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'Police gave me electric shocks during interrogation'

During the hearing of alleged Maoist operative Arun Bhelke and his wife, the 38-year-old claimed that the ATS team beat him up and tortured him with electric shocks

After the arrest of alleged Maoist operative, Arun Bhelke (38) on Monday, the Pune unit of Anti-Terrorism Squad also picked up his wife Kanchan Ranavare yesterday, and the couple were produced in the court of the judicial magistrate (first class) around 3.30 pm.

Arun Bhelke
Top operative held: Arun Bhelke and his wife Kanchan Ranavare were produced in Shivajinagar court on Tuesday.  Pic/Dattatraya Adhalge

During the hearing, Bhelke alleged that the ATS team gave him electric shocks and he was beaten black and blue during his interrogation. After his statement, the couple was taken to Sassoon Hospital for a medical check up and was re-produced to court at 5 pm.

Ranavare was arrested from her house at Jadhav chawl, where the couple had reportedly been staying for the last
20 days.

Copspeak
Sunil Tambe, the investigation officer of ATS, told the court, “Bhelke was staying in different places in Pune under different names and he and his wife had made fake pan cards and Aadhar cards. We are currently investigating how the couple got hold of the fake IDs.” Tambe added that Ranavare had been absconding since 2008 and has a case registered against her at Chandrapur police station, along with her husband. “Aside from the fake IDs, we also found four mobile phones, SD cards and around R90,000 in cash,” he said.

The defence lawyers, Wajed Khan and T C Shaikh, opposed the police custody and requested bail for the duo. “Police found books related to Mahatma Gandhi and Dr B R Ambedkar, which is not a crime. Also, R90,000, which they had in the house for personal use, is not a significant amount of money.” However, after hearing both the sides, the bench remanded the couple in police custody till September 9.

Who is Arun Bhelke?

Arun Bhelke, alias, Rajan, is an alleged senior underground urban operative of Communist Party of India (CPI) Maoist, and the founder president of Deshbhakta Yuva Manch. He was arrested on September 1 by ATS from his residence at Chandrapur and his wife, Kanchan Ranavare, was arrested from Pune the next day.

Bhelke had been absconding for the last six years, after he was booked under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Arms Act at Chandrapur police station.

Bhelke was operating under different names like Sharman Jadhav, Sanjay Kamble, Rajan, Sangharsh, Anand, Aditya Suresh Patil and his wife used aliases like Bhoomi, Sonali Aditya Patil, Kanchan Arun Bhelake and Sheetal Akash Bhagat.

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