Maharashtra cops crack down on ‘urban Maoist sympathisers’

Mumbai, June 6 (IANS): In a multi-city crackdown on so-called “urban Maoist sympathisers”, the Pune police on Wednesday arrested at least three prominent Dalit activists from Maharashtra and New Delhi in connection with provocative speeches at a gathering in Pune in December 2017, official sources said.

 

Among those nabbed in the early morning operations include Sudhir Dhawale from Mumbai, advocate Surendra Gadling from Nagpur and Dalit activist Rona Wilson from New Delhi.

 

Besides, police teams raided the homes of other activists like Shoma Sen in Nagpur, and Mahesh Raut in Mumbai.

 

Last April the Pune police had raided homes and offices of these activists in different parts of the country and even questioned them for their involvement in various activities.

 

A senior journalist, Dhawale was the organiser of the Elgaar Parishad gathering on December 31, in Shaniwarwada, Pune, through the leftist Kabir Kala Manch, which triggered a series of major political developments earlier this year.

 

It was addressed, among others, by Gujarat Dalit leader and MLA Jignesh Mewani, JNU student leader Umar Khalid, Chhattisgarh activist Soni Sori and Bhim Army President Vinay Ratan Singh.

 

A day later, there was the outbreak of caste riots in the Koregaon-Bhima (on January 1) which left at least one dead, and then a retaliatory Maharashtra shutdown call issued by Bharipa Bahujan Mahajan Sangh leader Prakash Ambedkar and other parties on January 3.