Elgar Parishad case: Maharashtra government allows persecution of 5 activists for sedition

PUNE: The state government this week granted sanction to prosecute five activists — Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen and Mahesh Raut — arrested in the Elgar Parishad case on charges of sedition and waging war against India among other charges of the Indian Penal Code.

Assistant commissioner of police (Swargate division) on Thursday filed the sanction order issued by deputy secretary (governor’s office) Vijay Patil on December 10 before the special court judge, K D Vadane, through public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar.


Pawar told TOI, “At the time of filing the chargesheet against the five activists and five others on the run, we had mentioned before the court that the investigation officer had submitted a report seeking permission of the government to prosecute the activists for committing a series of offences under Section 153 (A) of the Indian Penal Code among other charges. We had also mentioned that the sanction order would be filed at a later stage.”

She said, “The competent authority, after studying the report, accorded the sanction under Section 196 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code. After receiving the sanction order, we have filed it before the court. We had earlier obtained sanction from the government for prosecuting the activists under the sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,” she added.

Dhawale, Wilson, Gadling, Sen and Raut were arrested on June 6 in the Elgar Parishad case for their alleged link with banned CPI (Maoist) during simultaneous raids conducted by the Pune police. Five other activists were arrested in the case for the same reason in August.

On November 15, the Pune police had filed a chargesheet against Gadling and the four other activists arrested on June 6 and five “underground Maoist operatives”, including three top Maoist leaders, for “plot to kill the Prime Minister of India, conspiracy to create unrest, overthrow the government and wage a war against the country”.

The court on Thursday deferred hearing on the bail plea of Gadling because he, Dhawale, Wilson and Raut were not produced before the court because no escort was available for seeking their custody from the Yerawada central jail. The court will continue with hearing Gadling’s arguments and that of others on December 17.

Activist Sen on Thursday filed her second bail application after the chargesheet against her and the others were filed.