Karnataka Police want custody of wanted Maoist leader Varavara Rao

Published: Jul 04, 2019, 15:11 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh

79-year-old P Varavara Rao hails from Hyderabad and is an activist and poet. He is currently in judicial custody at Yerawada Central Prison in Pune

Representational Pic
Representational Pic

The Karnataka police on Wednesday had approached the Pune special judge to permit them to grant the custody of the alleged top urban Maoist leader P Varavara Rao who has been alleged as the key accused by Pune city police in the Elgaar Parishad which triggered the violence at Koregaon Bhima.

The Karnataka police claimed that he was a wanted accused in the 2005 Tumkar Naxal attack case registered with them.

79-year-old P Varavara Rao hails from Hyderabad and is an activist and poet. He is currently in judicial custody at Yerawada Central Prison in Pune. He was arrested by Pune Police on August 28, 2018, in the Elgar Parishad case along with activists Sudha Bhardwaj, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Gautam Navalakha.

Rao has been charge sheeted by Pune city police who are probing the case and claimed that he has been accused of having a nexus with top fugitive Maoist operatives and of being actively involved in the procurement of arms and ammunition, recruitment of students and funding of Maoist activities.

Apart from that, there are various letters in which he has been addressed and he has been communicating with the wanted underground Maoist leader Milind Teltumbde.

On Wednesday, the Karnataka state police sleuth had approached the Pune session court and granted them custody of Rao.

The Karnataka police informed the court and submit documents stating that there is a case against Rao filed with the Pirumani police station in Pavaguda in 2005.

In this case, eight Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldiers were killed in a Maoist attack in 2005. He has been booked under the relevant sections of Indian Penal Code comprising of murder, attempt to murder and also under the relevant sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Explosive Act.

Speaking to Mid-Day a Karnataka police officer said, "Rao is absconding and wanted in our case. On February 6, 2005, Naxal leader Saket Rajan alias Prem was killed in an encounter in Chikkmagaluru (then Chikmagalur) district of Karnataka. In retaliation, Naxals attacked the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) battalion in Venkammanahalli in Tumakuru (then Tumkur) district five days later and killed seven KRSP personnel and a civilian. Rao had addressed public meetings in the Chikkmagaluru area in early 2003. After arresting him, they interrogated him to find out his involvement."

The Police said that the Maoist-backed Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, and the speeches at the event aggravated the violence at the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in Pune district the next day.

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