Bhima-Koregaon violence: Bombay HC gives relief to Gautam Navlakha and two others from arrest till November 21

The Pune Police had arrested Gautam Navlakha and four other activists on August 28 in relation with their alleged involvement in the Elgaar Parishad and the Bhima Koregaon violence.

On Thursday, the Bombay High Court granted an interim protection to the alleged ‘Urban Maoist’ Gautam Navlakha, activist Anand Teltumbde and activist Stan Swamy from arrest till November 21, for their alleged links with the left-wing terrorists and involvement in Elgaar Parishad violence in Bhima-Koregaon.

According to the reports, the Bombay High Court was hearing a petition filed by Navlakha, Teltumbde and Swamy seeking that FIRs lodged by the Pune Police against them in connection with the plot to assassinate Prime Minister Modi, to be quashed lodged. They are also accused of playing a part in Bhima Koregaon violence.

A division bench of justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre heard the petitions filed by the three accused seeking to quash the FIR against them. The bench postponed the case for hearing on November 21 as petitions pertaining to their arrests were pending before the Supreme Court.

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The Delhi High Court had released the alleged Urban Maoist Gautam Navlakha from house arrest after five weeks of the arrest on October 1. However, the Supreme Court of India issued a notice to Gautam Navlakha in connection with the Maharastra government’s plea against the Delhi government order allowing Navlakha to be released from house arrest.

The Pune Police had arrested Gautam Navlakha and four other activists on August 28 in relation with their alleged involvement in the Elgaar Parishad and the Bhima Koregaon violence. Historian Romila Thapar had filed a plea in the Supreme Court against the arrest of five ‘Urban Maoists’ but the top court headed by the then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on September 28 had refused to interfere with their arrests.

The Pune Sessions Court on October 26th rejected bail plea of Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Sudha Bhardwaj, who were arrested in August for their alleged involvement in Elgaar Parishad and also in the Bhima Koregaon violence. The Pune Court had ordered all the three accused to be taken into the police custody. Last Thursday, the Hyderabad High Court had extended house arrest of fifth accused Varavara Rao by another three weeks.

Interestingly, one of the accused Sudha Bharadwaj had demanded that she should be given the same facilities in the court which the government had promised to provide to fugitive Vijay Mallya. Earlier in June, the Pune police had arrested Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut and Sudhir Dhavle in the case.

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