The Supreme Court will hear later on Wednesday a plea by well-known historian Romila Thapar and activist Maja Daruwala on the arrest of five human rights activists on Tuesday for their alleged naxal links.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said it would hear the matter at 3.45 p.m. after counsel Prashant Bhushan appearing for Thapar, Daruwala and three other activists mentioned the matter for an urgent hearing.

Maharashtra Police had arrested activists — Sudha Bhardwaj, Varavara Rao, Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves, and Arun Ferreira — on Tuesday.

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Police had also raided the houses of tribal rights activist Stan Swamy and Anand Teltumbde, a management professional and civil rights activist, and others.

Three of the five activists were taken to Pune late last night, the police said.

A senior Pune police officer said that prominent Telugu poet Varavara Rao, and activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira are likely to be produced in a court later in the day.

Five people allegedly having close Maoist links were arrested in June from Mumbai, Nagpur and Delhi in connection with Elgar Parishad event held on December 31 last year which had later triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima village in Pune district.

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Provocative speeches were made at the Elgar Parishad event which triggered the violence at Koregaon-Bhima, according to an FIR registered at the Vishrambaug police station n Pune after the event.

 

(With agency inputs)