Bhima Koregaon case: Pune court rejects bail applications of three HR activists

Activists Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Sudha Bhardwaj.

A Pune special court Friday rejected the bail applications of activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves, arrested alongside Varvara Rao and Gautam Navlakha on August 28 in alleged connection with CPI-banned Maoist.

Pune police had produced “letters and other documents”, allegedly seized from the possession of the arrested activists after the multi-city raids. In one such letter produced in a Pune court, one of the activists allegedly discussed the possibility of eliminating Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a “Rajiv Gandhi type” operation.

The activists have consistently said that the letters and other ‘evidence’ produced by the police were forged and did not belong to them.

The Supreme Court of India had ordered the house arrests of the five human rights activists, which ends today. Defence lawyers of Bharadwaj, Ferreira and Gonsalves said they would be filing an application before the court seeking time of one week in applying before a higher court for challenging the lower court’s order.

Earlier this week, the Pune Police produced two fresh pieces of “email communication” in a local court and claimed that the top leadership of the CPI-Maoist was concerned with their investigations, Indian Express reported.

The two emails had been allegedly exchanged between Ganapathy alias Chandrashekhar, the top commander of CPI-Maoist, and P Varavara Rao, a Hyderabad-based activist, after the Pune police raided multiple cities and arrested the five activists in June.

Lawyer Ujjwala Pawar, who had submitted the emails, said Ganapathy had sent an email to Varavara Rao a few weeks later, on July 4, in which he had stated that “CC (which she claimed stood for Central Committee of the banned organisation) is deeply concerned about the recent arrests from DL and MH (which she said meant Delhi and Maharashtra)”.

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