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Bhima Koregaon case: ED to question Surendra Gadling about allegedly funding Maoists

A special NIA court had granted permission to the ED to conduct questioning between Aug 17 and 19

Sabrangindia 17 Aug 2022

Bhima Koregaon case
Image Courtesy: barandbench.com

A team of the Enforcement Directorate will today start questioning advocate Surendra Gadling in connection with allegations of funding a banned Maoist organization. Last week a special court had granted the agency permission to question the human rights defender in connection with the matter.

Advocate Surendra Gadling who is best known for defending other human rights activists targeted by the State, was himself drawn into the Bhima Koregaon case when he was accused of being part of a wider conspiracy behind the January 2018 violence and arrested in connection with the same on June 6, 2018, along with professor Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale and Mahesh Raut.

The Pune Police had filed two chargesheets in November 2018 and February 2019. After the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the case, it filed a chargesheet against eight accused in October 2020. Gadling and his alleged co-conspirators have been charged under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and also for sedition, criminal conspiracy and waging or attempting to wage a war or abetting a war against the Government of India.

In its plea filed before the special NIA court last week, the ED had claimed that the accused in the Bhima Koregaon case were members of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), and that Gadling was involved in raising funds in collusion with other terrorist organisations to cause disaffection towards India. According to a report in the Hindustan Times, the NIA further said that to carry out their regular activities, the accused had received funds in various bank accounts opened in the names of their family members and Gadling was the prime suspect.

But Gadling’s legal team refuted the charges and submitted, “In the entire chargesheet, the NIA has not mentioned about any unaccounted money found from Gadling or any links thereof. If the predicate offence has no mention of funding allegations, how the ED is probing the money-laundering allegations.”

Gadling is lodged at the Taloja jail on the outskirts of Mumbai and apart from being granted temporary bail to attend the last rites of his mother on the first anniversary of her death, has remained behind bars. His health has also been deteriorating in custody and he reportedly suffers from hypertension, diabetes, cardiac disorder, syncope, and lumbar and cervical spondylitis.

What is also noteworthy is that in June 2021, American digital forensics firm Arsenal unearthed evidence that 14 key files mentioned in the chargesheet against activist and lawyer Surendra Gadling were planted on his hard drive using Netwire, the very same malware that was used to plant false evidence on a laptop belonging to Rona Wilson, another accused in the case.

The files were allegedly planted on Gadling’s computer between February 29, 2016, when the computer was first infected via an email sent to Gadling and November 2, 2017. That was when the attacker lost access to Gadling’s computer because of a Windows reinstallation. The report also documents extensive surveillance of Mr. Gadling’s computer with over 30,000 files being allegedly copied from his devices to the attacker’s command and control (C2) server. These new findings take the total number of files documented as having been planted on defendants’ hard drives to 48! 

The report documents in detail the full transcript of the attacker’s work across multiple computers on July 22, 2017 when the attacker first moved a set of files from their ‘command and control’ server to Rona Wilson's hard drive, and 15 minutes later using the same malware infrastructure moved another set of files to Gadling’s computer.

Related:

Another bullet from Arsenal pierces through NIA’s Bhima Koregaon case!
Bhima Koregaon: Surendra Gadling gets interim bail to perform mother’s death anniversary rituals
Bhima Koregaon case: Was evidence planted to implicate activists?
Primary goals were surveillance and incriminating document delivery: Arsenal Report

Bhima Koregaon case: ED to question Surendra Gadling about allegedly funding Maoists

A special NIA court had granted permission to the ED to conduct questioning between Aug 17 and 19

Bhima Koregaon case
Image Courtesy: barandbench.com

A team of the Enforcement Directorate will today start questioning advocate Surendra Gadling in connection with allegations of funding a banned Maoist organization. Last week a special court had granted the agency permission to question the human rights defender in connection with the matter.

Advocate Surendra Gadling who is best known for defending other human rights activists targeted by the State, was himself drawn into the Bhima Koregaon case when he was accused of being part of a wider conspiracy behind the January 2018 violence and arrested in connection with the same on June 6, 2018, along with professor Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale and Mahesh Raut.

The Pune Police had filed two chargesheets in November 2018 and February 2019. After the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the case, it filed a chargesheet against eight accused in October 2020. Gadling and his alleged co-conspirators have been charged under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and also for sedition, criminal conspiracy and waging or attempting to wage a war or abetting a war against the Government of India.

In its plea filed before the special NIA court last week, the ED had claimed that the accused in the Bhima Koregaon case were members of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), and that Gadling was involved in raising funds in collusion with other terrorist organisations to cause disaffection towards India. According to a report in the Hindustan Times, the NIA further said that to carry out their regular activities, the accused had received funds in various bank accounts opened in the names of their family members and Gadling was the prime suspect.

But Gadling’s legal team refuted the charges and submitted, “In the entire chargesheet, the NIA has not mentioned about any unaccounted money found from Gadling or any links thereof. If the predicate offence has no mention of funding allegations, how the ED is probing the money-laundering allegations.”

Gadling is lodged at the Taloja jail on the outskirts of Mumbai and apart from being granted temporary bail to attend the last rites of his mother on the first anniversary of her death, has remained behind bars. His health has also been deteriorating in custody and he reportedly suffers from hypertension, diabetes, cardiac disorder, syncope, and lumbar and cervical spondylitis.

What is also noteworthy is that in June 2021, American digital forensics firm Arsenal unearthed evidence that 14 key files mentioned in the chargesheet against activist and lawyer Surendra Gadling were planted on his hard drive using Netwire, the very same malware that was used to plant false evidence on a laptop belonging to Rona Wilson, another accused in the case.

The files were allegedly planted on Gadling’s computer between February 29, 2016, when the computer was first infected via an email sent to Gadling and November 2, 2017. That was when the attacker lost access to Gadling’s computer because of a Windows reinstallation. The report also documents extensive surveillance of Mr. Gadling’s computer with over 30,000 files being allegedly copied from his devices to the attacker’s command and control (C2) server. These new findings take the total number of files documented as having been planted on defendants’ hard drives to 48! 

The report documents in detail the full transcript of the attacker’s work across multiple computers on July 22, 2017 when the attacker first moved a set of files from their ‘command and control’ server to Rona Wilson's hard drive, and 15 minutes later using the same malware infrastructure moved another set of files to Gadling’s computer.

Related:

Another bullet from Arsenal pierces through NIA’s Bhima Koregaon case!
Bhima Koregaon: Surendra Gadling gets interim bail to perform mother’s death anniversary rituals
Bhima Koregaon case: Was evidence planted to implicate activists?
Primary goals were surveillance and incriminating document delivery: Arsenal Report

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Sunday

03

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Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

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10 am onwards

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Pan India

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

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A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
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In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
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Archives