The National Investigation Agency on Monday opposed a petition filed by activist Rona Wilson, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, for interim bail to attend a ceremonial mass after his father’s death, PTI reported.
The agency said that Wilson’s family members could perform the rituals in his absence, The Indian Express reported.
Wilson’s father died in Kerala on August 18. On September 1, the activist approached the special court of the National Investigation Agency in Mumbai for temporary bail.
The activist had said that meeting his family would bring him some solace, Live Law reported.
The court is scheduled to hear his petition on Tuesday, according to The Indian Express.
On Monday, the National Investigation Agency said that the activist was just “creating a ground for his release” as his father’s last rites had already been performed.
The agency claimed that if Wilson was released on bail, the activist might “influence and tamper with the prosecution evidence”, The Indian Express reported. The agency told the court that Wilson’s petition had no merit.
Wilson is among the 14 activists, lawyers and academicians still in jail for allegedly conspiring to set off caste violence in a village near Pune in 2018.
Tribal rights activist Stan Swamy, one of the accused in the case, died in custody in July this year after being repeatedly denied bail despite his frail health.
Varavara Rao, an 81-year-old Telugu poet, was granted bail on medical grounds for six months in February.
Rao’s bail ended on September 5. On Monday, the Bombay High Court directed Rao to surrender before the authorities at the Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai on September 25.
The National Investigation Agency’s case against those accused in the Bhima Koregaon case is based on letters that claim to provide evidence of a conspiracy to “overthrow the lawfully established Indian government using weapons procured from Russia and China”.
However, in February, a United States-based digital forensics firm found that at least 10 incriminating letters were planted on Wilson’s laptop. In July, it emerged that evidence was also planted on the computer belonging to Surendra Gadling, another detainee in the case.
The continued imprisonment of activists and academicians in the case based on alleged flimsy evidence has triggered outrage in India. Several of those in custody have chronic health problems and after Swamy’s death, there have been renewed demands for their release.