Maharashtra police claims letter seized from Gautam Navlakha talks about links with Kashmiri separatists

Maharashtra police claims letter seized from Gautam Navlakha talks about links with Kashmiri separatists

Pune: A letter, which the Maharashtra police claim to have recovered during its multi-city raids two days back, alleges that one of the five arrested activists Gautam Navlakha was in contact with Kashmiri separatists.

The undated letter in Hindi, written by some ‘Comrade Sudha’ to some ‘Comrade Prakash, also talks about giving financial help to the “comrades” working in the “interiors”, as is supposedly done by backers of militants and stone pelters in Kashmir. Navlakha was one of the five Left-wing activists arrested for alleged Maoist links during raids by the Pune police at nine places across various states on Tuesday. Others arrested were Left-leaning poet Varavara Rao in Hyderabad, activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai and trade unionist and lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj in Haryana’s Faridabad.

The raids were carried out as part of a probe into a conclave — Elgar Parishad — held in Pune on December 31 last year, which had allegedly triggered violence at Bhima Koregaon in the district the next day. The Supreme Court, after being approached by some prominent people to challenge the arrests, ordered yesterday that the five should be kept under house arrest till September 6. Yesterday, special public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar had told the Pune court that the police has seized some letters which showed a connection between the Maoists and other banned organisations including some outfits operating in Jammu and Kashmir.

A letter, a copy of which is in PTI’s possession, reads: “Comrade Ankit and Comrade Gautam Navlakha are in contact with Kashmiri separatists.” It was not clear from the letter as to who “Sudha”, “Prakash” or “Ankit” are. It goes on to say: “After Saibaba’s imprisonment, there is an atmosphere of fear among urban cadres. To minimise that fear, there is a need to provide monetary package to the comrades working in interiors on the line of financial aid provided by Kashmiri separatists to the stone pelters, militant organisations and their families.”

Such aid, the letter states, will make the “comrades” mentally stronger to face any situation. “Saibaba” apparently is former Delhi University teacher G N Saibaba who was convicted for Maoist links last year. The letter also says that “Comrade Prakash” could be consulted for legal aid for a case pertaining to the use of pellet guns which is in the Supreme Court. The writer of the letter also talks about a need to publicise videos of alleged human rights violations in the Kashmir valley by the “enemy” on social as well as other media.



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