Three more defendants are transferred to Mumbai court for release in Bhima Koregaon case

The Special Court under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act had three other defendants in the Bhima Koregaon case seeking discharge from all charges against them in the 2018 case.

The defendants who sought discharge from the Elgar Parishad-related case that led to violence in 2018 were Sudhir Dhawale, Mahesh Raut and Dr Anand Teltumbde.

Sudhir Dhawale, who is the main defendant in the case, says he should be freed as his only contribution is to lend his name to the Elgar Parishad event along with other organizers including retired judges PB Sawant and Judges BG Kolse Patil.

Dhawale, owner of a Marathi left-wing publication and arrested on June 6, 2018, claimed in FIR that he was among the various speakers and his arrest came after a complaint was filed against him, almost after a week .

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In his speech, Dhawale had called for the protection of democracy and peaceful resistance which are his fundamental rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.

He complains that he was arrested only because he called on people not to vote for the BJP. Dhawale also spoke out that the other two accused were never part of the event but still fabricated a story that they were accused.

The second person charged is Mahesh Raut, a land rights activist who had been a former research fellow in the prime minister’s rural development programme. He was arrested in 2018 by Pune police. Raut said no charges could be brought against him either under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) or the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

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Raut is accused of handling money for the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and helping two students get to Gadchiroli. Raut further stated that he was suspected because of letters obtained from the device of co-defendant Rona Wilson’s device with which he claims to have been compromised.

The third applicant is Dr. Anand Teltumbde, whose name was added to the FIR in November 2018. Dr. Teltumbde is a Research Fellow and Professor of Management at the Goa Institute of Management, Teltumbde went before the National Development Agency. (NIA) investigation after the Supreme Court refused to grant him protection from arrest in March 2020. He is accused of involving the dissemination of the agenda through various means.

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