In the wake of the five rights activists who have been kept under the house under for more than a week in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence, the Supreme Court on Thursday extended the house arrest of five rights activists till September 12. Earlier on August 29, the apex court had stayed transit remand of all the five accused till September 5 and had ordered to keep them all house arrest. The Supreme Court had then observed that the dissent is a safety valve of the democracy and fived September 6 as the next day of the hearing in the case.  

On August 28, the Pune Police arrested human rights activists Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Pereira, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha for their alleged association with the Elgaar Parishad, an event held in Pune ahead of January 1, 2018, Bhima-Koregaon riots and their alleged links with Maoists.

ALSO READ: Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and other activists’ arrest: Bombay HC asks Maharashtra Police, why hold press conference on sub-judice case?

Following the arrests, a petitions challenging the arrests of 5 rights activists was filed by historian  Romila Thapar, and rights activists  Devki Jain, Prabhat Patnaik, Satish Deshpande and Maya Daruwala. It has been reported that the arrests were made on the suspicion that the five activists have Maoists links. The Pune Police have also claimed that the speeches made by the arrested activists at Elgaar Parishad led to Bhima Koregaon violence. 

Earlier on Wednesday, a PIL was filed by one of the victims of the Bhima-Koregaon violence against the Maharashtra ADG and others for disclosing the evidence at a press conference. The Bombay High Court had also criticised the Maharashtra police for releasing the evidence related to the matter in public and that too when the matter was sub-judice. In response, police said that held the press conference to defend themselves from the mounting wrath of the citizens who were opposing the arrests. The police carried out raids in Mumbai, Goa, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Haryana, which triggered intense criticism against the police throughout the country.

ALSO READ: Activist Sudha Bharadwaj refutes Pune police claims, says letter fabricated

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