Bhima-Koregaon case: Maharashtra Police says activists arrested over Maoist links
(Sourced from PTI)
The five activists were not arrested for their dissenting views but due to the cogent evidence linking them with the banned CPI(Maoist), Maharashtra Police claimed in the Supreme Court today. The apex court, while ordering the house arrest of the five activists in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence on August 29 till tomorrow, had categorically said that dissent is the safety valve of democracy.
The counter affidavit, filed by the Maharashtra Police on a plea of historian Romila Thapar and others challenging the arrest of these activists in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence case, alleged that they were planning to carry out violence in India and ambush the security forces. The police said there was evidence to dispel the claim that they were arrested for their dissenting views.
Maharashtra Police also questioned the locus of the petitioners, Thapar and economists Prabhat Patnaik and Devika Jain, sociologist Satish Deshpande and legal expert Maja Daruwala, and said they were "strangers" to the investigation in the matter.
Maharashtra Police had on August 28 raided the homes of the prominent Left-wing activists in several states and arrested at least five of them for suspected Maoist links. While prominent Telugu poet Varavara Rao was arrested from Hyderabad, activists Vernon Gonzalves and Arun Ferreira from Mumbai, trade union activist Sudha Bhardwaj from Faridabad and civil liberties activist Gautam Navalakha was arrested from Delhi.
The raids were carried out as part of a probe into an event called Elgar Parishad (conclave) on December 31 last year, which later triggered violence at Bhima-Koregaon village in Pune. The apex court had on August 29 directed to keep the accused under house arrest at their homes till Thursday. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra will hear the matter tomorrow.