The Bombay High Court Friday granted protection from arrest to activist Gautam Navlakha till January 14. The court was hearing a petition moved by Navlakha, Anand Teltumbde and Stan Swamy seeking to quash the FIR lodged by the Pune Police on January 1 in connection with the Koregaon Bhima violence.
A bench of Justice B P Dharmadhikari and Justice Sarang Kotwal also protected activist Anand Teltumbde from arrest till Monday. The court on Friday begin with the arguments on quashing the FIR lodged by the Pune Police on January 1 in connection with the Koregaon Bhima violence against Teltumbde. The court after hearing the arguments for a while adjourned the matter to Monday.
Senior Counsel Mihir Desai, arguing for Teltumbde, told the court that many of the accused are being treated like criminals.
Additional Public Prosecutor Aruna Pai told the court that there are 22 accused in the case so far and the Pune Police has filed chargesheet against five accused. The investigation is progressing.
The court, however, refused to grant interim relief to activist Stan Swamy, who is also named in the same FIR, after the Pune Police informed the court that Swamy was still being treated as a suspect and not an accused.
Activists Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj, P Varavara Rao and Gautam Navlakha had earlier been put under house arrest for four weeks on the directions of the Supreme Court.
The FIR in the case, lodged by Pune resident Tushar Damgude on January 1, initially named Harshali Potdar and Sudhir Dhawale of the Republican Panthers, and Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor, Jyoti Jagtap, Deepak Dhengle of the Pune-based Kabir Kala Manch.
It claimed that the accused, as per the strategy of CPI-Maoist, “misled Dalits and spread thoughts of violence” in their minds.