Elgaar Parishad case: Other accused have already spent several months in prison

Activist Anand Teltumbde was released on Saturday evening. (Express photo/Arul Horizon)

While Anand Teltumbde has managed to get relief from the courts, many of the other high-profile accused in the same case have not been so lucky. Four of the six other activists, who were raided by Pune Police along with Teltumbde in a multicity operation on August 28 last year, have already spent several months in jail.

Chhattisgarh-based Sudha Bhardwaj, and Mumbai-based Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira were arrested by Pune police on October 26 last year, after the initial attempt to arrest them on August 28 itself had been nullified by the courts. Another prominent activist P Varavara Rao, who lives in Hyderabad, was arrested on November 17. All of them are currently in judicial custody and lodged in the Yerawada jail. Their bail application before the special court in Pune is pending.

The Pune police had earlier, on June 6 last year, arrested five activists and lawyers from Mumbai, New Delhi and Nagpur. These included professor Shoma Sen, lawyer Surendra Gadling and activist Rona Wilson. They have been in judicial custody since then, lodged in Yerawada jail.

New Delhi-based Gautam Navlakha, who was among the seven searched on August 28 last year, has so far escaped arrest, having managed to obtain reliefs from the courts several times. His current period of protection from arrest, granted by the Bombay High Court, continues till February 18.

Stan Swamy, an octogenarian from Ranchi, who too was searched on August 28 last year, is the only one who the Pune police has not attempted to arrest till now.

On November 15 last year, the Pune police had filed a 5,160-page chargesheet against 10 accused, including the five arrested in June. The others who were named an accused in that chargesheet included Milind Teltumbde, younger brother of Anand.

On November 26 last year, the Pune police sought, and obtained, a 90-day extension in time for filing chargesheet against Sudha Bhardwaj, Varavara Rao, Ferreira and Gonsalves. The 90-day period ends on February 24.