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Activist Anand Teltumbde Moves Bombay HC, Seeks Protection From Arrest

He was arrested at 3 am on Saturday following which his arrest was deemed illegal by a sessions court and he was released from custody a day later.

Mumbai: Activist and academic Anand Teltumbde, who was arrested by the Pune Police last week in the Elgar Parishad case and then released following a sessions court order, Monday approached the Bombay High Court, seeking protection from arrest.

Teltumbde’s counsel Mihir Desai mentioned the anticipatory bail application before a single bench of the high court seeking an urgent hearing.

The plea is likely to be heard on Tuesday by a bench presided over by Justice N W Sambre.

Teltumbde is an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Koregaon Bhima case registered by the Pune police. The case was filed following violent clashes at Koregaon-Bhima village near Pune on January 1, 2018.

Earlier last year, Teltumbde, who the police claim has Maoist links, had filed another plea in the high court, denying all charges against him and sought quashing of the FIR against him in the case.

The Dalit scholar had said he was not part of anything illegal and that on December 30-31 2017, he was in Goa and not in Pune or anywhere near the site of violence.

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The Pune police, however, had objected to Teltumbde’s plea, saying while they were yet to arrest him as they were was “busy” probing other accused persons in the case, they had adequate incriminating evidence against him too.

The court had refused to quash the FIR.

Anand Teltumbde
Anand Teltumbde (Photo: Twitter/@AnandTeltumbde)

Teltumbde then approached the Supreme Court and was given the liberty to file an anticipatory bail plea till February 11 this year.

However, Teltumbde was arrested from the Mumbai airport at around 3 am on Saturday. His arrest was deemed illegal by a sessions court and he was released from custody later in the day.

Teltumbde was booked by the police following an Elgar Parishad event on December 31 2017, which, the police alleged, triggered violent clashes the next day at Koregaon-Bhima.

According to police, the event was funded and supported by Maoists.

At the event, some activists made inflammatory speeches and provocative statements that contributed to the January 1 violence, they had said.

Several activists were named in the FIR. Some of them, including Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj, P Varavara Rao and Gautam Navlakha, were initially put under house arrest on the directions of the Supreme Court.

However, all of them, except Navlakha, were recently re-arrested and taken into custody by police.

In October last year, the Pune police registered another FIR, naming eight more activists, including Teltumbde and Stan Swamy.

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