Mumbai: Pune Sessions Court on Thursday rejected bail plea of Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Sudha Bhardwaj, the activists accused in Bhima Koregaon violence case, news agency ANI reported. It must be noted that all three of them are currently under house arrest which is ending today.
The Maharashtra police had arrested the rights 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. Since then, the activists are under arrest at their respective homes.
On September 27, the Supreme Court delivered its verdict on a plea challenging the arrest of five left-wing activists for their suspected Maoist links and their alleged involvement in the Bhima-Koregaon violence case.
The top court had on September 20 reserved its order on the petition by historian Romila Thapar and others seeking the immediate release of the five rights activists – Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha – and an SIT probe into their arrest.
A bench headed by former Chief Justice Dipak Misra, also comprising Justices A M Khaniwlkar and D Y Chandrachud, had then asked the Maharashtra police to file their case diary pertaining to the ongoing investigation in the case by September 24.
During the hearing, the court asked the Maharashtra government to place before it the “best documents available” as most of the material referred by it were “more like conjectures.”
Questioning the veracity of the evidence produced by the Maharashtra Police on the arrests, the court had said it may also consider setting up a special investigation team (SIT) for a probe into the activists’ arrests if prima facie ground is established against their involvement.