The Bombay High Court on Thursday restrained the police from arresting activists Gautam Navlakha, Anand Teltumbde and Stan Swamy till November 21, India Today reported. Navlakha was arrested while the homes and offices of Teltumbde and Swamy were searched in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case in August.
The court on October 26 had directed the police to refrain from taking coercive action against Navlakha and Teltumbde for a week.
Navlakha along with activists Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Varavara Rao were arrested on August 28 for their alleged involvement in an event that preceded violence between Dalits and Marathas at Bhima Koregaon near Pune on January 1. They were subsequently placed under house arrest. The Delhi High Court had ordered Navlakha’s release from house arrest on October 1.
The Supreme Court on September 28 had extended the house arrest of all five activists by four weeks. On October 27, a Pune sessions court sent Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves to police custody till November 6 and arrested Sudha Bharadwaj from her home in Haryana’s Faridabad city. The police arrested them after the period of their house arrests, as specified by the top court, came to an end.
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 10 activists are accused of having links to the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist). The Maharashtra Police have defended the arrests on the grounds that the accused were planning large-scale violence as part of the Maoists’ agenda.