The following is the chronology of events leading to the Supreme Court Friday refusing to interfere with the arrest of five rights activists by the Maharashtra Police in connection with the Koregaon-Bhima violence case, and declining to appoint a SIT to probe their arrest. It also extended their house arrest for 4 weeks.
Dec 31, 2017: Elgar Parishad — a conference held in Shaniwar Wada near Pune to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon-Bhima.
Jan 1, 2018: One person killed in caste violence between two groups near Sanaswadi, adjacent to Koregaon-Bhima leading to the statewide Dalit agitation.
Jun 6: Pune police arrests prominent Dalit activist Sudhir Dhawale, Nagpur University head of English department Shoma Sen, activist Mahesh Raut and Kerala native Rona Wilson, who is associated with committee for release of political prisoners, in the case.
Aug 28: Maharashtra Police arrests Telugu poet Varavara Rao from Hyderabad, activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira from Mumbai, trade union activist Sudha Bharadwaj from Faridabad and civil liberties activist Gautam Navlakha from Delhi.
-Petition filed in Delhi HC on behalf of Navlakha challenging his arrest.
-Delhi HC directs Navlakha, arrested for alleged Maoist links, not be taken away from the national capital till it hears the matter next day. -Punjab and Haryana HC Court stays transit remand of Bharadwaj.
Aug 29: Maha Police gives in Delhi HC translated documents including FIR to Navlakha’s counsel. -Historian Romila Thapar and four activists move SC against the arrest of five rights activists seeking their immediate release and SIT probe. -SC directs all activists be kept under house arrest till September 6.
Aug 30: Delhi HC not to proceed with hearing of the plea against Navlakha’s arrest till further orders from SC.
Sep 5: Maha govt claims in SC that activists were not arrested for their dissenting views but due to the cogent evidence linking them with the banned CPI(Maoist).
Sep 6: SC extends activists house arrest till Sep 12.
Sep 12: SC extends their house arrest till Sep 17.
Sep 17: SC further extends their house arrest till Sep 19 saying it will examine whether there is material supporting their arrest in the case.
Sep 19: SC again extends house arrest of activists for a day saying it will look into their arrest with a ‘hawks eye’.
Sep 20: SC reserves verdict on the pleas.
Sep 28: SC, in a 2:1 verdict, refuses to interfere with the arrests and declined to appoint a SIT.