Mumbai: Stop supporting 'urban naxals', CM tells Opposition
Says SC verdict states arrests were not because of dissent but evidence to show link with banned CPI (Maoist)
The Supreme Court's verdict in the petition against the arrests of five activists accused of having links with Maoists has vindicated the Maharashtra government's stand, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Friday.
He said the people and parties who supported 'urban naxals' should now stop joining hands with those accused of hatching a conspiracy to destabilise the country and assassinate the prime minister. "And, if the parties continue their support to the anti-nationals [to Maoists and their supporters] then their masks will come off soon," he said, adding that the observations made by the court had given a credence to the existence of the term 'urban naxals.'
The CM said the police action had never been about politics, bias or witch-hunt and the Supreme Court, too, held a similar view. "The UPA government, too, had been probing the same activists in the past, but there was no further action because of lack material evidence. Now, we have evidence that will nail the culprits. These people have been dividing the people on the basis of caste and religion. They will definitely go behind bars," he said.
Welcoming the decision, Fadnavis said the evidence was verified by the apex court, and more evidence would be gathered by the Pune police (before the charge sheet is filed).
SC refuses plea for release of activists
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to interfere with the arrest of five rights activists in connection with the Koregaon-Bhima violence case and declined to appoint a Special Investigation Team for probe into their arrest.
The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in a 2:1 verdict, refused the plea seeking immediate release of the activists. Justice A M Khanwilkar read out the verdict for himself and the CJI, while Justice D Y Chandrachud said he was unable to agree with the view of the two judges. Justice Chandrachud said arrest of the five accused – Sudha Bhardwaj, Varavara Rao, Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira – was an attempt by the state to muzzle dissent.
The majority verdict said the protection of house arrest would remain in force for four weeks to enable the accused to seek appropriate legal remedy at appropriate legal forum. The CJI said arrests were not because of dissent of activists but there was prima facie material to show their link with banned CPI (Maoists) organisation.
Why a police press conference?
When asked about a dissenting judgment by one of the judges who questioned the police for talking about the evidence in public, Fadnavis said the police had addressed a press conference only because some 'pseudo liberals' had been creating an atmosphere against the police and saying that 'sincere' people were arrested.
"If the Supreme Court said anything specific about it, then we will decide accordingly. Whether the police should have addressed the media or not is a matter of debate and that doesn't dilute the conspiracy," he said.
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