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Bhima Koregaon Raids: Petition filed in Supreme Court challenging arrest of activists, lawyers

Murali Krishnan

A petition has been filed in Supreme Court by five activists challenging yesterday’s police crackdown on lawyers, activists, and writers, ostensibly in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence.

The petition was mentioned by a host of lawyers including Senior Advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Indira Jaising, Dushyant Dave, Raju Ramachandran and Amarendra Sharan, along with Advocates Vrinda Grover and Prashant Bhushan before Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra at 10.30 am today.

Since CJI Misra was sitting in a combination of a Constitution Bench, he asked the petitioners to mention the matter at 3.45 pm.

The petition – filed by Romila Thapar, Satish Deshpande, Prabath Patnaik, Devaki Jain and Maju Daruwalla – seeks an independent inquiry into the arrest and release of the detainees.

Activist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj had been taken into custody after a police team from Pune conducted a raid at her home in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Police teams in different cities across the country raided the homes of a number of activists, lawyers and writers this morning. Some of these have been arrested are currently in police custody. Among those visited by police teams include Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Varavara Rao, Susan Abraham, journalist Kranthi Tekula, Father Stan Swamy, Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha.

The transit remand for Bharadwaj to be taken to Pune was ultimately recalled by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Faridabad, after a midnight hearing took place. This order was passed in light of the fact that the Punjab & Haryana High Court was seized of the matter. Bharadwaj will now remain under house arrest till August 30.

The Delhi High Court stayed the transfer of Human Rights Activist Gautam Navlakha, with the petition filed against his detention to be heard later today.

Story to be updated.

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