Bhima Koregaon violence: NHRC issues notice to Maharahtra govt
New Delhi, Aug 29 (IBNS): The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday announced that it has taken suo motu cognizance and issued notice to the Maharashtra government over the arrest of five activists from different states in connection with the investigation into the Bhima Koregaon violence.
"On the basis of the media reports, the Commission has observed that it appears, the standard operating procedure in connection with these arrests has not been properly followed by the police authorities, which may amount to violation of their human rights. Accordingly, it has issued notices to the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police, Maharashtra calling for a factual report in the matter within four weeks," said a statement issued by the NHRC.
"|According to the media reports, carried today on the 29th August, 2018, the Delhi High Court has stayed the transit remand for civil liberties activist Gautam Navlakha, observing that police have not been able to satisfactorily explain the offence, he had been arrested for. The decision on a transit remand for lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj is also pending before the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Faridabad. The activist has told the court that she had nothing to do with the incident for which she has been arrested. According to her, the FIR did not even name her and she is being harassed and arrested only because of her ideology," it said.
The Commission has also observed that earlier it had received a complaint from an NGO from Geneva regarding illegal arrest of five human rights defenders namely Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale, Shoma Sen and Mahesh Raut by Maharashtra police in the month of June, 2018.
"In that matter also, the Commission had issued a notice on the 29th June, 2018 to the DGP, Maharashtra calling for a report in the matter within four weeks, which is yet to be received,"it said.
SC order on House Arrest:
The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed that five activists, who have been arrested by the Pune Police over terror charges and for inciting violence in January this year at Bhima Koregaon in Maharashtra, triggering a wave of protests by critics of the BJP government, should be kept under house arrest till Sept 6.
The direction was given by the five-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra while hearing the pleas challenging the arrest of the five activists.
The SC also directed the Maharashtra government to file a response to the petition challenging the arrest of five activists.
The petitioners, including historian Romila Thapar, want the arrest of the activists should be put on hold.
Several rights activists, including Maoist ideologue Varavara Rao and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, were arrested by Pune Police in multi-city raids on Tuesday in connection with the Dalit-upper caste violence in Bhima Koregaon in January this year, triggering strong reactions from the critics of the BJP-led government at the centre.
The raids were carried out in several cities like Delhi, Faridabad, Goa, Mumbai, Ranchi and Hyderabad.
The arrested activists are poet and writer Varavara Rao, lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, activists Arun Fereira, Gautam Navlakha and Vernon Gonsalves.