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Maharashtra Govt Opposes Bail Pleas of Three Activists in Koregaon Bhima Case

The state government told the court that activists Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj and Vernon Gonsalves are active members of frontal groups funded by the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

PTI

Updated:October 1, 2019, 8:31 PM IST
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Maharashtra Govt Opposes Bail Pleas of Three Activists in Koregaon Bhima Case
File photo of social activist-lawyer Arun Ferreira in police custody in Thane on August 30, 2018. (Image: PTI)

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Tuesday opposed bail pleas filed by three activists arrested last year for alleged Maoist links and involvement in the Koregaon Bhima caste violence case.

The state government told the court that activists Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj and Vernon Gonsalves are active members of frontal groups funded by the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). Justice Sarang Kotwal is hearing the bail pleas.

The three are among several activists arrested last year by the Pune Police for alleged Maoist links and other charges following the violence at Koregaon Bhima between December 31, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Additional public prosecutor Aruna Kamat Pai on Tuesday told the court that investigation in the case against the accused persons is still underway and releasing them on bail would jeopardise the probe.

"This case and the conspiracy involved goes beyond the Koregaon Bhima violence. The accused persons were active members of frontal groups that were being funded by CPI(M)," Pai said.

The CPI(Maoist) has been banned as a terrorist organisation by the Union government through a notification issued on June 22, 2009, she argued.

"The accused persons were not only aiding and abetting the ideology of the banned organisation, but were also actively involved in recruiting cadre for the group," Pai said.

The evidence gathered by the police by way of call detail records (CDR), letters exchanged by the accused and witness statements show they were not passive but active members, she said.

She further relied on two judgments given by other benches of the Bombay High Court refusing to quash the case against co-accused and activists Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde.

"In both the judgements, the courts have noted that there was prima facie material and evidence against the accused persons," Pai said.

The court will continue hearing the matter on October 3.

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