National

Hany Babu’s custody extended by NIA court

Professor Hany Babu (centre) being produced before the special NIA court in Mumbai. File

Professor Hany Babu (centre) being produced before the special NIA court in Mumbai. File   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Tuesday extended the NIA custody for Professor Hany Babu till August 7 as an accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence.

Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Prakash Shetty representing the NIA said, “During the investigation of the case, it is revealed that Mr. Babu has links with the banned outfit Communist Party of India (Maoist). He was the associate of arrested accused persons in the case and was a supporter of Naxal activities and Naxalite movements.”

Mr. Babu was arrested on July 28 and a search was conducted at his residence in Uttar Pradesh. Various electronics articles and incriminating documents were seized, and for the analysis of those articles, the NIA sought Mr. Babu’s custody for another seven days.

According to the agency: “Mr. Babu was using various social media accounts for communication with other co-accused persons, suspects as well as other members/sympathisers of CPI (Maoist). Disclosure and data extraction of the said social media accounts are pending and the presence of the accused is required for confrontation of said documents.”

The agency states, “Nearly 1.26 lakh emails were recovered from his email account and the said emails are under the process of scrutiny. Mr. Babu was in contact with one Paikhomba Meitei, Secretary Information and Publicity, Military Affairs, KCP (MC), an organisation banned under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act who shared an interview of Ganapathy, General Secretary of CPI (Maoist) with Mr. Babu.”

The central agency added: “He was in contact with arrested accused and they were involved in raising funds to help Maoists released from the prison. He was involved in highlighting the issue of arrest and conviction of G.N. Saibaba, sentenced for life imprisonment for links with CPI (Maoist).”

Advocate Susan Abraham appearing for Mr. Babu said he has cooperated duly not only during the last remand but also when the NIA officers had questioned him for five days.

Judge R.R. Bhosale extended NIA custody for three days and said, “The progress of investigation reveals various developments in to the entire course of investigation. Hence further investigation as per the SPP is required considering the scope and magnitude of the case.”

On January 24, 2020, the NIA re-registered a case relating to 11 arrested accused persons for inciting people and giving provocative presentation and speeches on December 31, 2017 during the Elgar Parishad organised by the activists of the Kabir Kala Manch at Shanivarwada, Pune, which promoted enmity between the caste groups and led to violence resulting in loss of life and state wide agitation, according to the agency.

Initially, the Vishram Baug Police Station registered a case and arrested Sudhir Dhawale, Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson, Arun Ferreira, Varavara Rao, Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha, Mahesh Raut, Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves and Surendra Gadling. They have been booked for terrorist activities.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2020 7:01:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/hany-babus-custody-extended-by-nia-court/article32269867.ece

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