A day after the police claimed that they had stumbled upon letters that point to plans to allegedly assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, writer and Maoist ideologue Vara Vara Rao hit back.
Rao’s name had reportedly surfaced in one of the letters, which refers to a requirement of Rs 8 crore to procure M-4 rifles and 400,000 rounds and speaks of "another Rajiv Gandhi-type incident".
Speaking to reporters in Hyderabad, Rao said, “I have absolutely nothing to do with the claims made in the letter. The police cannot do anything other than arrest me and foist false cases against me. The people arrested by the Pune police had all been working for the downtrodden and the release of political prisoners. They are not involved in murder politics.”
He also alleged that the letter was planted.
The police said that they found the letters while investigating the alleged Maoist links to the Koregaon-Bhima caste riots, that left one person dead.
One of the alleged incriminating letters has been found from the home of Delhi-based activist Rona Wilson, who was among the five activists arrested from different parts of India on Wednesday as part of the probe into the riots conspiracy and "urban Maoist sympathisers".
The investigators also claimed that the communication seized from the laptop of one of the arrested persons says that "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 though "could be an effective strategy".
The latest development in case follows the arrests of Wilson, who is the secretary of Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners, advocate Surendra Gadling, General Secretary of Indian Association of Peoples' Lawyers, Shoma Sen, Head of Department of English at Nagpur University (both from Nagpur), Mumbai journalist and 'Vidrohi' editor Sudhir Dhawale, and Mahesh Raut, an activist of Bharat Jan Andolan and a former Fellow at Prime Minister's Rural Development programme in Gadchiroli.
Charged under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, they were produced before a Pune court and have been sent to police custody till June 14.
The latest claims by the police have evoked reactions from different political parties in the country.