Noted writer and academic Anand Teltumbde, who was named by the Pune Police as an accused in the ‘Elgaar Parishad’— Bhima Koregaon case and who allegedly has links with the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist), has been arrested by Pune police at the Mumbai airport in the early hours of Saturday.
Mr. Teltumde’s is the 10th arrest so far in connection with the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence in Pune.
Sources in the police said Mr. Teltumbde was picked up from the domestic terminal of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 3:30 a.m. and taken to Pune. He is likely to be produced in a court.
A special court in Pune quashed his anticipatory bail plea on Friday. Rejecting the plea, Special Judge K.D. Vadane observed that the alleged offences against him were “serious” in nature and that there appeared to be “no mala fide exercise of power by the investigating agency [the Pune Police] to implicate” the academician.
Mr. Teltumbde had come to Mumbai in order to appeal against the Pune court’s order before the Bombay High Court
Earlier, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar, appearing for the Pune Police, had said one of the alleged ‘Maoist communications’ seized by the Pune police from other arrested activists pointed to a link between Mr. Teltumbde and his brother , top fugitive Maoist Milind Teltumbde.
Supreme Court order
While Mr. Teltumbde’s supporters said this was in violation of the interim protection granted to him by the Supreme Court, the Pune Police claimed that the protection was in effect only till the trial court reached a decision on his anticipatory bail plea.
As per a Supreme Court order, Mr. Teltumbde could be arrested only after the completion of four weeks from the date of the order, unless he could get bail from the lower courts or the High Court. Mr. Teltumbde moved the apex court after the Bombay High Court, on December 15, dismissed his petition for protection from arrest.
A number of intellectuals and educational institutes, including the IIM-Ahmedabad, have come out in open support of Mr.Teltumbde, strongly condemning the manner in which he was being ''hounded'' by the Pune Police.
“Mr. Teltumbde is a person of eminence with a doctorate and who holds high posts in private and public enterprises. He has received numerous awards and has never been involved in any criminal activity in the past,” Rohan Nahar, Mr. Teltumbde's lawyer, had submitted before the court.
(With inputs from Gautam S. Mengle )