Elgar Parishad case: Navlakha moves Pune court for anticipatory bail

 Activist Gautam Navlakha, accused of Maoist links in connection with the Elgar Parishad caste violence case, on Tuesday approached the Pune sessions court for anticipatory bail.

The court will hear his plea on November 7.

The Bombay High Court had on Monday asked Navlakha to approach the sessions court here for anticipatory bail.

Navlakha’s plea for anticipatory bail came up for hearing on Monday before a single bench of Justice P D Naik, who dismissed it and asked the Delhi-based activist to first approach the sessions court in Pune for relief.

Navlakha had filed the application in the high court which had, in September, declined to quash a police case lodged against him in January last year, after which he had moved the Supreme Court.

The apex court had granted him interim protection from arrest and said he could seek anticipatory bail from the court concerned.

According to the police, “inflammatory” speeches and “provocative” statements at the Elgar Parishad conclave held on December 31, 2017, had triggered violence at Koregaon Bhima on 1st January, 2018.

The police have alleged that the event, held at a fort, was backed by people with Maoist links.

Navlakha and the other accused were booked under the relevant provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Besides Navlakha, eight others, including Telugu poet Varavara Rao and Left-wing activists Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Sudha Bharadwaj, are accused in the case.

Elgar Parishad case: Sudha Bhardwaj moves BHC to seek bail

Human rights activist and lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj, arrested in connection with the Elgar Parishad case, has moved the Bombay High Court to seek bail.

The plea was taken up for hearing on Wednesday by Justice N W Sambre.

Bhardwaj, through her lawyer Yug Chaudhary, challenged the decision of a Pune court that had rejected her bail plea in October last year.

Chaudhary told the bench that the Pune court, while denying the bail to Bhardwaj, had relied upon four letters produced as incriminating evidence by the Pune Police.

However, Chaudhary said he wanted to show to the high court that the letters could not be accepted as admissible evidence under the Indian Evidence Act.

The bench is likely to hear the plea in detail on February 18.

Bhardwaj was arrested along with several other activists by the Pune Police last year.

She and the others were booked following an Elgar Parishad event on December 31, 2017, which, the police alleged, triggered violent clashes the next day at Koregaon- Bhima village in Pune district of Maharashtra.

According to police, the event was funded and supported by Maoists.

At the event, some activists made inflammatory speeches and provocative statements that contributed to the January 1 violence, they had said.

The Pune Police also alleged that Bhardwaj played a role in mobilising party cadres and funds for the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

The police claimed it came to the conclusion after raiding the houses of several of these activists and chancing upon some letters that revealed, among other things, a conspiracy to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Elgar Parishad case: Dalit scholar Anand Teltumbde arrested

 Dalit scholar Anand Teltumbde was Saturday arrested in Mumbai by the Pune Police in the Elgar Parishad case for his alleged Maoist links, officials said

Police detained Teltumbde, a professor at Goa Institute of Management, at the Mumbai airport early hours Saturday after his arrival from Kerala

He was detained by the Mumbai Police, who later handed him over to the Pune Police, an official said

“Teltumbde was interrogated and later arrested by the Pune Police. He would be produced in the court later in the day,” said Shivaji Bodkhe, Joint Commissioner of Pune Police

His arrest comes a day after a special court in Pune rejected his anticipatory bail application

“Since his pre-arrest bail plea was rejected by the court in Pune on Friday, we decided to arrest him today,” Assistant Commissioner of Police Shivaji Pawar, who is investigating the case, said

Teltumbde’s lawyer Rohan Nahar, however, termed the arrest illegal, saying the Supreme Court had given him protection from arrest till February 11

“His arrest is a contempt of the apex court order, and we will move a plea against it,” he said

Senior advocate Indira Jaising took to Twitter to protest the activist’s arrest

“Dr Anand Teltumbde arrested at 330am at Mumbai airport by Pune Police in Gross violation of SC order giving him protection from arrest till 11th February , this is contempt of the order of the Supreme Court of India #ReleaseDrAnandTeltumbde immediately,” she said

On Friday, Additional Sessions Judge Kishor Vadane had observed that an investigating officer has collected sufficient material “to show the involvement of the present accused (Teltumbde) in the alleged commission of the offence”

The prosecution had Thursday submitted an envelope in the Pune court containing “evidence”, claiming that it proves Teltumbde’s involvement in Maoist activities

Teltumbde had filed the anticipatory (pre-arrest) bail application before the Pune court after the Supreme Court rejected his plea seeking to quash the FIR against him in the Elgar Parishad case

According to the Pune Police, Maoists had supported the Elgar Parishad conclave held here on December 31, 2017, and the inflammatory speeches there led to violent clashes at the Koregaon Bhima war memorial the next day.