Bhima Koregaon case: Bombay HC rejects bail pleas of 3 accused

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The Bombay High Court on Tuesday rejected the bail applications of Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferrira and Sudha Bharadwaj arrested in connection with Bhima Koregaon case for alleged links with Maoist group.

The accused were arrested in August last year under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. A Special Judge in Pune rejected their bail applications in October last year, prompting the trio to move the Bombay High Court.

During the month-long proceedings at the high court, Additional Public Prosecutor Aruna Pai for Pune Police claimed that Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira were involved in recruiting cadre for banned Naxal group Communist Party of India (Maoist).

The Pune Police also argued that all three bail applicants, including trade unionists and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj were members of four organisations allegedly acting as front for banned CPI (Maoist).

As per the prosecution, these organisations include the Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee (PPSC), Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP), Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL) and Anuradha Gandhi Memorial (AGM).

Meanwhile, lawyers representing the three accused told the court that the prosecution failed to provide any evidence which will incriminate their clients.

The accused told the court that Left-leaning tendencies were not enough to draw a connection with the Naxal outfits.

Earlier in September, the Bombay HC had rejected civil rights activist and co-accused Gautam Navlakha’s plea to quash the FIR against him in the Bhima Koregaon case. He has since moved the Supreme Court seeking the same. The SC had on October 4 provided him protection till October 15 in the case.

Bhima Koregaon case

The FIR was lodged against Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferrira, Sudha Bharadwaj and Varavara Rao by the Pune Police in January 2018 after the Elgar Parishad held on December 31, 2017 that had allegedly triggered violence at Bhima Koregaon in Pune district the next day.

The police have also alleged that Navlakha and other accused in the case had Maoist links and were working towards overthrowing the government.

The accused were booked under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code.

Source By Indiatoday

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