The Bombay High Court on Monday granted bail to an alleged top Maoist leader Konnath Muralidharan nearly four years after he and one of his aides were arrested by the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS).
However, the High Court imposed a two-week stay on its order after the ATS requested time to appeal the decision before the Supreme Court. This means that Muralidharan (66), who suffers from a heart ailment, will continue to remain behind bars at least until then.
Muralidharan and his aide, Ismail Hamza Chiragpalli, were arrested by the ATS in Talegaon Dabhade, on the outskirts of Pune in May 2015. Muralidharan, the national secretary of the Communist Party of India (ML) Naxalbari, is alleged to have merged his party with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) in 2014.
In its chargesheet, the ATS claimed that Muralidharan was involved in several cases of violence in Kerala before going underground in 1990. Muralidharan and Chiragpalli were staying in a rented apartment in Talegaon Dabahde under false identities, the ATS had claimed at the time of their arrest.
The ATS had recovered laptops, cellphones, SIM cards and fake Aadhaar and Pan cards from the apartment. The agency had also accused Muralidharan of writing for the banned outfit.
During the bail hearing, Justice Nitin W Sambre had instructed the ATS to provide a copy of Muralidharan’s handwriting analysis to his lawyers Sudeep Pasbola, Bhavesh Thakur, Karl Rustam Khan and Susan Abraham.
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