Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday directed Pune police not to take any coercive action against activists Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde, till October 26. A division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre said, “We will hear these matters on October 26. Till then the police shall not take any coercive action like arrest, against them.” This comes after prosecutor Aruna Pai informed the bench that the Supreme Court has protected the two activists from arrest till October 26.
The bench was seized with the criminal writ petitions filed by Navlakha and Teltumbde seeking to quash the First Information Reports (FIRs) registered against them by the Pune police. The duo were named in the FIR accusing them of having triggered the Bhima-Koregaon violence, earlier this year.
The police has also accused them of having links with Naxals and for conspiring to kill PM Narendra Modi. The police also claimed that it has seized some incriminating letters, which reveals the supply and exchange of weapons. Navlakha along with four others – Arun Ferreira, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves and Sudha Bharadwaj — was arrested in August, after the police raided their homes and offices. Subsequently, all these activists had approached the Supreme Court challenging the proceedings against them.
As part of interim relief, the apex court had ordered house arrest of all these activists but later, in its judgment, refused to interfere with the probe against them. After the SC verdict, the Delhi High Court released Navlakha from house arrest granting him four weeks’ time to move the appropriate forum and seek remedies. Accordingly, Navlakha, along with Teltumbde, moved the Bombay High Court earlier this month, claiming the police has no material to prosecute them.