NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday extended the house arrest of five rights activists who were arrested in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence case and their alleged links with the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) till September 17.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud adjourned the hearing on the plea filed by historian Romila Thapar and four others to September 17 after it was submitted that senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is representing the petitioners, was busy in another court, according to reports.
The court was hearing the plea filed against the arrest of the rights activists — Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha — in the case.
The court was informed that the wife of Surinder Gadling — one of the activists arrested earlier — had filed an intervention application on their behalf challenging their arrests.
The court was told that the intervention application may be treated as writ petition.
Pune police had arrested the five activists on August 28 in connection with an FIR lodged following a conclave — ‘Elgaar Parishad’ — held on December 31 last year that they claim had later triggered violence at Bhima-Koregaon.
On August 29, the apex court ordered the house arrest of the activists, saying “dissent is the safety valve of democracy.”
(With inputs from PTI)