MUMBAI: MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Friday reserved its order on activist Gautam Navlakha’s plea for quashing an FIR against him while stating that some of the material presented by the police against him needs further investigation. The FIR, which was filed by the Pune Police in the Elgaar Case, accuses him of having links with banned Maoist organisations.
The bench also stated that interim protection against arrest granted to Navlakha will continue till the verdict. While opposing Navlakha’s bail plea, the Pune Police had filed an affidavit in the court earlier this week which purportedly had evidence on his links with banned terrorist organisation Hizbul Mujahideen.
The bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre, while hearing the plea, said, “While some documents placed on record by police suggested that activist Navlakha was innocent, the rest of the material on record needed further probe.”Navlakha has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), an anti-terrorism law, accusing him of having links with banned Maoist organisations that allegedly helped front organizations to organise Elgaar Parishad in 2017.
On the last hearing earlier this week, Pune Police’s counsel Aruna Pai alleged that the police had adequate evidence to prove the charges and that he also had links with the Hizbul Mujahideen. However, on Friday, Navlakha’s counsel, Yug Chaudhary, denied the charges.
The police had arrested five activists in August last year in connection with an FIR lodged following a conclave — ‘Elgar Parishad’ — held in Pune on December 31, 2017, that had allegedly triggered violence the next day at Bhima Koregaon.