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Activist couple with alleged Maoist links presented in court

ATS gets custody of husband Mali till 10th,wife Sheetal Sathe sent to judicial custody till 17th.

Written by Express News Service | Published: April 4, 2013 2:20 am

ATS gets custody of husband Mali till 10th,wife Sheetal Sathe sent to judicial custody till 17th.

A day after Sachin Mali and wife Sheetal Sathe,members of the radical music group Kabir Kala Manch,were arrested by the anti-terror squad (ATS) for allegedly supporting and funding Maoist activities in the state,a metropolitan magistrate court Wednesday granted ATS custody of Mali till April 10. Sathe was sent to judicial custody till April 17.

Mali and the six months pregnant Sathe,both 27,were declared absconding accused in a case registered in 2011 against 15 persons for the alleged aforesaid offence.

Special public prosecutor Rohini Salian said Mali should be remanded in police custody for 14 days,but did not press for custody of Sathe on compassionate ground. Salian,however,sought permission to question her in judicial custody.

“We are yet to examine the charges against the couple. They have been absconding for nearly two years. Their movement in this period needs to be investigated,” she said.

The couple suddenly surfaced outside Vidhan Bhawan Tuesday and courted arrest,calling it a form of satyagraha to clear their names. The duo were produced before court at 1 pm Wednesday.

Sathe’s mother Sandhya,who was present in the court,broke down on seeing her. “For two years,I heard media and police say Sheetal is on the run. Today,I at least got to see her,” she said.

Sandhya and some friends of the accused who had come from Pune said the decision to surface was discussed for a few months,but the date was not known to many besides a Kabir Kala Manch defence committee formed last year to fight court cases against the group.

Between May and June 2011,ATS arrested seven people,including Anjela Sontakke,alleged secretary of the golden corridor committee of CPI (Maoist).

While Sontakke is behind bars,the others have been released on bail. The committee is mobilizing a legal team to seek bail for Sathe.

“We will consult our lawyers,” said powada singer Sambhaji Bhagat. Mali and Sathe are facing charges under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for allegedly raising funds to carry out terrorist acts in Mumbai,Thane,Pune and other places in the state.

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