Civil rights activist Gautam Navlakha surrendered before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday here after the Supreme Court had refused to extend his plea in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said.
Navlakha, who has been accused under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for alleged involvement in the Bhima Koregaon riots in 2018, was asked to surrender by the Supreme Court.
Editor of Mumbai-based E conomic and Political Weekly journal for years, Mr. Navlakha was one of the five human rights activists arrested for alleged Maoist links and involvement in the Bhima Koregaon violence on January 1, 2018 but was granted protection from the arrest by the Supreme Court and the Bombay High Court.
He was directed by the Supreme Court on March 16 to surrender within three weeks but he had moved a plea seeking extension of time on the ground that going to jail during the COVID-19 pandemic is “virtually a death sentence“.
A Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra on April 8 had said the accused should have honoured its decision of dismissal of the anticipatory bail and the direction to surrender themselves within three weeks.
He has denied all charges against him.