Elgaar Parishad case: Hany Babu remanded in 7-day NIA custody

In legal trouble: Professor Hany Babu (centre) being produced before the special NIA court in Mumbai on Wednesday.

In legal trouble: Professor Hany Babu (centre) being produced before the special NIA court in Mumbai on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai on Wednesday remanded professor Hany Babu (54) in NIA custody for seven days till August 4 in the Elgaar Parishad case.

Mr. Babu, an associate professor at Delhi University’s English Department, was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the case.

Judge A.T. Wankhede said, “The allegations made against the accused are of serious nature. It is alleged that the accused is having connections/links with the banned outfit CPI (Maoist).”

Special public prosecutor Prakash Shetty, representing the NIA, said Mr. Babu has to be confronted with various facts established/revealed by the other accused during the investigation.

The NIA remand application stated, “The accused has association/links with the CPI (Maoist) party. During investigation, various letters were recovered from the seized electronic articles, wherein the role of the accused transpired.”

Mr. Shetty argued that Mr. Babu needs to be interrogated about the material obtained from the co-accused in the case and sought his custody for 10 days.

Advocate R. Sathyanarayanan, representing Mr. Babu, said the NIA had been interrogating the professor for the last four to five days and further custodial interrogation is not required.

‘Demand well-founded’

The court said, “The investigating officer wants to confront him with the various facts established from the other accused in the case. Looking at the nature of the offence and allegations levelled against the accused, the demand for custody is well-founded. However, instead of 10 days, the accused will be remanded in police custody for seven days, i.e. up to August 4.”

‘Provide only clothes’

An application was made on behalf of Mr. Babu seeking permission to provide him with basic necessities such as clothing, home-cooked food, and medicines.

However, Judge Wankhede said, “Only clothes are permitted to be provided to the accused.”

Mr. Babu was summoned by the NIA in Delhi on July 12 and directed to appear before it in Mumbai on July 15. In September 2019, the Maharashtra Police raided his house and seized electronic devices and books from his possession.

The NIA took over the investigation from the Pune Police on January 24 this year and arrested Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha, who are in their custody.

The other accused in the Elgaar Parishad case include professor Shoma Sen and advocate Sudha Bharadwaj, who are lodged in Byculla jail; activists Mahesh Raut, Vernon Gonsalves, Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, Arun Ferreira, Sudhir Dhawale, who are in Taloja Central Jail; and poet Varavara Rao, who is receiving treatment at Nanavati Hospital.

The 12 accused have been booked for allegedly delivering inflammatory speeches at the Elgaar Parishad held at Shaniwar Wada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which allegedly triggered the violence at the Bhima-Koregaon war memorial the next day.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2020 3:12:39 AM |

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