Elgar Parishad case: Gautam Navlakha had connections with Pakistani ISI agent arrested in the US, says NIA

Elgar Parishad case: Gautam Navlakha had connections with Pakistani ISI agent arrested in the US, says NIA

The statement was made by the NIA in its affidavit filed before the Bombay High Court while opposing Navlakha’s bail plea.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Wednesday, February 22, 2023, 07:18 AM IST
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Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has claimed that Activist Gautam Navlakha, arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, had connections with a Pakistani ISI agent arrested in the US. 

The statement was made by the NIA in its affidavit filed before the Bombay High Court while opposing Navlakha’s bail plea. 

A division bench of Justices A S Gadkari and P D Naik kept the application for hearing on February 27.

Direct impact on the national security, unity and sovereignty, says NIA

The investigating agency has also claimed that Navlakha  had "committed acts that had a direct impact on the national security, unity and sovereignty."  It claimed that he visited the United States thrice to speak at the Kashmiri American Council Conference organised by Ghulam Nabi Fai with whom Navlakha was in touch regularly.

"Ghulam Nabi Fai was arrested by the (US agency) FBI in July 2011 for accepting funds from the ISI and Pakistan government....Navlakha had written a letter to the judge of the US court trying Ghulam Nabi Fai's case for clemency," the NIA said.

The affidavit further read: “Gautam Navlakha was introduced to a Pakistani ISI General for his recruitment by Ghulam Nabi Fai on the direction of the ISI, showing his nexus and complicity with Ghulam Nabi Fai and Pakistani ISI.” 

Following the Supreme Court order, Navlakha is, at present, under house arrest on health grounds. 

"Maoist ideology"

Further, the NIA has said that the activist has "deep links with CPI (Maoist) and he espouses Maoist ideology and anti-government utterances through his various lectures and videos." The objective of these activities was to overthrow the government.

Navlakha was assigned tasks such as uniting intellectuals against government forces and recruitment of cadres for "guerrilla activities of CPI (Maoist)", it added. 

He was not merely supporting a banned terror organisation but had an active role in furthering CPI (Maoist) activities, it contended.

The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017. The police claimed that it triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in Pune district. It is also alleged that the conclave was backed by Maoists. More than a dozen activists and academicians have been arrested for their complicity in the case. The probe was subsequently transferred to the NIA. 

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