Koregaon-Bhima violence: Court relaxes conditions imposed on accused Milind Ekbote

 A local court has granted relief to Milind Ekbote, one of the accused in the Koregaon-Bhima violence, by relaxing some conditions imposed on him like weekly attendance at police station, speaking at public rallies and talking to media.

According to the order dated January 14, issued by Additional Sessions Judge A N Sirsikar, Ekbote is no longer required to visit the Shikrapur police station — where the case against him, and right-wing leader and co-accused Sambhaji Bhide is registered — every Monday.

The court also set aside the conditions, which earlier barred him from speaking at public rallies and talking to media. With relaxation of these conditions, Ekbote can speak to media and address public rallies.

A local court, while granting bail to him last April, had restricted him from speaking at public rallies. He was also restricted from speaking to the media and was instructed to attend the Shikrapur police station every Monday.

Ekbote was booked for instigating and orchestrating violence on January 1 last year at Koregaon Bhima during the bicentenary celebrations of the Battle of Koregaon.

Although Bhide, who was also booked and named in the FIR, was never arrested, Ekbote was arrested on March 14 last year.

Supreme Court directs Maharashtra government to submit charge sheet by December 8 in Koregaon-Bhima violence case

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Maharashtra government to submit before it the chargesheet filed against arrested rights activists before a Pune court in connection with the Koregaon-Bhima violence case. The charge sheet in the case was earlier filed before a Pune court.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it wanted to see the “charges” against the accused and asked senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Maharashtra government, to submit before it by December 8 the charge sheet filed by the state police in a special court in Pune.

The bench, also comprising Justices S.K. Kaul and K.M. Joseph, was hearing an appeal of the state government against a Bombay high court order refusing to extend the time limit of 90 days for filing the probe report. The bench has now posted the appeal for further hearing on December 11.

The Pune Police had arrested lawyer Surendra Gadling, Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen, Dalit activist Sudhir Dhawale, activist Mahesh Raut and Kerala native Rona Wilson in June for their alleged links with Maoists under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

SC records details of five arrested activists

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court judgement refusing to grant relief to the five arrested rights activist in connection with the Koregaon-Bhima violence case  has given a graphic description of their activities and the earlier cases against them for their alleged links with outlaws, including naxals and Maoists.

The apex court dealt with the arrest of Gautam Navalakha, a human rights activist and New Delhi-based journalist; Sudha Bharadwaj, an IIT graduate who is also an advocate and national green secretary of PUCL; Varavara Rao, a Hyderabad-based poet and a political worker; Arun Ferreira, a Mumbai-based lawyer and Human Rights activist; and Vernon Gonsalves, a Mumbai-based writer.

Three of the five accused persons were prosecuted in the past for offences filed under the Sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC), Arms Act, and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in a number of cases.

The five activists Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Gautam Navlakha, were in jail since 29th August. The police claimed to have proof of the arrested activists’ involvement in an event called Elgaar Parishad that later triggered violence at Bhima-Koregaon in Maharashtra.

Supreme Court extends house arrest of rights activists in Koregaon-Bhima violence till Sep 17

 The Supreme Court Wednesday extended the house arrest of five rights activists who were arrested in connection with the Koregaon-Bhima violence case till September 17.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud adjourned the hearing on the plea filed by historian Romila Thapar and four others to September 17 after it was submitted that senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is representing the petitioners, was busy in another court.

Earlier, Singhvi appeared before the bench and submitted that the hearing on Thapar’s plea be conducted after 12 pm as he has to appear in another matter.

The court was hearing the plea filed against the arrest of the rights activists — Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha — in the case.

The Maharashtra police had arrested the five activists on August 28 in connection with an FIR lodged following a conclave — ‘Elgaar Parishad’ — held on December 31 last year that had later triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima village. 

On August 29, the apex court ordered the house arrest of the activists, saying “dissent is the safety valve of democracy”.