The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has started an inquiry after posters carrying the name of left-wing extremists, the Communist Party of India (Maoist), were found stuck on walls of the Pune Union Working Journalists building and the adjacent S M Joshi Foundation’s Auditorium in Navi Peth. The posters spotted on Friday created a buzz in the city with police reaching the spot and removing them.
Senior inspector Arjun Sakunde of Vishrambaug police station said, “The posters were printed on white paper and had name of Communist Party of India (Maoist) on them. It named some people lodged in jail and demanded their release. We removed the posters. Two posters were stuck on the wall of the Pune Union Working Journalists building and others on the wall of the S M Joshi Foundation auditorium. The posters have been handed over to ATS.”
Sakunde added, “We have spoken to the management of both institutions. No one has any idea who did this.”
Maharashtra ATS chief Rakesh Maria confirmed to Newsline over phone from Mumbai that the posters were put up at these buildings. “As of now no formal case has been registered. We are looking into it. Investigations will be carried out by the local branch. We will co-ordinate. It is too early to talk more about it.” When contacted, inspector Peter Lobo of Pune ATS refused to comment but confirmed that the case had been referred to them.
Police suspect that the posters were timed to match a function at S M Joshi Foundation auditorium on Saturday for which a senior politician was chief guest. Rahul Jadhav, manager at the auditorium, said, “On Thursday night, we had an exhibition in the hall. We staffers went to sleep at 11.30 pm after preparations for the function the next day. We came to know of the incident on Friday morning after the police came to us.”
In April last year, the ATS had arrested six persons including Siddhartha Bhosale, a resident of Kondhwa and former MA Economics student of Fergusson College, for alleged Naxal links. The five others were Angelo Sontakke, who operated from Pune and is wife of Naxal leader Milind Teltumbde, Sushma Ramteke alias Shraddha Gurav, arrested from Pirangut in Pune, Mayuri Bhagat (23) alias Jenny, Jyothi Chorghe (19) and Anuradhadha Sonule (23), all the three arrested from Shivajinagar area of Pune. Naxal literature, cash, laptops and cellphones were seized.
Pune police have been keeping a close watch on some educational institutions to detect any Naxal activities and had informed institute heads in a meeting that some left wing organisations were trying to indoctrinate students.