The Pune Sessions Court has rejected bail application of all the nine alleged ‘Urban Naxals’ namely, Surendra Gadling, Varavara Rao, Sudha Bhardwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut and Rona Wilson, accused of instigating the Bhima-Koregaon violence that took place on 1st January 2018 in Pune.
Meanwhile, another alleged Urban Naxal Gautam Navlakha, who is accused of having links with Maoists, Kashmiri separatists, Pakistan’s ISI and banned terror organisation Hizbul, has on Tuesday moved a special court in Pune seeking anticipatory bail in the case, a day after the Bombay High Court directed him to do so. The court will hear arguments from both sides on Thursday.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had granted interim protection from arrest to Navlakha who had appealed against an earlier Bombay HC order refusing to quash his FIR.
Bharadwaj, Gonsalves and Ferreira had been locked in Pune’s Yerawada Jail for almost 14 months. They had moved to the Bombay HC after a special judge in Pune had rejected their bail petitions last year.
On October 15, the Bombay HC had also rejected the bail pleas of alleged Urban Naxals Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in the Bhima Koregaon violence case. The bail plea was moved in the month of August and the court had begun hearing on August 27. The court had reserved the judgement on October 7. The three were booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act by the Maharashtra police after it began raids in the Bhima Koregaon violence case.
The five suspected ‘Urban Naxals’, identified as Delhi based activist Rona Wilson, advocate Surendra Gadling, professor Shoma Sen and Mahesh Raut from Nagpur and Mumbai’s Sudhir Dhavle were arrested by the Pune police on 6 June 2018, over charges of organising the Elgaar Parishad held at Pune’s Shaniwarwada on 31 December 2017, which is believed to have instigated the Bhima-Koregaon violence a day later.
The Pune police had filed a 5,000-page charge sheet, which had names of 10 persons, including Nagpur-based lawyer Surendra Gadling, Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson and Sudhir Dhawale of Republican Panthers. Addition to these five, absconding underground Maoists Milind Teltumbde, Prakash alias Ritupam Goswami, Prashant Bose alias Kishan da, Manglu and Deepu have also been named in the charge sheet.