THE BOMBAY High Court on Thursday said that on March 11, it will pass order on the bail application of activist Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in connection with the Elgaar Parishad case for her alleged links with the banned CPI-Maoist.
Bharadwaj and other activists — Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves — were arrested by the Pune Police on August 28, last year. After a special court in Pune rejected Bharadwaj’s bail application in October, 2018, she had moved the high court.
According to the police, speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017 had led to violence near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in Pune district the next day. The police have claimed that the conclave was funded by Maoists.
Bharadwaj’s lawyer Yug Chaudhry told the bench of Justice N W Sambre on Thursday that documents and letters found on someone else’s computer are being used to implicate her. He added that according to the prosecution, Bharadwaj and activist Shoma Sen — also arrested in connection to the case — were present in a meeting where one element of the conspiracy was hatched, but the call data records of same day shows that while Sen was in Mumbai, Bharadwaj was in New Delhi.
Additional Public Prosecutor Aruna Pai, appearing for the Pune Police, however, told the court that that Bharadwaj was a part of the conspiracy and there is ample evidence to prove her links to the Maoist organisation. She added that several of her emails are being investigated. Pai said that the Pune Police wishes to investigate Bharadwaj’s emails from 2000 to try to connect them with other accused and needs two months for this.
The FIR in the case, lodged by Pune resident Tushar Damgude on January 8, had initially named Harshali Potdar, Sudhir Dhawale of Republican Panthers, Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor, Jyoti Jagtap and Deepak Dhengle of Pune-based Kabir Kala Manch. It had claimed that the accused, as per the strategy of CPI-Maoist, “mislead the Dalits and spread thoughts of violence” in their minds, leading to the Koregaon Bhima violence.