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Bhima-Koregaon case: JNU, TISS students were recruited for terror, says NIA

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Mumbai/New Delhi, Aug 23. In stunning revelations, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has said that the 22 main accused in the Bhima-Koregaon and Elgar Parishad cases had allegedly recruited students of at least two top Indian universities for terror activities in the country, including Maharashtra.

The NIA statement comes in the draft charges filed in the twin cases against 16 arrested accused and six other absconders in the sensational cases that have rocked the Indian polity for the past four years.

As per the NIA, the accused had “recruited students from various universities, including the reputed Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi) and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai), for the commission of terrorist activities”.

The draft charges were filed before the NIA special court last week after its main and supplementary chargesheets were filed earlier, after long investigations into the two cases.

When contacted, NIA sources declined to comment, saying the agency has already filed its chargesheet in the case and the draft charges are court documents.

Among other things, the accused are charged with promoting the activities and ideologies of banned outfits, and mobilising and training people and students in handling sophisticated arms and explosives.

Reacting to the developments, Pune-based social activist Prafful Sarda wondered if the NIA’s contentions are true, why the current BJP government at the Centre gave maximum aid of Rs 1,515 crore to JNU, as per the figures provided under RTI.

“Does it mean that the Centre is funding and giving subsidies to such terror institutions? A reminder, even Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharamanji is a JNU alumnus,” said Sarda.

The NIA’s draft charges say the larger objective was to conspire against and destabilise the governments of India and Maharashtra and threaten their sovereignty with large-scale violence.

To achieve these objectives, the accused — through a banned Leftist organisation and its frontal outfits — had arranged to raise Rs 8 crore for annual supplies of sophisticated weapons, the NIA said.

These include: Chinese QLZ87 Automatic Grenade Launcher, Russian GM-94 Grenade Launcher, M-4 carbines with 4,00,000 rounds, nitrate powder, wires, nails, logistics, and procuring arms from suppliers in Manipur and neighbouring Nepal to undermine the Centre and the Maharashtra government.

The arrested accused in the cases are: Sudhir P. Dhawale, Vernon S. Gonsalves (both from Mumbai), Arun T. Fereira from Thane, Sagar Gorkhe from Ahmednagar, Ramesh Gaichor from Pune, Surendra P. Gadling, Shoma K. Sen, Mahesh S. Raut (all from Nagpur), and Anand B. Teltumbde from Yavatmal — all in Maharashtra.

The arrested accused also include Rona J. Wilson and Gautam Navlakha from Delhi, P. Varavara Rao from Hyderabad, Sudha Bharadwaj from Faridabad, Hany Babu M. Tharayil from Trichur, and the late Stan Swamy from Tamil Nadu, who died in Mumbai on July 5 while in custody.

The absconder-accused are: Milind Teltumbde aliases Dipak and Sahyadri from Yavatmal, Prakash Goswami and Ritupan Goswami from Assam, Kishan Bose from Kolkata, Mupalla Laxman Rao, Chandrashekhar, Manglu and Deepu.

The NIA said that all the accused are ‘active members’ of the banned terrorist organisation CPI (Maoist), which was declared unlawful by the Union Home Ministry in 2009, and another 10 frontal units, including the Kabir Kala Manch, which had organised the Elgar Parishad in Pune on December 31, 2017, the alleged fallout of which were the caste riots in Bhima-Koregaon on January 1, 2018.

The other frontal wings are: Anuradha Ghandy Memorial Committee, Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee, Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights, Peoples Union for Democratic Rights, Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisation, Democratic Students Union, Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan, and Revolutionary Writers Association.

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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