Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday produced Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) members and cultural activists Sagar Gorkhe (32) and Ramesh Gaichor (36) before a special court after their arrest the previous day.
The agency on Tuesday also arrested Gaichor’s wife and activist Jyoti Jagtap, 33 from Pune, who was also associated with KKM at a point. She will be produced before the court today (Wednesday).
The court remanded Gorkhe and Gaichor in the agency’s custody till 11 September. The agency through Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Shetty sought their custodial interrogation for eight days stating that their names have reflected in the Pune police FIR and that the police had not arrested them then. He also told the court that they are deeply involved in the conspiracy and associated with the banned organization CPI(Moist).
Defence Advocate Nihalsing Rathod opposed their custodial interrogation and argued that nothing specific has been stated in their plea as to why custody is required. Rathod also filed a plea stating that Gorkhe and Gaichor were coerced to give statements during interrogation and demanded the copies of videography of the interrogation. The agency however told the court said that no videography was done of the interrogation.
A press release by the NIA stated that the three are members of Kabir Kala Manch and called the organization a ‘frontal organization’ of the banned terrorist organization CPI (Maoist). It said further that during their visits to jungles they had undergone weapons training and awareness programmes on topics related to the Maoist movement. It said further that the three were in contact with absconding accused Milind Teltumbde (brother of Anand Teltumbde, an accused in the case) regarding the urban network of the CPI (Maoist).
The trio have been named in the Pune police’s initial FIR in the case. The NIA which took over the case earlier this year from the Pune police, said it found during investigation that the three now arrested were propagating Naxal ideology and Maoist activities and were co-conspirators of the other accused in the case.