Koregaon Bhima case: Bombay High Court refuses bail to three civil liberties activists

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday refused bail to civil liberties activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferriera and Vernon Gonsalves, arrested for allegedly inciting caste-based violence at Koregaon Bhima in Pune and having links with Maoists.

Justice Sarang Kotwal rejected the bail pleas filed by the three activists. The accused were initially placed under house arrest in August last year by the Pune Police in Maharashtra and were later taken into custody on October 26, after a sessions court in Pune rejected their bail pleas. The activists, who have been in jail since then, approached the high court last year.

The police have booked the three accused and several other activists under provisions of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Indian Penal Code.

The case was lodged against them in January 2018 after the Elgar Parishad, held on December 31, 2017, that allegedly triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima village in Pune the next day.

The police alleged that the accused had links with Maoists and were working towards overthrowing the government.

The three accused, however, claimed there was no evidence to support the police case that they and other activists were creating a ‘war-like’ situation against the government.