New Delhi: A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court order will continue hearing the petition filed against the arrest of five activists over Bhima-Koregaon violence. The plea was filed by historian Romila Thapar along with human right activists Prabhat Patnaik, Satish Deshpande and Maya Darnall, urging the apex court for an independent probe into the arrests. They also urged the SC to seek an explanation from Maharashtra for “sweeping round of arrest” in the case. The bench comprises Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud. Also Read - Elgar Parishad Case: Maharashtra to Conduct 'Parallel' Probe as Case Transferred to NIA
Meanwhile, in a related development, a Pune-based man, who had lodged an FIR in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence that led to the arrests, has moved the Supreme Court seeking to be made a party in the plea filed by Thapar and others. Tushar Damgude’s plea sought that he be made a party in the pending case as it was he who had lodged the FIR in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence last year. Also Read - Bhima Koregaon Case: Pune Police Searches DU Professor's Home, Recovers Books and Electronics
The top court had ordered for house arrest of the five human rights activists, observing that dissent was the “safety valve” of democracy. The apex court granted relief to activists Varavara Rao, Arun Farreira, Vernon Gonzalves, Sudha Bhardwaj and Gautam Navalakha. The Maharashtra Police had arrested them in connection with an FIR lodged following the Elgaar Parishad conclave held on December 31 last year that had later triggered violence at Bhima-Koregaon village. Also Read - Bhima-Koregaon Case: Bombay HC Referred to 'War and Peace in Junglemahal' And Not Leo Tolstoy's Literary Classic
Prominent Telugu poet Varavara Rao was arrested from Hyderabad, while activists Vernon Gonzalves and Arun Farreira were nabbed from Mumbai, trade union activist Sudha Bhardwaj from Faridabad in Haryana and civil liberties activist Gautam Navalakha was arrested from New Delhi. Maharashtra’s Additional Director-General of Police Parambir Singh had claimed that the Pune police had evidence to prove the arrested activists were planning to overthrow the Narendra Modi government. The police have reportedly recovered letters, emails that establish their links with the Maoists and a “Rajiv Gandhi-type incident” to end the Modi Raj.