Activists arrested in nationwide raids: the story so far

Supreme Court extends house arrest of rights activists till Sept. 12

Activist Vernon Gonsalves arriving at his residence along with the police, in Pune. File   | Photo Credit: Prashant Waydande

The Supreme Court on Thursday extended till September 12, the house arrest of five rights activists in connection with their alleged connection with proscribed Communist Party of India (Maoist).

A Bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra took umbrage at the statements given by the Assistant Commissioner of Police of Pune on the matter, saying he was casting aspersions on the court.

The Bench, also comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud, told the Maharashtra government to make its police officials “more responsible” on matters pending before the court.

“You must ask your police officials to be more responsible. The matter is before us and we don’t want to hear from police officials that the Supreme Court is wrong,” the Bench told Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for Maharashtra government.

 

Poser to Romila Thapar

The Bench also asked petitioner Romila Thapar and others to satisfy it on whether a third party could intervene in a criminal case.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mehta told the Bench that keeping the activists under house arrest would hamper the ongoing investigation.

The Bench posted the matter for further hearing on September 12.

On Wednesday, the Maharashtra government told the apex court that the five rights activists were arrested due to the cogent evidence linking them with the banned CPI (Maoist) and not because of their dissenting views.

'Planning for armed rebellion'

The State police filed the affidavit in response to a plea of Ms. Thapar and four others, challenging the arrest of the five activists, and claimed that they were planning to carry out violence in the country and ambush security forces.

While Telugu poet Varavara Rao was arrested from Hyderabad, activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira were nabbed in Mumbai, trade union activist Sudha Bharadwaj from Faridabad and civil liberties activist Gautam Navlakha in Delhi.

The raids were carried out as part of a probe into an event called Elgar Parishad, or conclave, on December 31 last year, which later triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima village in Pune district.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 10:12:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/supreme-court-extends-house-arrest-of-rights-activists-till-sept-12/article24880362.ece

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