Pune Court rejects bail of 3 activists in Bhima Koregaon case

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The Pune Sessions Court on October 26 rejected bail plea of Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Sudha Bharadwaj, three of the five activists who were arrested on August 28 in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence case.

District and Sessions Judge K.D. Vadane rejected the bail applications of Bharadwaj, Gonsalves and Ferreira and put on hold their arrest and sent them to house arrest.

 “At this stage, from material collected by investigating agency, prima facie, it reveals the involvement of present applicants. Moreover, the investigation is at a very crucial stage, therefore, in my view, the present applicants/accused are not entitled to be released on bail. Hence the applications being devoid of merit, liable to be rejected,” Judge Vadane said in his order.

The prosecution, while opposing the bail applications of the three activists, had argued that they have “corroborative evidence” against the accused to prove their involvement in Maoist activities, such as mobilizing cadres, recruiting students from eminent institutes and sending them to the interior to become “professional revolutionaries”, raise funds and procure weapons.

“We will appeal against the Sessions Court’s judgment in Bombay High court,” Dhairyasheel Patil, senior counsel representing Gonsalves said.

The three activists have been under house arrest since August 28 in connection with the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, which allegedly triggered violence at Koregaon Bhima on January 1.