The Center today strong opposed what it called the Supreme Court’s “interference” in the case of the five rights activists under house arrest, accused of Maoist links. The top court was hearing a petition seeking their release.
Using hard hitting words, the government went to the extent of stating that every case can’t come to the Supreme Court and it is a wrong procedure. Then, it cautioned that every case will come to the Supreme Court. Moreover, referring to the petitioners, the Maharashtra government made it clear that the court cannot entertain strangers
It may be recalled that a petition by historian Romila Thapar and four others has challenged last month’s arrest of the five activists that sparked a chorus of outraged protests from human rights defenders. The government asked the apex court to allow a “competent court to hear the case as the case is pending before other courts”.
Maharashtra Police had, on August 28, raided the homes of the prominent activists in several states and arrested at least five of them for suspected Maoist links. Telugu poet Varavara Rao, activists Vernon Gonzalves and Arun Ferreira, lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj and civil liberties activist Gautam Navalakha were arrested.
The raids were carried out as part of an investigation into an event called Elgar Parishad, or conclave, on December 31 last year, which had later triggered violence at Bhima-Koregaon village in Maharashtra.