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Bhima Koregaon violence: Bombay HC rejects activist plea to quash FIR

 

The Bombay High Court on Friday dismissed the petition of activist Anand Teltumbde seeking to quash the FIR lodged against him by the Pune police on January 8 in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence. The court has, however, granted Teltumbde protection from arrest for three weeks.

The court on Monday had reserved order on the petition moved jointly by activists Gautam Navlakha, Teltumbde and Stan Swamy. While Teltumbde has been named as an accused, the Pune police told the HC last week Swamy was still just a “suspect”. Navlakha was granted protection from arrest till January 14.

The bench has heard a bunch of petitions filed in the case by Teltumbde and his co-accused Navlakha, who was arrested in August by the Pune police for his alleged links to “Maoists” and an event, Elgar Parishad, held on December 31 last year.

According to Pune police, the Elgar Parishad event was funded and supported by Maoists. At the event which was held a day before January 1 caste clashes at Bhima Koregaon, the activists allegedly made inflammatory speeches and provocative statements that contributed to the violence, the police said.

Several activists were named in the FIR including Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj, P Varavara Rao and Navlakha who were initially put under house arrest on the directions of the Supreme Court. However, all of them except Navlakha was re-arrested and taken into custody by the Pune police recently.

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