Saturday, October 17, 2020

NIA cites Stan Swamy ‘letter’ in chargesheet to bolster Elgar case

Bharti Jain | TNN | Updated: Oct 18, 2020, 09:18 IST

NEW DELHI: Nation Investigation Agency (NIA), which is facing flak from some quarters for the arrest of Jharkhand-based activist Stan Swamy, is relying on a letter as crucial piece of evidence against the octogenarian Jesuit priest chargesheeted last week for helping the outlawed CPI(Maoist).

The communication allegedly written to a fellow CPI(Maoist) comrade by Stan Swamy had called the leakage of letters meant for senior leaders of the outlawed outfit, “extremely worrisome”, blaming it on their limited knowledge of methods of forensic data recovery. In the letter, which was submitted as evidence in the chargesheet filed by NIA in the Bhima-Koregaon-Elgar-Parishad case, Stan said such “grave mistakes” come with “heavy costs” of exposing the “secret channels and our open comrades who operate these channels, leading to their prolonged incarceration”.

He underlined the need to enhance knowledge among cadres about such forensic data recovery methods “in order to prevent future mistakes”.

Meanwhile, another letter from co-accused Rona Wilson to an unidentified fellow comrade, which also forms part of the chargesheet seen by TOI, pitches for formation of an anti-fascist front on the direction of the CPI(Maoist) “by giving traction” to movements of Dalits taking shape in south Tamil Nadu and Gujarat and of Muslim minorities in 


, Karnataka and Maharashtra" and offering activists behind these movements militant training in “revolutionary armed struggle areas”. Such a front, she purportedly says, should confront “fascist” forces on the ground at the village, small town and cities and neighbourhood levels in urban areas.

NIA chargesheet also states that lawyer-activist Gautam Navlakha was fixing appointments and meetings between active urban cadres and underground leaders of CPI(Maoist) under the garb of “fact-finding missions”.

In the alleged letter by Stan, recovered from an electronic device seized by NIA even though it was delivered by a human courier, he rues how the exposure of secret communications had added to the damage in Maharashtra, 


 and Andhra Pradesh. Stan also expressed worry over the absence of Varavara Rao due to his incarceration, saying there was no senior leader of equal experience to guide the Maoists and People’s War cadres in a coordinated fashion. This, he warned, could further split leading comrades working at all-India level and discourage new comrades from joining CPI(Maoist).

Stan, as per the letter, also said the arrests in Maharashtra and Delhi (a reference to Elgar-Parishad case) had “severely crippled our legal defence group” handling defence of political prisoners. NIA sources claimed the reference was to co-accused Navlakha. “Ones left are not experienced enough to correctly understand and counter the shrewd, multi-faceted strategy employed by the enemy forces,” he pointed out.

Calling the state police “a chronic pain” for continuously disrupting CPI(Maoist) activity in urban and interior areas, he said Hindu ideological forces were seeking to reap electoral benefits, “as we lose base among the poor and middle classes”.

"We we must do everything that is possible with the current human and financial resources to disrupt the fake development propaganda disseminated by slander campaign of BJP/RSS corporate-friendly family,” adds Stan, as per the letter perused by TOI.

Pointing to “cues from recent events in (West) Bengal”, the Jharkhand-based priest purportedly states that the central committee (CC) of CPI(Maoist) was closely watching BJP political strategy and had vowed not to let it succeed at any level. Stating that the arrest of G N Saibaba and Rona Wilson had disrupted communication with international Maoist forces, he said DU assistant professor and co-accused in Elgar Parishad case Hany Babu had been tasked by CC to assume responsibility of international cooperation. NIA has charged Hany Babu with coordinating visits by foreign mediapersons to Maoist strongholds.

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