After Narendra Modi, Devendra Fadnavis receives death threat; letter speaks of 'retribution' for Gadchiroli encounter

Minutes after news broke that Maoists were plotting the murder of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, media reports have said that Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and his family also received a death threat.

File image of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

File image of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

CNN-News18 reported on Friday that two threat letters addressed to the office of the chief minister of Maharashtra were received. The letters mentioned retribution for the recent Gadchiroli encounter, where 37 Maoist cadres were killed in under 48 hours. The letters also threatened attacks on the chief minister's family, sources in the Maharashtra home department told news agency ANI.

Reacting to the news, Fadnavis told reporters that he has handed over the threat letters to the police, who will investigate the matter further.

He also said that a greater conspiracy hatched by the so-called 'urban Maoists' was uncovered during the investigation into the Bhima-Koregaon violence in Pune. He said that the internal communiques, letters, and hard drives recovered from the various raids conducted by the police revealed a money trail, which showed funds were re-routed to help influence people in the cities as well. He said that the evidence collected so far indicated deeper links, which will be investigated.

The Maharashtra Police have also released pictures of four more persons involved in the Bhima-Koregaon riots of 1 January, that left one person dead, and appealed to the public to inform them of their whereabouts.

Earlier, letters plotting to kill Modi were recovered 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 letter refers to the requirement of Rs 8 crore to procure M-4 rifles and 400,000 rounds and speaks of "another Rajiv Gandhi-type incident".

Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed by an LTTE suicide bomber during his campaign for the May 1991 Lok Sabha elections in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu.

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".

According to the police, they were thinking along the lines of "another Rajiv Gandhi-type incident" by "targeting his roadshows" which they thought "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 14 June .

The Wednesday arrests were made on the basis of a complaint lodged by police in Pune on 8 January after the Elgaar Parishad on 31 December, organised by the Kabir Kala Manch, and later the Bhima-Koregaon riots.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Jun 08, 2018 17:45:09 IST

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