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A mere ploy to garner sympathy: Sharad Pawar on 'plot to kill PM Modi'

Monday June 11, 2018 1:14 AM, & Agencies

Sharad Pawar with Modi

Pune: Veteran Maratha leader and former union minister Sharad Pawar on Sunday said the letter seized by Pune police which talks about "a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi" did not have any substance and was merely a ploy to garner sympathy for the latter.

“Pune Police says there was a threatening letter. I spoke to a retired police officer, who had worked for CID. He said there is no substance in the letter. The letter is being used to garner people's sympathy,” Pawar said while addressing a gathering in Pune on Sunday.

Sharad Pawar also accused the government of shielding the real culprits behind the Bhima Koregaon violence and arresting innocents.

"When like-minded people came together to organise the Elgar Parishad, they were called Naxals and were arrested. Everyone knows who executed the Bhima-Koregaon violence but those who have no links with it were arrested. This is nothing but misuse of power", Pawar said.

Pune police last Wednesday arrested five persons, including a Dalit rights activist, a professor and a former Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellow, for alleged Maoist links. It later claimed to have seized from them an email that suggested plans to assassinate Modi in “another Rajiv Gandhi type incident” by “targeting his roadshows”.

Rajive Gandhi, Former Prime Minister of India, was assassinated by LTTE terrorists while he was campaigning in Tamil Nadu.

The Congress was first to raise doubts over the Pune police’s findings of the alleged plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Mod saying it was Modi’s old tactics to plant stories like this.

“I am not saying this is completely untrue but it has been PM Modi’s old tactic since he was chief minister. Whenever his popularity declines, news of an assassination plot is planted. So it should be probed how much truth is in it this time,” Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam said on Friday.

Reports of plots to kill Narendra Modi became routine after the 2002 Gujarat riot. Back in 2004, Gujarat police had killed four, including Ishrat Jahan, a young Muslim college girl, alleging that they were on a mission to assassinate Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat. Later probe established that the police killing was actually a fake enounter.

Last April, the Pune Police had raided homes and offices of these activists in different parts of the country and even questioned them for their involvement in various Maoist-linked activities.

Violence erupted in Bhima-Koregaon after Hindu activists protested a march by Dalits to mark the 1818 battle of Bhima Koregaon where British forces, mostly consisting of Mahar soldiers (who were Dalits), defeated the forces of Peshwa, ending the Maratha rule.

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