Urban Naxal arrests: Maharashtra police takes custody of 3 accused after Pune court rejects bail plea

A senior police official said Ferreira and Gonsalves were taken into custody from Thane and Mumbai, respectively while a separate team has arrived to arrest Sudha Bharadwaj.

Hours after a Pune court rejected the bail plea 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.

Ferreira had approached Bombay High Court, which had also refused to grant him interim bail. The high court had, however, granted protection against arrest until November 1 to another activist, Gautam Navlakha, who had sought to invalidate the FIR against him by Pune police. Another accused, Professor Ashok Teltumbde who had also filed a plea for revoking the 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. A separate team of Maharashtra police has arrived in Faridabad to take her into custody.

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The District and Session Judge (Special Judge) KD Vadane, while rejecting the bail plea observed that the material and evidence collected by the police, on the face of it, shows an alleged link with Maoists. “Under the pretext of doing social work, they are doing work for a banned organisation (CPI-Maoist) and (were) involved in the activities with the intent to threaten unity, integrity, security, the 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 defense lawyers had moved an application before Pune Session court to seek 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. Following this, police took Gonsalves and Ferreira into custody, said the investigating officer, assistant commissioner of police, Shivaji Pawar.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had declined an urgent hearing of a review petition filed by historian Romila Thapar in the case of the arrests of five alleged Urban Naxals for their alleged role in the Bhima Koregaon violence.

The Supreme court headed by the then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on September 28 had refused to interfere with arrests of these five ‘Urban Naxals’ and had extended the interim house arrest of the activists.

The Pune Police had conducted raids and arrested the five accused ‘Urban Naxals’ at the end of August. The arrests were in relation to the Bhima Koregaon violence alleging the accused to have links with Maoist networks. Earlier, the Pune police had arrested Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut and Sudhir Dhavle in the case. The arrested persons had moved to the Supreme court and had obtained an order for house arrest instead of judicial custody.

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