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Bhima Koregaon case: Activists taken into custody after Pune court rejects bail petitions

A Pune Court rejected the bail rejected the bail pleas of Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Sudha Bharadwaj who were arrested by Pune police for their alleged Maoist links and also refused to grant them any relief by staying their arrest to enable them to approach the HC.

india Updated: Oct 26, 2018 23:53 IST
Bhima Koregaon case,Arun Ferreira,Vernon Gonsalves
Activists Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha, lawyers Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves, along with Telugu poet P Varavara Rao were arrested on August 28 in country-wide raids for alleged links with Left-wing rebels.(HT File Photo)

Hours after a Pune Court rejected the bail pleas of activists Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Sudha Bharadwaj, who were under house arrest, the Pune police took their custody and initiated steps to produce them before a city court by Saturday, an official monitoring the investigations said.

Ferreira approached Bombay high court, which too refused to grant him interim relief. The high court, however, granted protection from arrest until November 1 to another activist, Gautam Navlakha, who had sought quashing of FIR against him by Pune police. Another accused, Professor Ashok Teltumbde who had also filed a plea for quashing of proceedings against him didn’t get any interim relief.

A senior police official said Ferreira and Gonsalves were taken into custody from Thane and Mumbai, respectively. Bharadwaj who was under house arrest in Chhatisgarh was taken into custody by another team.

Earlier in the day, rejecting the bail pleas of of Bharadwaj, Ferreira and Gonsalves, additional sessions judge KD Vadane said, “Under the pretext of doing social work, they are doing work for a banned organisation (CPI-Maoist) and (were) involved in the activities with intent to threaten unity, integrity, security, sovereignty of India”.

“At this stage, on the basis of the material collected by the investigation officer, it reveals that there is a connection of the accused with the banned organization,” the judge said.

After the bail pleas were rejected, the defence lawyers sought a week’s stay on implementation of the order so that they could file an appeal in the high court, but the judge did not grant a stay.

“These activists were already arrested by the police although the Supreme Court had offered them relief saying that they be kept under house arrest for four weeks,” said joint commissioner of Police Shivaji Bodkhe.

Bodkhe said court order has vindicated the police action. “The material presented by Police in the court has been taken into account,” said Bodkhe.

First Published: Oct 26, 2018 23:10 IST