Law

Arrested Advocate Surendra Gadling Says Police Framing Him on Alleged Maoist Links

Gadling said the invocation of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against him and other accused for making "rebellious" speeches was a "misuse" of the law.

Pune: Surendra Gadling, who was arrested in June for alleged Maoist links, told a court here on Wednesday that police wanted to take “revenge” on him as he was arguing several cases against them in his capacity as a lawyer.

Arguing for himself on his bail application, Gadling told session judge K.D. Vadhane that he was innocent and should be released.

“Since I have been fighting several cases, including [those under the acts such as] TADA, MCOCA, UAPA, those related to fake encounters by police and also fighting on behalf of tribals, Dalits and minorities in the courts, the police are taking revenge by implicating me in a false case,” he alleged.

Police wanted to settle scores against him as he was successful in almost 99% of cases the cases he took up, Gadling said.

Also read: Activists Arrest Case: Court Seeks Police Reply on Bail Applications

Referring to invocation of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against him and other accused for making “rebellious” speeches, the lawyer said it was a “misuse” of the law.

“According to the constitution, making rebellious speeches is not an act against the sovereignty of the country and does not pose threat to the security of the nation nor does it amount to an act of terrorism,” he said.

The present case, related to organisation of the Elgar Parishad conclave (which, according to police, had some Maoist backers and led to violence at Bhima Koregaon on January 1 this year) in Pune, was registered seven days after the event, he said.

He also questioned the “media trial” in the case and leaking of alleged letters written by Maoists to media before they were examined by forensic experts.

“Police personnel were at the event, but they did not find anything objectionable. It was Tushar Damgude on whose complaint the police registered the case,” he added.

Police did not show the same efficiency when dealing with violence at Bhima Koregaon – where Dalits visiting a war memorial were attacked – and that case was put in “cold storage”, Gadling alleged.

He also questioned the “media trial” in the case and leaking of alleged letters written by Maoists to media before they were examined by forensic experts.

Citing one of the seized letters which talked about planning of a “Rajiv Gandhi-like incident”, Gadling asked if indeed there was a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi, why no case has been registered yet in this regard.

Sudha Bharadwaj’s bail application opposed

The prosecution on Wednesday filed a reply opposing the bail application of co-accused Sudha Bharadwaj, currently under house arrest.

Also Read: ‘If You Try to Be Safe and in the Middle, You Will Never Succeed’

“We will oppose the bail on the grounds that Bharadwaj is an active member of CPI (Maoist), a banned outfit, and was instrumental in mobilisation of funds and cadres, and also their recruitment,” assistant commissioner of police Shivaji Pawar said.

On October 12, the court is likely to hear arguments on the bail plea of another accused, Shoma Sen. Ten persons have been arrested for an alleged plot to assassinate Modi, though no case has been filed yet.

Join The Discussion