Bail Denied To 3 Activists Under House Arrest In Bhima-Koregaon Case

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Sudha Bharadwaj, 2 other activists were denied bail by a special court on Friday

New Delhi:

A special court in Pune on Friday rejected bail applications of activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves, who had been put under house arrest for their alleged links to Maoists.

The three activists were arrested along with P Vara Vara Rao and Gautam Navlakha by the Pune police on August 28 during country-wide raids. All of them were put under house arrest following an order by the Supreme Court.

The prosecution argued against granting bail to the three activists and said they have enough "corroborative evidence" against the trio to prove their links with CPI (Maoist) in various ways such as "raising funds" for the banned outfit and helping them recruit the cadre.

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The nationwide raids in which the activists were arrested had been launched as part an investigation into a conclave, Elgar Parishad, that was held in Bhima Koregaon near Pune on December 31 last year.

The police claimed the speeches given by some activists at the conclave set the stage for violence next day in the village of Bhima Koregaon, where one person was killed in an inter-caste clash.

After the arrest of the activists, eminent historian Romila Thapar moved a petition in the Supreme Court saying the police crackdown is linked to the left-leaning viewpoints of the activists.

The Supreme Court ordered the police to keep the five activists under house arrest and not to send them to jails. The arrest of Gautam Navlakha had been quashed by Delhi High Court and Vara Vara Rao's bail application is pending before the Hyderabad High Court.

With inputs from agencies

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