon, near Pune.

On January 1, 2018 several Dalit's had gathered to commemorate a 200th anniversary of the battle in which the British, with the support of Dalits, defeated the Peshwa army.

The documents also include 'evidence' collected against Father Stan Swamy, from Ranchi, nearly a year after he passed away.

The NIA recorded Khalid's statement, who is presently in Tihar Central Prison in the Delhi riots larger conspiracy case. While it is the agency's case that inflammatory speeches at the Elgar Parishad event led to violence at Bhima Koregaon, Khalid claims he heard a different story.

Khalid said that he was in Pune for the Elgar-Parishad event organised a day before the Bhima Koregaon celebration, following an invitation from former Bombay High Court Judge, Justice BG Kolse Patil. He was in fact put up at Justice Patil's residence.

The student activist said that no one had given him a script to be read at Elgar Parishad. "Before delivering a speech at any place, I take local knowledge from any known person," he said.

"After completion of my speech I went back to Shri Kolse Patil's house. Next day many media persons came to take bite of Jignesh Mewani…he had won the election in Gujarat. I had also given bite to one media person," Khalid said in his statement.

He added, "At the time many persons related to Elgar Parishad event were present in the house of BG Kolse Patil. At about 11 hrs I came to know that BJP-RSS persons attacked people who came to visit Bhima- Koregaon."

Regarding his mention in two letters between Com M to Comrade Rona and R to Comrade Prakash, Khalid said that he was seeing the original for the first time and doesn't know why his name is mentioned.

"The second letter shown to me, which I have seen 1st time and I state that I don't have any connection with CPI (Maoist) party."

After an MA in history from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, Khalid said he completed his PhD from the same in 2018. He said researcher and accused in the case Rona Wilson would visit his college to give lectures and would often talk about political prisoners.

"As per Rona Wilson G.N. Saibaba is political prisoner. I have also attended the meetings of Release for G.N. Sal Baba in meeting of release of political prisoner, I have seen Hany Babu, Gautam Navikha and many others. I knew Arun Ferreira, I have attended the function of inauguration of his book "Colour of Cage," his statement says.

Bhima Koregaon Case

The Bhima Koregaon battle was fought between 25,000 mighty Peshwa army and 500 British soldiers, including people from the Mahar (Dalit) community. The names of martyrs in the war are inscribed in the memorial by the British Army back then.

The hundreds of people visiting the war memorial at Bhima Koregaon were attacked on January 1, 2018, after violence erupted. They were mainly from the Dalit community, and one died in the stone-pelting.

An FIR was registered regarding the violence the same day. Another FIR by right-wing activist Tushar Damgude filed on January 8, 2018, was pursued. The houses of several activists, including Rona Wilson's and advocate Surendra Gadling were searched on April 17, 2018. It was alleged that the violence at Bhima Koregaon resulted from inflammatory speeches held at the Elgar Parishad conference on December 31, 2017.

The scope of the investigation was eventually widened, with the Pune police claiming retrieval of incriminating documents in the form of electronic records. This included an email written by a certain 'R' to Comrade Prakash on April 18, 2017 talking of a "Rajiv Gandhi-type" operation. The email was part of the documents investigated by Arsenal earlier.

The 16 people accused in the case are as follows — Jyoti Raghoba Jagtap, Sagar Tatyaram Gorkhe, Ramesh Murlidhar Gaichor, Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson, Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha, Hany Babu and late Father Stan Swamy.

Most of the accused in the case were neither named in the FIR over the violence nor present during the 2017 event.


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