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Free Elgar Parishad political prisoners, demands Maha CPI(M)

Mumbai: Against the backdrop of the revelations that there was no connection between the Elgar Parishad held in Pune on December 31, 2017 and the caste violence that erupted in Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 2018, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) demanded the immediate release of those arrested in connection with the incidents, here on Saturday.

CPI(M) Secretary Dr Uday Narkar said that the then Investigating Officer of Pune Police Ganesh More had made a deposition to the effect before Justice J. N. Patel Commission which probed the events.

“The Maharashtra State Committee of CPI(M) strongly demands that, in the light of the revelations, all the Bhima-Koregaon and Elgar Parishad political prisoners languishing in prisons must be released immediately,” demanded Dr Narkar.

The plea comes a couple of days after human rights activists, lawyers, academicians and social groups urged for the release of all the prisoners as well as an impartial probe into the allegations of fabricating of evidence an tampering of electronic devices against the accused which have come to the fore, ahead of the sixth anniversary of those twin events.

Dr Narkar pointed out that the deposition by the then IO More “holds seminal importance for the life and well-being of those innocents” who have been spending an indefinite period of their life in unconstitutional confinement.

“One such, Fr Stan Samy – (Fr. Stanislaus Lourduswamy of Tamil Nadu) – an 84-year-old social worker, died in prison, was constantly and inhumanly denied his plea to go home where he could breathe his last. Does the Maharashtra government want the remaining ones also to meet a similar fate?” wondered Dr Narkar.

More has also stated under oath that the Hindutva leaders like Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote were responsible for the violence on January 1, 2018 – marking the 200th anniversary of the war between the Peshwas and the British East India Company.

Dr Narkar said that the then Bharatiya Janata Party Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis held the Home portfolio, and now has regained the same as the Deputy CM after the “thoroughly corrupt and immoral political coup”.

“The 16 innocents, accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, are paying a heavy price for the cynical and evil designs of the RSS and BJP. These falsely accused citizens should be released and all the charges against them be withdrawn with no delay,” said Dr Narkar.

The CPI(M) also demanded that since the accused and their families have undergone tremendous hardships and trauma, all of them must be suitably compensated financially for their illegal incarceration.

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