Sunday, 10 June 2018
Police uncover plot to assassinate Indian PM
During an investigation of Maoist links to the Koregaon-Bhima caste riots, police stumbled upon letters that point to plans to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, officials said yesterday. Police have also released pictures of four more people involved in the Jan. 1 Koregaon-Bhima riots that left one person dead, and have appealed to the public for information on their whereabouts.
One of the incriminating letters was found in the home of Delhi-based activist Rona Wilson, who was among the five activists arrested across India June 6 as part of the probe into the riots conspiracy and "urban Maoist sympathizers."
The letter refers to a requirement of Rs. 8 crore to procure M-4 rifles and 400,000 rounds of ammunition, and speaks of "another Rajiv Gandhi-type incident."
Former Prime Minister Gandhi was killed by a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam suicide bomber during his campaign for the May 1991 Lok Sabha elections in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu. The investigators also claimed that communication seized from a laptop of one of the arrested says
"Modi has successfully established BJP government in more than 15 states... if this pace continues, then it would mean immense trouble for the Maoist party on all fronts."
Accordingly, they were thinking along the lines of "another Rajiv Gandhi-type incident" by "targeting his roadshows," which they thought "could be an effective strategy."
"It sounds suicidal and there is a good chance we might fail but we feel the party must deliberate over our proposal," one of the letter reads.
The latest development follows the arrests of Wilson, who is secretary of the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners; advocate Surendra Gadling, general secretary of the Indian Association of Peoples' Lawyers, Shoma Sen, head of the department of English at Nagpur University; Mumbai journalist and 'Vidrohi' editor Sudhir Dhawale; and Mahesh Raut, a Bharat Jan Andolan activist and former fellow at the Prime Minister's Rural Development Program in Gadchiroli.