Koregaon-Bhima accused wrongly labelled 'urban Naxals': Raut

Nagpur, Jan 16 (PTI) Maharashtra minister Nitin Raut on Thursday wondered how can someone who has fought for the poor and slum-dwellers be called a Naxal and said an inquiry should be initiated in the arrest of lawyers and activists in the Koregaon-Bhima violence case.

Addressing 'meet the press' programme here, the Congress minister said the erstwhile BJP-led government wrongly projected some intellectuals and authors as 'urban Naxals'.

'The way the previous government projected authors and intellectuals as urban Naxals, I think it was wrong and it should be condemned.

'Someone who is a good person and who has fought for the poor and slum-dwellers how can he be called a Naxal,' Raut asked.

'Hence, an inquiry should be initiated in this issue and discussions are going on to bring those out who are not related to that crime. We have also asked for information on this issue from the police department,' said Raut.

According to the police, the Elgar Parishad conclave held on December 31, 2017, allegedly triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima village in Pune district the next day.

The Pune police have claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists. The parishad, they alleged, instigated violence near Koregaon-Bhima war memorial on January 1, 2018.

The Pune Police had arrested lawyer Surendra Gadling, Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen, Dalit activist Sudhir Dhawale, activist Mahesh Raut and Kerala native Rona Wilson for their alleged links with Maoists. PTI CLS RSY RSY