MUMBAI: The nine accused arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case were on Friday produced in a special court here, days after the NIA took over probe into the matter. This was the first time that the accused, most of them human rights activists, appeared before the special NIA court here.
The 2017 case, which was being handled by the Pune police, was transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) by the Centre in January. On February 14, the court in Pune, which was earlier hearing the case, passed an order transferring the case to the special NIA court in Mumbai in response to a plea by the central agency.
The Pune court had directed that the accused be produced before the NIA court in Mumbai before or on February 28. Accordingly, they were produced before special NIA judge DE Kothalikar, who later adjourned the hearing in the case to March 13.
The accused -- Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen and Vernon Gonsalves were shifted to Mumbai from Pune's Yerawada Central Jail on Wednesday.
The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at the 'Elgar Parishad' conclave, held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which police claimed, triggered violence near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial located on the city's outskirts the next day.
The Pune police claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists. The nine jailed accused are among 11 people booked by the NIA in the case for alleged links with Maoists.