A Pune sessions court on Saturday sent activists Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves, both accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, to police custody till November 6, ANI reported.
The court on Friday rejected the bail pleas of Ferreira, Gonsalves and Sudha Bharadwaj after the period of their house arrests, as specified by the Supreme Court, came to an end. Ferreira and Gonsalves were taken into custody in the evening.
Public prosecutor Ujwala Pawar on Saturday asked the court for 14 days of police custody, reported ANI. Defence lawyer Sidharth Patil, however, argued that the police had committed contempt of court by taking the activists into custody before the end of their house arrest. Patil said the house arrests were supposed to end at midnight on October 27 at as per the Supreme Court order, ANI reported.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Police took Bharadwaj into custody from her home in Haryana’s Faridabad city on Saturday, ANI reported. The police arrived at her house after midnight but could not take her into custody as the law does not permit the arrest of women after sunset.
The Bombay High Court on Friday restrained the police from arresting civil rights activist Gautam Navlakha until November 1 in connection with the case. However, it refused to grant interim relief to author Anand Teltumbde. The Delhi High Court had ordered Navlakha’s release from house arrest on October 1.
Ferreira, Gonsalves, Bharadwaj, Navlakha, and Varavara Rao were arrested on August 28 for their alleged involvement in an event that preceded the violence at Bhima Koregaon near Pune on January 1. On Thursday, a Hyderabad court extended the house arrest of Varavara Rao.
Last month, the Supreme Court had extended the house arrest of all the five activists by four weeks. Five other activists – Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson and Sudhir Dhawale – were arrested in June as part of the same investigation. All the activists are accused of having links to the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist).