Pune Police
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The city police is investigating a letter, intercepted during the arrest of five persons with alleged Maoist links, suggesting an assassination plan.

Mumbai: The Pune Police is investigating a letter, intercepted during the arrest of five persons with alleged Maoist links, suggesting an alleged plan to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi by targeting his road shows without naming the PM directly.

The letter, details of which were put forward before a Pune court Thursday, purportedly mentions a ‘Rajiv Gandhi type’ incident.

A suicide bomber from neighbouring Sri Lanka had assassinated the former prime minister and Congress leader at Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, on 21 May, 1991.

The Pune Police recovered the letter from the residence of one of the five persons arrested Wednesday, including a Dalit rights activist, an advocate, a professor and a former fellow of PM’s rural development programme. The police said, those arrested were organisers of the Elgaar Parishad in Pune on 31 December, and it is investigating whether speeches made at this event led to the 1 January Bhima Koregaon violence.

District government pleader Ujjwala Pawar told a Pune court about the intercepted letter while seeking custody of the five persons arrested — Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale, Shoma Sen and Mahesh Raut — and booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Pravin Mundhe, deputy commissioner of police, said, “We are still investigating. The matter is sensitive and hence confidential. We cannot say anything till we file a chargesheet in the matter.” Mundhe was part of the team that made the arrests.

Even as the Pune Police investigates the matter, the union home ministry is likely to intervene, a state government source said.

In a press conference Thursday, joint commissioner of police Ravindra Kadam said the city police searched the houses of the accused following due procedure. “We found evidence, books, letters. In Delhi and Nagpur, at the homes of Gadling and Rona Wilson, we found and seized laptops, computer hard disks and external drives, which were sent to forensics,” Kadam said. He remained unavailable for comment Friday.

Meanwhile, sources in the state home department said that chief minister Devendra Fadnavis too has received letters threatening him and his family for action against Naxalites.

A senior official in the department said, “The chief minister’s office received two letters, one on 13 May and the other on 18 May this year, threatening him of dire consequences following the operation against Naxalites in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district in April.”

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