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Bhima-Koregaon case: Pune court rejects bail pleas of activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves

The prosecution had argued against the bail of all three left-leaning activists saying they have “corroborative evidence” against the activists which establishes their links with banned outfit CPI (Maoist).

india Updated: Oct 26, 2018 17:24 IST
Nadeem Inamdar
Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Bhima-Koregaon violence case,maharashtra,maharashtra government
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. (Vipin Kumar/HT File Photo)

A Pune court on Friday rejected the bail petition of lawyers and activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves, three of the five activists put under house arrest in connection with their alleged links to the Maoists.

Additional sessions judge KD Vadane rejected the bail applications filed by the three activists.

“We will appeal against the Sessions Court’s judgement in Bombay high court,” Dhairyasheel Patil, senior counsel representing Gonsalves, said.

The prosecution had argued against the bail of all three left-leaning activists saying they have “corroborative evidence” against the activists which establishes their links with banned outfit CPI (Maoist).

According to the prosecution, lawyer and trade unionist Bhardwaj was responsible for “raising funds” and sending recruits from various universities and educational institutes to the forest.

Read | Bhima Koregaon violence was pre-planned, claim Pune Police

Bharadwaj and lawyers Ferreira and Gonsalves, Telugu poet P Varavara Rao and activist Gautam Navlakha were arrested on August 28 in country-wide raids for alleged links with Left-wing rebels.

The raids were a part of a probe into a conclave, Elgar Parishad, held in Bhima Koregaon near Pune on December 31, 2017 that allegedly triggered violence the following day. However, on a petition by historian Romila Thapar that linked the police crackdown to the strong views of the activists, the Supreme Court had ordered the police to place the five under house arrest rather than send them to jail.

The Supreme Court while hearing on their petitions opposing arrests on September 28 had asked the activists to approach lower courts for relief from an imminent arrest. The top court had given four week’s time within which Pune court had to decide on the bail plea by activists.

Among the other two activists, Navlakha’s arrest has already been quashed by Delhi high court while poet Varavara Rao has approached Hyderabad high court for bail.

The sessions court has reserved its order on bail pleas of other two activists, advocate Surendra Gadling and former Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen, till November 1.

Also read | Maoists and Hindutva outfits: Bhima Koregaon probe moves ahead in two different directions

First Published: Oct 26, 2018 15:32 IST