Urban Naxals from Maharashtra have gotten yet another jolt from the judiciary. This time, it is the Pune court which has rejected the bail pleas of the Urban Naxals Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferriera and Vernon Gonsalves. The Maharashtra police is planning to arrest Sudha Bharadwaj on Saturday morning. The police, however, had reached her house at around Friday midnight and were engrossed in completing the legal formalities. Arun Ferriera and Vernon Gonsalves have already been taken into custody in Mumbai after their bail pleas were rejected by the Pune Court. They are scheduled to be produced before the court in Pune on Saturday. The three accused were arrested on August 28th in connection with their involvement in an instigating event which took place before the Bhima Koregaon violence near Pune on January 1st. The Hyderabad court had earlier extended the house arrest of another accused Varavara Rao on Thursday.
This is another devastating blow to the cabal of left and left extremism as it comes after the Supreme Court verdict, extending the house arrest of Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferriera, Vernon Gonsalves, Varavara Rao and Gautam Navlakha, for their alleged links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). They have also been accused of having played pivotal role in the controversial ‘Elgaar Parishad’, which set off the spark in provoking Bhima Koregaon violence in Maharashtra. Five other activists Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson and Sudhir Dhawale were also arrested in June as accused in the same case.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Home Department has directed the police for the formation of a three member committee. The committee is headed by the state’s additional director general of police who will review cases registered during the Bhima-Koregaon violence and the Maratha quota agitation. The panel will also decide the cases that could be dropped under government’s directives. The Maharashtra government has decided that cases in which damage to public or private property did not exceed Rs 10 lakhs or the cases which did not result in loss of life could be considered for withdrawal. The committee will however not consider dropping the cases of direct attacks on police personnel, however, the committee can also withdraw cases against those who are willing to pay for the damage.
The Supreme Court had earlier 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 an SIT probe regarding the arrests of Urban Naxals Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj, and Gautam Navlakha. The arrest of the five Urban Naxals had earlier caused a huge controversy in the country, they have been charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). They all were arrested on the basis of evidence collected by the Pune Police following the arrests of 10 suspected members of the banned CPI (Maoist) in the Bhima-Koregaon violence case. The petition filed by Romila Thapar sought 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 arrests of the five activists and had refused the SIT probe in the arrests as well. This decision of the Pune Court will further add to the woes of the Urban Naxals who pose as ‘activists’ in the society to provide support to their gun totting comrades.