SC orders five activists to be kept under house arrest

 In a sensational directive, the Supreme Court today directed Maharashtra police that five prominent activists arrested by them should be placed under house arrest till September 6 and not sent to jail.

This order was given by the bench headed by chief justice Dipak Mishra, after hearing a petition filed by Romila Thapar, along with Devki Jain, Prabhat Patnaik, Satish Deshpande and Maya Daruwala, against the arrests of five activists who were picked up Tuesday from different locations for their alleged Maoists links.

The petitioners asked the top court to order an independent probe into the Bhima Koregaon violence earlier this year. Justice D Y Chandrachud, hearing the petitions said, “Dissent is the safety valve of democracy. If it is not allowed, the pressure cooker will burst,” questioning the arrest of the five activists nearly nine months after the violence.

Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports about the arrest of five activists by the police from different cities yesterday in connection with the investigations in the Bhima Koregaon violence, which occurred in Pune, Maharashtra in the beginning of this year.

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.

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