17, Sep 2018 | CJP Team
In this interview with Citizens for Justice and Peace retired High Court Judge, Justice Kolse Patil tells us the purpose of the Elgaar Parishad and the accusation of a “plot” to assassinate the Prime Minister which was disclosed through a letter.
Teesta Setalvad (TS): Good Morning Justice BG Kolse Patil, and thank you for having this conversation with us. We have with us retired…no, actually voluntarily retired Justice of Bombay High Court, but he is much more than that, a man who represents the democratic voice of conscience of this country at this stage he has founded and set up the Lok Shasan Andolan along with Justice P. B. Sawant, and we are going to be speaking to him on a host of issues, but most important and critically the much maligned and yet extremely important Elgaar Parishad that took place on December 31st, 2017. Sir, we will start with Elgaar Parishad and the atrocious and ridiculous allegations around the meeting that took place in Pune.
Justice Kolse Patil (JKP): As you know and everybody knows the reason behind this is the Gujarat report which was given by Justice PB Sawant, and I will read…The post-Godhra carnage in Gujarat carnage in Gujarat was an organised crime perpetrated by the State’s CM and his government. The state’s complicity is evident of the various acts of commission and omission of the government and its offices…further sentence is important. It was the CM who declared that the Godhra incident was pre-planned when the investigation agencies had not reached such a conclusion. So he made capital of that and further history I need not tell you. But this CM had guts to write a letter to Justice Sawant…
TS: This Prime Minister
JKP: This PM had the guts, what kind of hypocrisy is this, “He says that a retired respected judge like you has played a significant role in shaping the direction of this nation.” Write to Sawant, he implicates him in his own murder by connecting our Elgaar Parishad to Maoists.
TS: So what date is that letter?
JKP: Yesterday. 8th September. And this letter presents Justice Sawant’s work in judiciary. Now can anybody imagine what Elgaar Parishad is linked with Maoists and Maoists linked with Modi’s murder is without his consent. Is without his direction, so what he is up to? The Elgaar Parishad was organised by us because the next day was a celebration at Bhima Koregaon. Our information was that lakhs of people were to come there. So we invited some organisations here in Pune in October for preparation because Justice Sawant and myself…It is Justice Sawant’s idea, he is great, he thought that this is an opportunity, all secular forces will come there and whatever organisation possible for us, we will invite all the organisation a day earlier, 31st December to Shanivarwada; Shanivarwada is a specific place where we have on the 4th of October 2015, declared that we want RSS-mukt Bharat. Before that, the country knows history of Sawant’s work and I have been associated with him for the last 50 years. So Elgaar Parishad they opposed tooth and nail that our permission was canceled. The Police canceled our permission, we said that we will go ahead with our Parishad. Whatever you will do we will not bother. Only unfortunately, at the same time, not only day, I went to pick them up for the Parishad and he fell ill. We had to admit him in Jupiter Hospital immediately. So Parishad was conducted, the meaning was…sorry…our purpose was to tell the people, yes, that all kinds of secular people have come together and taken oath. We gave them oath that we will not vote these communal forces till our last breath. We did before, we did on the same night and that is the main difficulty of Modi, he doesn’t tolerate opposition. Now they kept quiet, next day Bhima Koregaon, it was the architecture work of the chief minister. He encouraged Sambhaji Bhide as well as Milind Ekbote. We have several photographs, even PM had photograph with Bhide. Bhide and Ekbote were visiting the places around Sambaji’s samadhi…what you call…tomb. Chhatrapati Sambaji was punished by Aurangzeb but his punishment was executed by Manuwadi people and he was torn into pieces. So the Mahar community there, no other community was ready to touch Chhatrapati Sambaji’s dead body, so the Mahar community took the responsibility on them. They collected all the pieces and Sambaji was cremated at their locality. So automatically Sambaji’s [Samadhi] was there in Maharwada. Recently the person who took lead [to conduct Sambaji’s last rites], his samadhi was also built [near] site of Sambaji. Now this issue for nothing was being blown out of proportion or was tried to be blown out of proportion for months, years. I have an invitation letter, this Amit Shah, crook, was invited on the 3rd of March, 4th of March, same year for that function. I don’t know what happened about that function afterwards, but even Sambhaji Bhide was going to attend this place on the 1st of January. They collected their people there and went to Bhima Koregaon with slogans, the Bhima Koregaon houses or their terraces, were full of small stones. So this was prepared earlier, not only that the Band was called. So the people of who have come throughout India will not get food, will not get water. So all shops surrounding villages were calledBandh.
TS: And this year was particularly important because it was 200 years.
JKP: Correct. So their idea was also that it was a big function and their idea was to thwart it. The propaganda is Mahar fought with our regime, with Maratha kingdom and they sided [with] British, it is false. It was not Maratha kingdom, it was Peshwahi. And Peshwahi had all ills [when it came to treatment of]…the Dalits. They had committed every wrong with Dalits, taking advantage of that, only 500 Mahars killed some 30,000 of their soldiers. So the colour was given that they fought against our regime. Which was wrong. The second thing, they started to separate Mahar and Marathas. Fortunately, majority of the Marathas understood this and they did not do anything. There are three reports that Bhide and Ekbote were the main architects of Bhima Koregan episode. Even Police Officer in first report, IG, Kolhapur appointed a committee where a person of BJP was heading the committee, who was deputy bearer of Pune was heading the committee, gave a report that it was only Bhide and Ekbote who instigated the Bhima Koregaon. Second, one the Justice was appointed by them, he also gave the same report
TS: People’s Commission
JKP: And thirdly, Pune Gramin had lodged the complaint against Bhide and Ekbote on the same day. Fourthly, this Bhide and Ekbote, in court, Ekbote went to court for anticipatory bail, he is saying that Bhide is the main accused and I am being harassed. So that shows that there is no other conclusion that Bhide and Ekbote were the cause of the Bhima Koregaon riots.
Second. Now the 5 people who were initially arrested, branding them as Maoists, was to divert the attention from Bhide and Ekbote. Police officer in his first press conference says that Elgaar Parishad had nothing to do with Bhima Koregaon. First press conference, he also said that some of the people from Elgaar Parishad are not connected with Maoists. Thereafter, the story became…concocted story started coming out of Damude or Damgude, I don’t know his name, his Facebook in May had said that Maoists were connected with this. Thereafter they launched complaint. See this incident, how Damgude, bhakt of, follower of Samabji Bhide. So the story was concocted by Bhide and Ekbote, or even with the government. Fadnavis is the number one culprit in this matter. So that complaint was launched and thereafter these five people were arrested. Now what was the situation? The situation, you see, the 100% failure of Mr. Modi running the government. Sanathan Sadhaks were possessing several bombs and as we had gone in Nanded and investigated the bombs, they were preparing bombs…So these Santhans are possessing bombs like tomatoes and potatoes.
TS: This came out after the Maharashtra ATS investigations after the Karnataka SIT investigation…
JKP: Correct. So coming to that Maharashtra ATS was compelled to take action or investigate because of the pressure of the ATS…SIT Karnataka. Thereafter what happened, we were insisting, that now leave apart Sadhaks, this investigation should be logically investigated and connected to the main person there, that is Athavle and whoever else may be. This was the demand, which led to the second arrest of the five people. Diverting our attention, people’s attention. So all this is being concocted to divert the public’s attention from Manuwadi bombs, from Manuwadi people Bhide and Ekbote, from Manuwadi actions taken by CM and the riots were sponsored by CM Fadnavis.
TS: On the first of January, the videos that came out, fortunately the people have mobile phone so you get a lot of evidence from the videos, we also had some of the videos, so the videos that came out had showed that there was hardly any Police protection when you know that one and half, two lakh people are supposed to gather. It was a programme planned for months because it was the 200th commemorative day of the Bhima Koregaon memorium or whatever, which is very important for the Dalit community. Still there was very little Police bandobast Then you see the stone-pelting etc. by the Sangh brigade happening and like you’ve narrated, the first FIR is against Sambaji and Ekbote himself. When did the plot to kill the PM enter the whole picture because that has been one whole thread that has been added into this narrative.
JKP: Might be they wanted to protect Bhide, Ekbote, they wanted to protect the CM, they wanted to protect the negligence of the Police, because, Police I had personally telephoned. Jignesh and Umar Khalid stayed with me at that night and nobody from Elgaar Parishad went to Bhima Koregaon. So there is no question of Elgaar Parishad people instigating that. Second, they wanted…they were exposed, I telephoned Police that what is going on? They said, “No no, the situation is under control.” Then I spoke to Nagri Patil, he said, “Sir, not in-charge and I am doing this and that.” Nothing was done. I think they were asked not to do anything that is the position of government. Elgaar Parishad…this fear that they had in their minds that how is it this happened? Why oath was administered? In spite of all [our] opposition, people thronged [from all corners]. On the day of the incident it was published that Elgaar Parishad is canceled…people thronged at Shanivarwada which is their gadh [stronghold], RSS gadh. And therefore that was not tolerable to them. That was not acceptable to them and then they started to do stories. Sawant was one of the organisers that was also the reason. They wanted to defame Sawant. I have been disciple of Sawant, so main target was Sawant, and number 2 was me. Who was on the stage? No Naxalite person was there except Dhawale, who was honorably acquitted by the High Court and Sessions Court, giving warning to the government, ‘Don’t do such investigation and put youngsters in the name of Naxalite in the jail’. I met Dhawale before and myself and Justice Sawant allowed them to give our name as legal advisors, i.e Justice Bivadya, Justice Sawant, Justice..myself…Kolse Patil. Others were ready to help them even in legal field. So we never thought we were helping any Maoist and Maoist defending Maoist andhelping those believing in a Maoist ideology is no offence and that is how no other person on stage. There was no question of funding. MIT had their function at the same ground, at the 1st of January in the morning. So they have given us a written application that the ground is given to you at the 31st December, please allow us to decorate it and you can use it. So the ground was decorated, stage where we [were] to hold, mandap was beautiful. Everything was ready so we have just enjoyed the facility because normally we don’t take. If you see my meeting of lakhs of people, I only keep truck in the middle, I go to the tower of the driver’s cabin and I give my speech. I have never done any stage…we don’t have [those] expenses, we don’t have that money. And we have…I cannot tell about Justice Sawant, but I have worked for last 30 years and I have not taken a single rupee from anybody for my movement. Because I know against whom I am fighting. I very well knew…that even these people…I run an orphanage where with a notice there, don’t give any rogue cash or check to our aashram. You give in kind, you give them food, pencil whatever you want you give them and we have undertaken to give education to these students, 100 students from KG to PG, free of charge without charging the pardhi and without taking any donation in cash.
TS Finally to Supreme Court has been seized of the matter, the hearing is today and everybody is hopeful that after the SC intervention, the fact that there has been an outrage in the manner in which the procedure was also not followed by the lower judiciary unfortunately with Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha etc, maybe the wrong will be righted, maybe this kind of a political interference in policing, because this is not the first time, nothing but the political interference of the policing. You’re not allowing the police to do its job you’re not allowing them to investigate and political agenda is being pushed into police investigation.
JKP: This is Gujarat laboratory. If you see history of Modi and of ten years Shah’s regime, if you see the statement given by Rajeev Priyadarshan, Singhal and others, a chief investigative officer will say that we were not allowed to have free investigation in any criminal case not only that we were asked to kill, we were asked to prosecute falsely and all minimum…
TS: You are talking about the Tehelka sting operation
JKP: That’s a…Singhal says we must’ve done a minimum of ten false encounters, under the pretext that they came to kill Modi. So I have been telling people of this country, that whoever so far came to kill Modi were killed in the custody itself, they were branded as, that they were coming to kill Modi. Here also, killing Modi and the Maoist plot is 100% concocted story. No Maoist, or even these 10 persons are capable of running even ten feet away, they don’t have any weapon, they don’t have money so there is no question of killing Modi but Modi is in the habit of creating this panic in the country and telling people that, ‘Yes they have come to kill me!’ Ask that Modi how many people he has killed. He should be ashamed of such hypocrisy.
TS: and this is also election year…we have 4
JKP: That’s what…I am telling you this is only for 2019 elections. There are three things I told you, they want to hide everything, whatever is going on in their government, divert our attention, perhaps this Sanathan bombs also will be investigated before elections, they will be given free discharge like Amit Shah and say that they were not bombs even, they were coconuts or firecrackers…but they are bound to do this because they want to create their image of Hindutva or Hindutvavadi to face the 2019 election.