A day after the Pune police in a coordinated raid across India, arrested five right activists for their alleged connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence, several eminent personalities such as Romila Thapar, Prabhat Patnaik, Satish Deshpande and Maya Darnall on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court to challenge the same.
A three-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra is scheduled to hear the matter at 3:45 pm on Wednesday. Senior lawyers Prashant Bhushan, Abhishek Singhvi, Dushyant Dave and Indira Jaising will appear for the petitioners before the Supreme Court.
The group of activists on Wednesday reached the apex court seeking an independent investigation into the matter and asserted that the arrest of the activists was malafide and arbitrary. They also urged the court to seek an explanation from Maharashtra for “sweeping round of arrests” in the case, according to report.
#BhimaKoregaon Eminent persons Romila Thapar, Prabhat Patnaik, Satish Deshpande, Maya Darnall and one other person move the Supreme Court against the arrest of activists Sudha Bhardwaj and activist Gautam Navlakha. SC to hear the matter at 3:45 pm today.— ANI (@ANI) August 29, 2018
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Apart from the Supreme Court hearing, the Delhi High Court is also scheduled to hear the matter pertaining to activist Gautam Navlakha's arrest at 2:15 pm after police sought more time for translation of documents from Marathi to English.
Meanwhile, speaking to ANI, DCP, NIT Faridabad said that Sudha Bharadwaj, one of the five detained activists, will be "produced before High Court on Wednesday. Media would be barred from talking to her. But she can meet her advocates". Bharadwaj is currently under house arrest in connection with famous Bhima Koregaon violence.
On Tuesday, Lawyer and trade union activist Sudha Bhardwaj, revolutionary poet P Varavara Rao, civil rights activist and journalist Gautam Navlakha, and lawyers and activists Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves were arrested over an alleged Maoist activity, that rocked Maharashtra's Bhima Koregaon on January 1 during the 200th anniversary celebration of a British-era war.
The police team also searched the residence of Father Stan Swamy in Ranchi but could not arrest him due to lack of evidence.
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The raids, which were carried out in Mumbai, Ranchi, Hyderabad, Faridabad, Delhi and Thane also found a shocking letter that describes a chilling plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the lines of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
This was the second such operation in the last three months. Earlier in June, the Pune police had carried out similar searches and arrested five “urban Maoist operatives” from Delhi, Mumbai and Nagpur.