Bhima Koregaon: Delhi HC sets aside Gautam Navlakha’s transit remand

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday set aside the transit remand of activist Gautam Navlakha, who was under house arrest for his alleged involvement in the Bhima-Koregaon violence case.

The order came in response to Navlakha’s petition challenging his arrest and transit remand by the Pune Police in the case.

The court also ended his house arrest, which was extended by the Supreme Court by four weeks.
The bench, while delivering the judgement, observed that the detention is untenable in law. The court did not endorse the request of Maharashtra Police Counsel to extend Navlakha’s house arrest by at least two more days.

Thanking the court for ending his house arrest, Navlakha in a statement, said he had won his freedom back after the judgement.

Echoing a similar stance, activist Sehba Hussain opined that the judgement was just a small victory, as many others continue to be under house arrest.

“I am very happy. For 35 days, he (Navlakha) has not stepped out. It’s a political battle and this is a small victory. Bigger victory is yet to come as many others are still under house arrest or in Pune Jail,” Hussain told ANI.

Five activists — Sudha Bhardwaj, P. Varavara Rao, Gautam Navlakha, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves — were detained on August 28 from various cities for their alleged involvement in the violence that erupted in Pune earlier this year during an event organised to mark 200 years of the Bhima Koregaon battle.

The Maharashtra government, in an affidavit to the Supreme Court, had alleged that the activists were “members of banned terrorist organisation Communist Party of India (Maoist).”