Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court ruling on the arrest of five rights activists and termed it a “victory for the Pune police and the country.”
“We welcome the decision based on Pune police investigations and evidence it collected has been considered valid. The court has said it will not interfere in the investigations,” Fadnavis said to the media here.
He pointed out that the apex court had accepted that there is no political influence nor a plot to suppress opposition voice.
“They (activists) have been indulging in this for many years, but since there was no evidence, the probe was incomplete,” Fadnavis added.
He said that the verdict vindicates the government’s stand against urban Maoists who have been hatching a conspiracy to create unrest in the country.
“These persons have been working against the nation and planning to kill our Prime Minister. But we have collected all evidences against them and now will move the appropriate courts to seek their custody. They will not be spared,” Fadnavis said.
In nationwide swoops in August, Pune police arrested five human rights and Dalit activists — Varavara Rao, Sudha Bhardwaj, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Gautam Navlakha.
They were accused of involvement in the Koregaon-Bhima riots in January and other charges. They were later placed under house arrest by an apex court order on August 29.
In a 2:1 ruling, the Supreme Court on Friday declined relief to the activists, rejected their plea for a Special Investigating Team and allowed the Pune police to continue with their investigations.
While extending their house arrest by another four weeks, the apex court also directed the activists to approach local court for relief in the matter.