New Delhi: The urban Maoists arrested in connection with the Bheema-Koregaon matter have received a jolt from the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court refused to interfere in the police investigation and said that the matter need not be handed over to the Special Investigation Team (SIT). The Supreme Court also dismissed the allegation of the urban Maoists about the action against them being politically motivated. But the court refused to accept the demand of the government to hand them over to the police and extended their house arrest by four weeks. The decision was welcomed by the Maharashtra government and the police.
Last month, the Pune police had carried out raids at Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad and arrested the Maoist supporters and the so-called intellectuals. These included Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, Gautam Navlakha and Arun Pereira. According to the Pune police, they were involved in the conspiracy to kill the Prime Minister and create anarchy in the country. The police have claimed that there is strong evidence to substantiate the accusations. The police have also filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court regarding this.
The matter was heard on Tuesday by the Supreme Court bench, comprising of Chief Justice Deepak Mishra, Justice A.M. Khanvilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud. The five accused were alleging a political motive behind their arrests by the police. Some other people too had endorsed their allegation. But the Pune police had acted against these five people only after receiving prima facie evidence of them being connected with the banned Maoist organisations. There is no political motive behind this, certified the Supreme Court.
The demand of the petitioners that the investigation should be handed over to the Special Investigation Team was rejected by the Supreme Court by a majority vote. The Supreme Court has remarked that the accused do not have any right to choose the investigating agency. The Supreme Court ordered the police for further investigation in the matter. The bail application by the accused also was rejected by the Supreme Court.
But the court rejected the demand for a police custody, while increasing the detention period by four weeks.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government has welcomed the decision. This endorses the fact that the police action was justified. These people were conspiring against the country. There is a concrete evidence against the arrested persons and the arrests were made only after receiving the evidence, said Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis. The Pune Police Commissioner, K. Venkatesham has expressed satisfaction over the developments in the hearing and congratulated the investigating officers.