Police Custody For Activists Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira Till Nov 6

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The Supreme Court had ordered the activists be kept under house arrest

New Delhi:

Activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira, whose bail applications were rejected by a special court in Pune on Friday, have been sent to police custody till November 6. Sudha Bharadwaj, the third activist whose bail plea was dismissed, has been arrested from her house in Faridabad by a team of Pune police.

These three activists, along with two others – P Vara Vara Rao and Gautam Navlakha – for alleged links to Maoists during country-wide raids by the Pune police on August 28 and put under house arrest following a Supreme Court order.

After the arrest of the activists in August, eminent historian Romila Thapar had moved a petition in the Supreme Court saying the police crackdown is linked to the left-leaning viewpoints of the activists. That plea was rejected by the top court today.

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The prosecution had 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.

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.

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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