A special court in Pune on Wednesday rejected the bail pleas of six activists in connection with the Elgar Parishad case, reported PTI. Activists Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Varavara Rao and Sudhir Dhavle are accused of having Maoist links.

The six accused had sought bail on the ground that the police had not produced any substantial evidence against them. During the hearing, the prosecution said there was material to show links between the accused and Maoists.

Additional Sessions Judge SR Navandar said the evidence suggested that the accused were members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and were active involved in furthering the cause of the banned outfit. The court said acts of the applicants were against democracy, and added that it could now move for trial if both the parties were ready, reported The Indian Express.

The activists were arrested in June and August 2018 in connection with the violence that broke out in the village near Pune on January 1 that year between Dalits and Marathas. Four other activists – Gautam Navlakha, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Sudha Bharadwaj – were also arrested in August 2018 as part of the same investigation.

According to the police, the violence was triggered by a meeting called the Elgar Parishad, which was organised the day before in Pune to commemorate the Battle of Bhima Koregaon in 1818 between the East India Company and the Peshwa faction of the Maratha Confederacy.

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