DU prof to remain in NIA custody till Aug 4 in Elgar Parishad case
Special public prosecutor Prakash Shetty sought Tharayil’s 10-day custody for custodial interrogation, calling him a key conspirator in the case with alleged links with the Maoists.Updated: Jul 30, 2020, 06:58 IST
A special court on Wednesday remanded Delhi University professor Hany Babu Musaliyarveettil Tharayil, 54, to the National Investigation Agency (NIA)’s custody until August 4 a day after the agency arrested him for allegedly conspiring with Maoists to foment violence in Maharashtra’s Bhima Koregaon in December 2017.
Special public prosecutor Prakash Shetty sought Tharayil’s 10-day custody for custodial interrogation, calling him a key conspirator in the case with alleged links with the Maoists. The prosecution said the letters exchanged between the accused, which were recovered by Pune police, purportedly mention Tharayil’s name and role in the case.
Tharayil’s lawyer, R Sathyanarayan, opposed the prosecution’s request saying his client was being interrogated for the four to five days and hence his further custody was not needed.
The court upheld Shetty’s request. “Looking at the nature of the offence and allegations levelled against the accused, the demand for his custody for 10 days is well-founded.”
Eleven other activists and intellectuals have accused of conspiring with Maoists to foment the violence at an event known as Elgar Parishad on December 31, 2017. NIA has alleged Maoist leaders were allegedly in contact with the Elgar Parishad organisers. Hundreds of activists attended the event and Tharayil is accused of spreading Maoism and encouraging “unlawful activities”. NIA has said he is suspected of having close links with Maoist leaders and co-conspirators in the case, including activist Gautam Navlakha, scholar Anand Teltumbde, and poet-activist Varavara Rao.
Investigators say speeches made at Elgar Parishad event aggravated caste clashes near Bhima Koregaon village on January 1, 2018, during the bicentennial celebration of a British-era war that Dalits commemorate. One person died in the clashes that also sparked widespread Dalit protests.
The Pune police have filed two charge sheets against several activists for their alleged Maoist links. NIA took over the case in January and it earlier arrested Teltumbde and Navlakha on April 14.
DU Teachers’ Association president Rajib Ray on Tuesday called Tharayil a fantastic teacher and “a great voice for the oppressed”.