New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has claimed that activist Gautam Navlakha had sought “clemency” for Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, a Kashmiri arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2011 for accepting funds from Pakistan’s ISI, ThePrint has learnt.
This is what the NIA has relied upon to establish a link between Navlakha, Fai and Pakistan’s ISI in the Bhima Koregaon charge sheet filed last Friday.
The NIA charge sheet, accessed by ThePrint, stated “Navlakha wrote to the US court seeking clemency for Fai”, but he was convicted and given a two-year jail term.
The charge sheet stated Navlakha met Fai on several occasions and was assigned to “unite the intellectuals against government forces to defeat them both physically and otherwise”.
When ThePrint contacted Navlakha’s lawyer Ragini Ahuja, she said she will be able to comment after she has gone through the charge sheet, a copy of which hasn’t yet been given to the accused.
In its charge sheet, the NIA also named Goa Institute of Management professor Anand Teltumbde, Delhi University associate professor Hany Babu, artistes of Kabir Kala Manch Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor, and Jyoti Jagtap, human rights activist Stan Swamy and CPI(Maoist) leader Milind Teltumbde under sections of criminal conspiracy, sedition and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
‘Asked to make recruitments’
The charge sheet claimed Navlakha was assigned a task for “recruitment of the cadres for the guerilla activities of CPI (Maoists)”.
The charge sheet also said Navlakha was introduced to Pakistan’s ISI general in one of the meetings by Fai for “making recruitments” as he was an “influencer”.
“Navlakha was introduced to an ISI general for recruitment by Fai at ISI’s direction which shows a nexus between Fai, Navlakha and ISI,” the charge sheet said.
The NIA has also put on record a document from the US court to state how Fai was related to the ISI, in turn establishing his link with Navlakha.
‘Press release cited as evidence for links with CPI(Maoist)’
The charge sheet further said Navlakha propagated Maoist agenda and fixed appointments “under the garb of fact-finding missions”.
“He delivered speeches at programmes and events related to separatist’s movement and Maoist movement,” the charge sheet stated.
The NIA put on record a “press release of CPI(Maoist)” recovered from Navlakha and some documents to show “secret communication” with workers of the banned outfit.
The NIA charge sheet also claimed Navlakha was invited to speak at conferences for Kashmir American Council, and the visits were facilitated by Fai.
This, the NIA has again showed as “evidence” to establish nexus between Fai, ISI and Navlakha.
“He not only visited the US but also Kashmir and Pakistan several times. Why were these trips being funded for Navlakha?” a source in the NIA said.
“It clearly shows that there was a motive behind these meetings held in the garb of conferences,” the source added.
The charge sheet also mentioned that Navlakha was in constant touch with Hany Babu, who was assigned to “complete urban activities of CPI(Maoist), which includes release of (DU professor G.N.) Saibaba”.
The charge sheet stated that while Navlakha was referred to as ‘Darbar’ in secret code, activists VaraVara Rao was ‘CC/Chief’, Sudha Bharadwaj was ‘Kaveri’ and Rona Wilson was ‘Kuppu’.
Rao, Bharadwaj and Wilson have all been named in the charge sheet of Pune Police in 2018.
‘Visited Dandakaranya to meet Ganapathy’
To establish that Navlakha had “close links” with the banned CPI(Maoist) and was “working against the nation”, the NIA in its charge sheet said Navlakha “visited Dandakaranya, an advance guerilla zone of Indian revolution with Jan Mydral, a Swedish author and son of Nobel Peace laureate Alva Myrdal”.
Jan Mydral had interviewed Muppala Lakshman Rao alias Ganapathi, the general secretary of CPI (Maoist), who stepped down in 2018.
In a 22-page interview, which was given in January 2010 from an undisclosed location in Eastern Ghats, Ganapathi had threatened more Dantewada-type attacks and spoke of how Naxals have been positioning themselves to gain ground.
Ganapathi was referring to the killing of 76 security personnel in Dantewada in April 2010. The security personnel were ambushed by around 1,000 Maoists, who attacked them from a hill top, giving the jawans no chance to retaliate.
In that interview, Ganapathi had also expressed solidarity with Kashmiri separatists and Northeastern insurgents to form a “united front” in the future.
“Navlakha had facilitated that meeting and that interview. He had gone to meet Ganapathi with the author,” the source quoted above said.