NEW DELHI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis hailed the Supreme Court’s decision of not interfering with the arrests of the five activists in the Bhima-Koregaon case. The Chief Minister said, based on the evidence given by the Pune police, the top court decided not to interfere with the probe.
“The Supreme Court accepted that there is no political influence and it’s not a plot to suppress voices of the opposition. It is a great victory for the Pune police and the country. They’ve (activists) been doing this for many years but there was no evidence against them, so probe couldn’t be completed,” said Mr Fadnavis.
Launching a scathing attack on Congress for its alleged support to Maoists, BJP chief Amit Shah said, “There is only one place for idiocy and it’s called the Congress. ‘Bharat Ke Tukde Tukde Gang’ (break India gang), Maoists, fake activists are welcome to Rahul Gandhi’s Congress,” he said in a tweet. The BJP chief tagged a tweet posted by Congress president Rahul Gandhi on August 28, after the arrests of the activists, that said “there is place for only one NGO in India and it’s called the RSS. Shut down all other NGOs. Jail all activists and shoot those that complain. Welcome to the new India.”
In a 2:1 judgement, the Supreme Court today, refused to grant relief to the five activists detained in the Bhima Koregaon case. The court turned down their request for setting up of a Special Investigating Team to look into the matter and allowed the Pune Police to go ahead with the probe. The top court asked the activists to go to trial court for relief. The Court also extended their house arrest for another four weeks.
Congress spokesperson and Supreme Court advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who was one of the counsels representing the activists, referred to the dissenting judge’s remarks and said, “Two important statements of Justice Chandrachud must be noted. First, the arrest of five accused was an attempt by state to muzzle dissent and second, the liberty cherished by Constitution would have no meaning if persecution of activists is allowed without proper investigation.”
The five activists, poet and Maoist ideologue Varavara Rao, lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj, activists Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Gautam Navlakha were placed under house arrest by a Supreme Court order since August 29. They were detained on August 28 from various cities for their alleged involvement in the Bhima-Koregaon violence.