The Supreme Court has declined an urgent hearing to the review petition filed by the well known historian Romila Thapar. The review petition filed by the left leaning Professor Emerita at the Jawaharlal Nehru University was against the September 28 verdict which demanded a SIT probe to be conducted into the arrests of urban Naxals Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj, and Gautam Navlakha. The arrest of the five urban Naxals had caused a huge controversy in the country, the five were charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). They all were arrested on the basis of evidence collected by the Pune Police following the arrest of 10 suspected members of the banned CPI (Maoist) in the Bhima-Koregaon violence case. The petition filed by Romila Thapar was seeking a review of the earlier SC ruling from the bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, which had extended the interim house arrest of five activists and had refused a SIT probe in the arrests. With a 2-1 verdict the court had declined to interfere in the proceedings stating that the work of the activists in this case had nothing to do with “difference in political ideology”.
The SC today apart from rejecting the review petition filed by Romila Thapar also went ahead to allow the Maharashtra Police to continue with the investigation in the case. The accused and their sympathizers claim that the arrest was an attempt to silence the voice of dissent. The cabal claimed that the five arrested alleged Urban Naxals are political prisoners. However, in the judgment of september the Supreme Court had completely rubbished the dissent argument. On September 28, The Supreme Court passed the interim order allowing the house arrest to continue for four more weeks. The five alleged Urban Naxals -Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha- are under house arrest at their respective homes since August 29.
SC rejected the plea because the prosecution had submitted “intercepted email communications” which were exchanged between top CPI (Maoist) leader Chandrashekhar alias Ganapathy and Varavara Rao. Public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar argued against granting bail to Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Sudha Bharadwaj. The email communications revealed that the top leaders from CPI were worried about the arrest of the five urban Naxals, to quote Pawar while she was reading from the contents of the mail, “The CC has received a news-clip of some communication that was leaked immediately after the arrests. The point of great concern is how exactly the letters were leaked and how the letters got in the hands of police. We need to put efforts to understand the full scale of this breach and the methods of the intelligence agencies.”
The urban Naxals seem to have got caught in the net of the judiciary and with little chances of escape they are taking all the chances they can. Romila Thapar and her plea was a desperate measure taken up by the left cabal, but with the SC striking down this plea their hopes now have been laid to rest. The Maharashtra police is now free to continue their investigation and solidify the case against these urban Naxals and all from their network who have disrupted the peace and security of the country time and again. Great decision by the honorable Supreme Court indeed.