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Elgaar Parishad case: Varavara Rao, Shoma Sen refused bail

Two senior social activists P. Varavara Rao (80) and Shoma Sen (61), accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, were refused bail by a special court set up to try cases under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) on Tuesday. The two had sought interim bail citing their bad health, their age and the spread of COVID-19 virus.

In her application, Ms. Sen has said she suffered from multiple ailments including osteoarthritis, glaucoma and high blood pressure which could make her vulnerable to a virus like COVID-19 which is spreading rapidly. Mr. Rao too claimed in his application that the elderly were more vulnerable to the virus.

Ms. Sen’s daughter Koel Sen tweeted on Monday, “Dear Mr. Thackeray, During this COVID19-CRISIS, I whole-heartedly request you to please release my mother, Nagpur University Prof. Shoma Sen from Byculla Jail along with other jailed intellectuals post #bhimakoregaon on bail/parole @CMOMaharashtra @AnilDeshmukhNCP #lockdown”.

The plea was opposed by Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Shetty who argued that their previous bail pleas were rejected, and that there is no new ground for bail available to them, and also said that the accused were booked under UAPA and the procedure for bail is different.

Rejecting the bail pleas the court observed that the accused were booked under provision of UAPA along with other sections of the Indian Penal Code, and that the directions of the high power committee excludes accused booked under UAPA from other category of undertrials and prisoners for granting bail.

The two are among the 11 person who were booked by Pune Police, before the investigation was taken over by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) recently. The accused have been booked for allegedly delivering inflammatory speeches at the Elgaar Parishad conclave held at Shaniwar Wada in Pune on December 31, 2017 which triggered violence at Bhima-Koregaon war memorial the next day.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 5:52:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/elgaar-parishad-case-varavara-rao-shoma-sen-refused-bail/article31222565.ece

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