The Bombay High Court on Thursday restrained the police from arresting activists Gautam Navlakha, Anand Teltumbde and Stan Swamy till December 14, PTI reported. While Navlakha had been arrested in August in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case, the homes and offices of Teltumbde and Swamy had been searched.
The public prosecutor opposed Navlakha’s plea to remove his name from the police chargesheet, claiming there was enough evidence against him, ANI reported. The court criticised the prosecution and asked it to submit all the relevant material by December 4.
On November 1, the court had ordered the police to refrain from taking coercive action against the three activists till November 21. It extended this deadline by a day on Wednesday, after Additional Public Prosecutor Aruna Pai Kamath sought an early hearing, DNA reported.
Navlakha and activists Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Varavara Rao were arrested on August 28 for allegedly being involved in an event that preceded the violence between Dalits and Marathas at Bhima Koregaon near Pune on January 1. They were subsequently placed under house arrest.
On September 28, the Supreme Court extended by a month the house arrest of all the five activists. After the extension period expired, a Pune sessions court sent Ferreira and Gonsalves to police custody till November 6 and arrested Bharadwaj from her home in Haryana’s Faridabad.
Earlier this month, Ferreira alleged that he was beaten up in police custody.
Five other activists – Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson and Sudhir Dhawale – were arrested in June as part of the same investigation. The 10 are accused of masterminding the violence in Bhima Koregaon as well as of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).