Elgar Parishad case: NIA opposes interim bail plea of accused activists
The three accused have moved the special court separately for interim bail on the ground of the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in prison, and have expressed concerns about contracting SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease.Updated: May 22, 2020 16:45 IST
The National Investigating Agency (NIA), which has been probing the Elgar Parishad case since January, has opposed the plea for interim bail filed by the accused activists Dr Shoma Sen, Vara Vara Rao, and Sudha Bhardwaj.
The three accused have moved the special court separately for interim bail on the ground of the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in prison, and have expressed concerns about contracting SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease.
NIA opposed the bail plea on the ground that the accused are booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which makes them ineligible for temporary bail. The next hearing will be held on May 28. The special court has also extended the judicial custody Dr. Anand Teltumbde, another accused in the case, until June 5. The prison authorities have also failed to submit Dr. Teltumbde’s medical report, despite several reminders.
Earlier, on January 1, 2018, violence erupted between Dalits and Marathas near the village of Bhima Koregaon in Pune district, where thousands of Dalits had gathered to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon. In that battle, the British Army’s Dalit Mahar soldiers had defeated the Brahmin Peshwa rulers of the Maratha empire.
The commemoration took place a day after an event in Pune called the Elgar Parishad was held. The Pune Police conducted a preliminary probe and claimed that the violence in Bhima Koregaon was the result of speeches made at the Elgar Parishad event. They alleged that banned Maoist groups organised the event, and a first information report (FIR) was also filed.
In June 2018, the Pune Police arrested five activists and lawyers from Pune, Nagpur, and Delhi for their alleged links to the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), and also for organising the Elgar Parishad event. In August 2018, the police arrested five more activists --- Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Varavara Rao, and Gautam Navlakha. Dr. Teltumbde had managed to relief from arrest.