SC confirms bail for Anand Teltumbde: What is the Elgar Parishad case and the accused?

The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 25-11-2022 | 07:45 pm

SC confirms bail for Anand Teltumbde: What is the Elgar Parishad case and the accused?

The Supreme Court on Friday (November 25) dismissed the NIA’s challenge to the Bombay High Court order giving bail to scholar-activist Anand Teltumbde, 73, in the Elgar Parishad case.A Bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli declined to interfere with the HC order of November 18. The HC Bench comprising Justices A S Gadkari and Milind Jadhav had said prima facie “it cannot be concluded that Teltumbde has indulged in a terrorist act”.According to a report by Live Law, on Friday, CJI Chandrachud asked counsel for NIA, “What is the specific role to bring UAPA sections into action? The IIT Madras event you alleged is for Dalit mobilisation. Is Dalit mobilisation preparatory act to proscribed activity?”The Bench, however, added that the HC’s observations will not be treated as conclusive final findings at the trial.Sixteen accused including Teltumbde had been arrested in the Elgar Parishad case — nine individuals were arrested by the Pune Police in 2018, and seven were arrested by the NIA after it took over the investigation in 2020.One of the accused, Father Stan Swamy, an 84-year-old Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist, passed away in July 2021 while in judicial custody.Telugu poet and activist Varavara Rao was granted bail on medical grounds by the Supreme Court in August this year. Lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj was granted default bail in December last year. Teltumbde is the third accused in the case to be given bail.On November 19, activist Gautam Navlakha was moved from Taloja Central Prison to house arrest in Navi Mumbai after the Supreme Court rejected the NIA’s appeal against the court’s earlier order allowing his house arrest.The other accused, including activists Vernon Gonsalves, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, and Prof Shoma Sen, remain in jail.The case dates back to the Elgar Parishad event held in Shaniwar Wada in Pune on December 31, 2017. A day later, violent clashes broke out between Maratha and Dalit groups near Bhima Koregaon in Maharashtra.Police alleged that the violence was instigated by “inflammatory speeches” given at the Elgar event in Pune. However, Dalit groups and many others, including NCP chief Sharad Pawar, accused right-wing leaders Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide of instigating the violence through hate speeches.The Pune Police started raiding the homes and offices of those who had attended the Elgar event and seized their electronic devices. Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, Arun Ferreira, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, and Sudha Bharadwaj were arrested in 2018. Police accused them of being members of the banned CPI(Maoist), and of involvement in furthering its activities.In December 2019, a month after the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government came to power in Maharashtra, the central government transferred the case to the NIA. By then, the Pune Police had filed two chargesheets against the nine accused.In 2020, the NIA arrested Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha, Hany Babu, Jyoti Jagtap, Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor, and Stan Swamy. A third charge sheet was filed in the case in October 2020.In August 2021, the NIA submitted to the sessions court the draft charge against the accused. The draft charges include the sections under which the prosecuting agency proposes to charge the accused based on the evidence it has collected and submitted before the court. The accused face various sections, including under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

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Controversial book author Farhat Khan arrested from Pune: Madhya Pradesh home minister
The Indian Express | 1 hour ago | 08-12-2022 | 02:45 pm
The Indian Express
1 hour ago | 08-12-2022 | 02:45 pm

Dr Farhat Khan, the author of a controversial book, was arrested from Pune in Maharashtra on Thursday while she was undergoing dialysis in a hospital, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra said.The arrest was made in connection with her book named ‘Collective Violence and Criminal Justice System’, which was kept in the library of the Government Naveen Law College in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore city.The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has alleged the book being taught to law students has highly objectionable contents against the Hindu community and the RSS.According to police, Khan was suffering from a serious kidney ailment and needed dialysis on a regular basis.“The controversial writer, Farhat Khan, was arrested in Pune when she was undergoing dialysis in a hospital there.Papers (pertaining to the case) were also handed over to her,” Mishra told reporters in Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal.Authorities have also started a probe into complaints related to another book and if any objectionable content is found, then it will also be linked with the same case, the minister said without elaborating.On December 3, the Indore-based college’s LLM student and ABVP leader Lucky Adiwal (28) filed a complaint against author Khan, the book’s publisher Amar Law Publication, principal of the institution Dr Inam-ur-Rehman and professor Mirza Mojij Baig in the matter.Earlier, an official said the Indore police had traced Khan to Pune and she was served a notice under relevant provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).“After registering a case five days ago on the issue of the controversial book, we were searching for Dr Frahat Khan and had sent teams to places in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Rajesh Kumar Singh said.“On the basis of leads, we traced her to Pune and served her a CrPC notice, as per which she was asked to cooperate in the probe and remain present in court at the time of submission of the charge sheet,” he said.The DCP said the Indore-based author was suffering from a serious kidney ailment and needed dialysis on a regular basis.When she went from to Pune from Indore, at that time also she underwent dialysis at a hospital in Sendhwa town on the Maharashtra border, the DCP added.The ABVP had alleged the book contained objectionable content against Hindus, the RSS and promotes religious hatred.The state higher education department had formed a seven-member committee to conduct a probe into the case.A member of the committee said the panel had recorded statements of 250 students and teachers.The higher education department’s commissioner Karmaveer Sharma on Wednesday said the committee has not yet submitted its report.An appropriate action will be taken into the matter on the basis of the probe report, Sharma said.On Tuesday, a local court refused to grant anticipatory bail to the Indore-based law college principal Inam-ur-Rehman and professor Baig, both named as accused in the case.Their lawyer Abhinav Dhanotkar had said the rejection of bail would be challenged in the Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

Controversial book author Farhat Khan arrested from Pune: Madhya Pradesh home minister
Opposition parties announce Pune bandh on December 13 protesting against Governor’s Shivaji remark
The Indian Express | 1 hour ago | 08-12-2022 | 02:45 pm
The Indian Express
1 hour ago | 08-12-2022 | 02:45 pm

Opposition parties and Sambhaji Brigade, a prominent Maratha organisation, have called for a bandh in Pune next Tuesday, December 13, protesting against the alleged objectionable comments against Chhatrapati Shivaji made by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who called Shivaji an “icon of olden times”.Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Congress, Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray faction and Sambhaji Brigade met in front of the Chhatrapati Shivaji statue on the Shri Shivaji Preparatory Military School ground in Shivajinagar Wednesday.“It has been almost a month since the Governor made a controversial statement on Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji. The BJP leadership has not taken any action against him for insulting the Maratha king,” said Santosh Shinde of Sambhaji Brigade.“BJP leaders are repeatedly making statements insulting the Maratha king. There is a need to intensify the agitation against those insulting Chhatrapati Shivaji. Thus, a Pune bandh has been unanimously called on December 13 by representatives of various organisations. However, the bandh will not cause inconvenience to citizens,” he added.The meeting was attended by city NCP chief Prashant Jagtap, city Congress chief Arvind Shinde and Gajanan Thurkude of Shiv Sena “The NCP will participate in the Pune bandh. The details of the kind of agitation will be declared later on,” said city NCP spokesperson Pradeep Deshmukh. City Shiv Sena chief Sanjay More said he was not around and would later announce the plans for the agitation.Last month, during his speech at Dr Ambedkar Marathwada University, Koshyari said: “Earlier, when you would be asked who is your icon — Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, and Mahatma Gandhi used to be the answer. Whereas in Maharashtra, you need not look elsewhere (as) there are so many icons here… while Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is of olden times, there are icons such as Ambedkar and Nitin Gadkari in modern times.” The Governor’s statement evoked a sharp and angry backlash across political parties.

Opposition parties announce Pune bandh on December 13 protesting against Governor’s Shivaji remark
Pune Infra Watch: Technical study for 34-km tunnel project from Khadakwasla dam to Phursungi almost over
The Indian Express | 1 hour ago | 08-12-2022 | 02:45 pm
The Indian Express
1 hour ago | 08-12-2022 | 02:45 pm

The Maharashtra government’s plan to construct a 34-km tunnel from Khadakwasla dam to Phursungi in the eastern suburbs of Pune has gained momentum as the technical study for the implementation of the project has been nearly completed.Once the tunnel comes up, it would save 2.5 TMC water (required to meet the needs of 50 lakh people for one-and-a-half months) that is being lost from one of the canals from the dam on the Mutha river by way of leakages and evaporation.The Khadakwasla dam, which is a major source of water for Pune residents, is connected to the Panshet, Varasgaon, and Temghar dams on the upstream of Mutha river. Water from the reservoir is provided to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) through closed pipelines while two canals were constructed from the dam through the city to provide water to rural parts of the district. One canal was closed and a pipeline was laid in it by the civic body, while water continued to be released from the second canal for irrigation purposes. However, there was a loss of 2.5 TMC water from the canal.“The technical study of the Khadakwasla-Phursungi tunnel for water is almost complete. Boring was carried out to study the soil every 50 metres. The study is under scrutiny and a detailed report of it would be submitted to the state water resources department by month-end,” said Pravin Kolhe, executive engineer, of the state water resources department for Bhima valley.The water resources department has also undertaken a seismic refraction survey and electrical resistivity survey of the 5-km stretch of the tunnel from Khadakwasla.“The land alongside Khadakwasla dam needs to be deeply studied for implementation of the project. The seismic refraction survey will determine stratigraphy (arrangement of rock layers) along the proposed route which would include the study of soil, weathered rock, rock interfaces, and detection of faults, fractures, and shear zones. The electrical resistivity survey for depth of formations, shear zone, classification of strata, depth of water table,” he said.These studies would also be matched with geological studies and would double confirm the condition of the land, Kolhe said.The 7.8-meter-wide and 34-km-long tunnel construction is estimated to cost Rs 1,500 crore through the blasting method and Rs 3,000 crore if done through Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM).The state water resources department has approached the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) for funding the project. There is an option of implementing the project with funding from PMRDA as it would ensure the water supply at a concessional rate. Otherwise, the project will have to be implemented through the budgetary provision of the state water resource department. Also, there is an option for land monetization that would be available upon the closing of the canal.“The detailed proposal would be submitted to the state water resources department which will table it in the cabinet. The opinion of other departments concerned would be included while taking the final decision,” Kolhe said.

Pune Infra Watch: Technical study for 34-km tunnel project from Khadakwasla dam to Phursungi almost over
Pune: Two MSEDCL employees beaten up for cutting power connection to houses
The Indian Express | 4 hours ago | 08-12-2022 | 11:45 am
The Indian Express
4 hours ago | 08-12-2022 | 11:45 am

Two employees of the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) were assaulted on December 5 after they cut the power connection to some houses in the Kondhwa area of Pune for non-payment of bills, police said. Police have booked four persons who also threatened to kill the officials.A First Information Report in the case has been registered based on the complaint of Shankar Rondhe, 32, a senior MSEDCL technician with the Kondhwa branch.According to police, the incident took place last Monday near Hajra Complex area in Kondhwa, when Rondhe and his colleague Siddharth Chavan had gone to recover long-pending power bills of consumers in Mithanagar, Bhagyoday Nagar, and Hajra Complex areas.“Around 11 am, Rondhe and Chavan cut the power supply to four houses and removed their electric meters as part of punitive action. When they were returning to their office to submit the meters, they were intercepted by four persons from the Hajra Complex building. The suspects punched and kicked Rondhe for snapping their power supply. They also hit Chavan as he tried to intervene,” said an officer.According to the complaint, the suspects also threatened to kill them if they came to their area again and snatched the power meters they had confiscated.Rondhe and Chavan approached the Kondhwa police after receiving basic treatment at Sassoon General Hospital in Pune. “Based on the initial investigation, a case has been registered against Afzal Kadar Kapadia, Asif Kadar Kapadia, Mohammed Afzal Kapadia, and one more person,” said an officer from Kondhwa police station.Police have invoked various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) pertaining to assault on public servants, voluntarily causing hurt to public servants and criminal intimidation among others. Police are yet to make arrests in the case.

Pune: Two MSEDCL employees beaten up for cutting power connection to houses
Daily Briefing: Gujarat, Himachal election results today; RBI unveils latest review of monetary policy; and more
The Indian Express | 4 hours ago | 08-12-2022 | 11:45 am
The Indian Express
4 hours ago | 08-12-2022 | 11:45 am

Good morning! Get your day started with the top reads from today’s edition.Gujarat, Himachal election results todayThe Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is looking to return to power for a seventh consecutive term in Gujarat, riding on the Narendra Modi-wave. All eyes, however, are on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is flying high after its win in the civic polls in Delhi, and hopes to create dents in the BJP bastion. A question remains over the Congress’s fate after its low-key campaign in the state.In Himachal Pradesh, meanwhile, exit polls have predicted a tight race between the BJP and Opposition Congress, with AAP’s bid falling short after it redirected its energies to the Gujarat elections.Head to indianexpress.com for live updates on the counting of votes, analysis and more.Here are five other stories you shouldn’t missThe role, however, comes with its own set of challenges — from an uphill task of selecting a mayor to tackling issues it attacked the BJP on.While the BJP has managed to perform better than exit polls had predicted, would it have retained its control over the MCD had it not been unified? Take a look at our analysis.The Congress, meanwhile, has won just nine out of 250 seats in the MCD, losing its hold over a city it once governed.2. The UP police thought it was a simple open-and-shut case. They believed that a 14-year-old girl, who went missing from her home in Aligarh, was killed and dumped over 90 km away in Agra by her neighbour. Little did the family and police know that the girl was now a married woman, a mother of two children, working mustard fields, attending weddings and religious functions at her new home in Hathras. A chance meeting with a katha vachak (storyteller) blew her cover and the police investigation.3. As tensions continue to mount along the Maharashtra-Karnataka border, the inter-state dispute was echoed in the Parliament on Wednesday. NCP member Supriya Sule accused Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai of “making ad hoc statements” and “conspiring to break Maharashtra”. Ruling BJP MPs from Karnataka took objection to her remarks and pointed out that the matter is in Supreme Court.4. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has unveiled its latest review of the monetary policy. In it, the RBI cut India’s GDP (gross domestic product) growth forecast for the current financial year, maintained the inflation forecast, and raised the repo rate by 35 basis points. Why has RBI taken this hawkish stand? What does the GDP forecast signify about economic recovery? Udit Misra explains. 5. FIFA World Cup 2022: After Morocco’s win over Spain, the team’s star player Achraf Hakimi tore away to the enclosure where his mother was seated. He climbed over the barricade and hugged her, tears rolling down the eyes of both. Not just Hakimi, you could see several other teammates in the embrace of their parents. In fact, parents of most of the Moroccan players are in Doha to watch their children play, many capping long journeys of hardship and pain. 🎧 Before you go, tune in to our podcast, ‘3 Things’: In today’s episode, we talk about the border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka, Goldy Brar’s alleged detention and subsequent interview, and delay in Ayodhya Mosque after 2019 Supreme Court judgement.Until tomorrow, Sonal Gupta and Rahel Philipose 

Daily Briefing: Gujarat, Himachal election results today; RBI unveils latest review of monetary policy; and more