The Delhi High Court on Friday sought National Investigation Agency’s response to activist Gautam Navlakha’s interim bail plea in Bhima Koregaon violence case on medical grounds.
Navlakha, 67, has sought bail saying he is aged and particularly vulnerable to catching any infections/virus, especially in a crowded environment like prison. He has been kept in prison at Tihar jail. The petition also claimed that he was diagnosed with high blood pressure during NIA custody by the doctor at Safdarjung Hospital, which increases the risk of his morbidity.
Amidst the coronavirus scare, the NIA had also arrested Bhimrao Ambbedkar’s granddaughter’s husband Anand Teltumbde on April 14 for alleged Maoist links.
Teltumbde has been accused of organising the Elgar Parishad, a Dalit platform that the police claims was a Maoist front and responsible for Bhima Koregaon violence in 2018. The event which gave birth to the term ‘Urban Naxal’ and now is used to target scholars who express dissent.
Navlakha and nine activists including Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Sudha Bharadwaj were arrested by the Pune police from different parts of India, for their role in Pune’s December 31, 2017 Elgar Parishad gathering that allegedly served as a trigger for the caste riots in Bhima-Koregaon the next day, where one person died in the violence.
The activists are accused of having alleged links with the banned CPI-Maoist and hatching a conspiracy to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as to overthrow the elected government and booked under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).