Koregaon Bhima violence: Elgaar Parishad organiser questioned on her TISS research related to Maoist movement
The cross-examination of a witness, Harshali Potdar, who is among the organisers of the ‘Elgaar Parishad’ held in Pune on December 31, 2017, continued before the Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry on Wednesday. Potdar is an alumnus of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and an activist of the Republican Panthers Jatiantachi Chalwal, often referred to as RP.
The two-member commission, headed by retired justice J N Patel, is probing the causes of the Koregaon Bhima violence of January 1, 2018, in which one person had died and several others were left injured.
Advocate Pradeep Gavade questioned Potdar regarding her TISS research work titled ‘The Emergence of Maoist Movement as Counter to State’s Development a Paradigm – In vista of various Stakeholders’ Perspective (An inquiry into the Subjective Experiences of Gadchiroli District)’.
During cross-examination, Potdar claimed that for the purpose of her research she interacted with villagers, media persons, police and government officers, contractors and social activists in the Gadchiroli region. Gavade asked her whether she met or came across Dalits and Adivasis families whose members were killed by CPI (Maoist) in Gadchiroli, during her research. Potdar replied “No”. Asked if she did not feel it necessary to meet such families, Potdar said, “As this was not part of my research I did not meet them.”
The lawyer confronted Potdar with copies of pages from her research work, which stated, “…History of various struggles in Gadchiroli reached to the ideology of Maoism on its path of revolution. People were the same, core reasons were the same, even the form of guerrilla warfare was the same because exploitation remains the same. The only thing is, prior to independence it was against British Colonial Rulers and after Independence it was against its own rulers. Thus today‘s Maoist Movement is nothing but a reform in itself with an emergence of a political organisational structure known as CPI (Maoist)”.
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