Three more accused in the Bhima Koregaon case have approached the Special Court under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act seeking discharge from all charges against them in the 2018 case. .Accused Sudhir Dhawale, Mahesh Raut and Dr Anand Teltumbde have sought discharge from charges in the case linked to the Elgar Parishad event which allegedly led to the violence at Bhima Koregaon in 2018. Dalit scholar Sudhir Dhawale who is prime accused in the case, has applied for discharge claiming that he had lent his name to the Elgar Parishad event along with other organisers like retired judges Justices PB Sawant and BG Kolse Patil. Dhawale who owns a Marathi left-leaning publication, was arrested on June 6, 2018.He submitted that he was one of the several speakers who attended the event and the first information report (FIR) against him was lodged only 8 days after the event. Dhawale stated that his speech called for protecting democracy and for peaceful resistance in accordance with the fundamental right to speech under Constitution of India. He contended that the present case was registered against him solely because he called upon others not to vote the BJP back to power. Dhawale further contended that the addition of two more persons as accused in FIR without them being present at the event showed the malafides and prejudiced intent of the investigation to facilitate planting of fabricated electronic records in their computer hard disks and stage a pre-planned discovery..The plea filed by Mahesh Raut through advocate Vijay Hiremath, stated that no case was made out against him either under Indian Penal Code (IPC) or Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Raut, a land rights activist had been a former research fellow of the Prime Minister's Rural Development Programme. He was also arrested in 2018 by Pune Police. The allegations against Raut were of having handled money for the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and for having helped two students go to Gadchiroli. In response, Raut stated that the basis of such allegations were two letters obtained from co-accused Rona Wilson's device which as per his claim had been compromised with. He further added that when the devices were seized, no measures were taken under the Indian Evidence Act or the Information Technology Act to ensure that the authenticity of the records was maintained and not altered. .The third applicant is Dr. Anand Teltumbde, whose name was added to the FIR in November 2018. A scholar and a professor of management at the Goa Institute of Management, Teltumbde surrendered before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) after the Supreme Court refused to grant him protection from arrest in March 2020.The allegation against Teltumbde was that he along with seven others were allegedly members of Communist Party of India (Maoist) and were involved in furtherance of the agenda through different means. Teltumbde stated in his application filed through advocates R Satyanarayanan and Neeraj Yadav, that the NIA failed to produce any material before the Court to show that he is a member of Communist Party of India (Maoist). On the alleged exchange of mails between the co-accused, Teltumbde stated that the same did not establish any grounds for the charges slapped against him. Teltumbde, therefore, sought discharge from all offences charged against him by the NIA. In the alternative, Teltumbde prayed for deletion of offences under Section 13, 16, 17, 18, 18A, 18B and 20 of the UAPA (Punishment for terrorist activities). .On Wednesday, Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) member and youngest accused in the case Jyoti Jagtap had filed the first discharge application in the 2018 case. The NIA on Thursday filed its response opposing the discharge application.