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Activists Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira in police custody till Nov 6; Sudha Bharadwaj arrested

The activists were arrested following a probe into a conclave — ‘Elgaar Parishad’ — held on December 31 last year that had later triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima village in the state.

SNS | New Delhi |

Activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira, both accused in Bhima Koregaon case were sent to police custody till November 6 by Pune Sessions Court on Saturday.

Activist and Lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj was arrested and taken by the Pune Police from her residence in Haryana’s Faridabad.

The Pune Sessions Court had on Friday rejected the bail pleas by the three human rights activists, accused of alleged involvement in the Elgaar Parishad and the subsequent Koregaon-Bhima caste riots of January 1.

The three were under house arrest as per an earlier Supreme Court.

Public Prosecutor Ujwala Pawar earlier on Friday demanded a 14-day police custody of activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira.

However, defence lawyer Sidharth Patil argued that the police had committed contempt of court as the house arrest was supposed to end on 26th Oct and the time limit given by court at 12 midnight.

The Supreme Court has rejected the review plea of historian Romila Thapar against the verdict that refused SIT probe into arrests of five activists and allowing Maharashtra Police to continue with the investigation.

In a 2:1 verdict, the apex court had on September 28 refused probe by the SIT in the house arrest of five activists — Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha — in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon case.

Read | Activists’ arrest | SC refuses SIT probe, extends house arrest for 4 weeks

The Maharashtra police had arrested the five activists on August 28 in connection with an FIR lodged following a conclave — ‘Elgaar Parishad’ — held on December 31 last year that had later triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima village in the state.

The Maharashtra government had submitted before the court that the activists were arrested due to the ‘cogent’ evidence linking them to the banned CPI (Maoist).

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court had quashed the house arrest of Gautam Navlakha earlier this month.

Read | Bhima-Koregaon case: Delhi HC ends activist Gautam Navlakha’s house arrest

Hyderabad High Court on Thursday extended the house arrest of P Varavara Rao, by three weeks. However, the court granted him liberty to avail alternative legal remedies seeking bail or to quash the case registered against him by approaching the courts.

(With agency inputs)