Afternoon Voice

Activists’ arrest: HC raps cops for holding press conference

The Bombay High Court on Monday came down heavily on Maharashtra Police for holding a press conference and elaborating on the evidence against activists arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case.

The court questioned the police for holding a media interaction when the case is sub-judice.

During the course of the hearing, the court criticised the cops for disclosing details of the matter, even after the police themselves had sought strict confidentiality in the proceedings.

The high court was hearing a petition filed by the alleged victim of the Bhima Koregaon violence, Satish Gaikwad, who wants the case to be handed over to the National Investigative Agency. The court, however, adjourned the hearing for September 7, after it was pointed out that copies of the petition were not served to all concerned parties.

Maharashtra Police, on August 28, had arrested five activists, claiming they had links to the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist). The raids triggered strong criticism against the police, leading the cops to defend and claim that they had strong evidence against the arrested activists.

The arrests can be traced to the violence that erupted between the Dalit and Maratha groups, earlier this year near Pune, during the bicentenary anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon battle. The clashes killed one person and left several injured, including 10 policemen.