National

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis welcomes SC ruling on activists

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis. File

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis. File  

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision not to interfere in the Pune police’s investigation of the five arrested rights activists in connection with the Koregaon-Bhima violence.

He said the verdict proved there was no conspiracy behind the State’s actions.

“The Supreme Court has vindicated the State government and the Pune police,” Mr. Fadnavis said. “The court has no doubt over the material evidence submitted. A conspiracy against the nation has been unearthed by the police,” he asserted.

Mr. Fadnavis claimed that the decision of the apex court proved that there was no conspiracy behind action by the State police against Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha. The five are under arrest at their respective homes since August 29.

“A lot of things were said against the police after the arrest and an atmosphere was created by Opposition, pseudo-liberals in the media that the arrests have been made without evidence. The police had to hold a press conference to say that the arrests were not motivated but backed by real and powerful evidence,” he said.

“We will look into the fineprint of the order regarding the police press conference. The press conference is not important but the real issue of conspiracy against the nation is. If holding the press conference was wrong, we will improve it,” said Mr. Fadnavis.

The Chief Minister said that political parties should not support the arrested persons for political reasons after the SC verdict. “Otherwise the political parties will stand exposed,” he added.

The Supreme Court in its order said that the arrests were not because of dissent of activists but there was prima-facie material to show their link with banned CPI (Maoist) organisation. The three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in a 2:1 verdict, refused the plea seeking the immediate release of the activists. The majority verdict by the Supreme Court said the protection of house arrest of the activists will remain in force for four more weeks to enable the accused to seek appropriate legal remedy at appropriate legal forum.

Prominent Telugu poet Varvara Rao was arrested on August 28 from Hyderabad, while activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira were nabbed from Mumbai, trade union activist Sudha Bharadwaj from Faridabad in Haryana and civil liberties activist Gautam Navlakha from Delhi.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 12:24:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/fadnavis-welcomes-ruling/article25074501.ece

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