National Human Rights Commission Issues Notice To Maharashtra Govt. Over Arrest Of 5 Activists In Bhima Koregaon Case

National Human Rights Commission Issues Notice To Maharashtra Govt. Over Arrest Of 5 Activists In Bhima Koregaon Case

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports concerning the arrest of five activists by the Maharashtra Police from different cities yesterday, in connection with the investigations in the Bhima Koregaon violence, which occurred in Pune, Maharashtra in the beginning of this year.

Those arrested include lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj, civil liberties activists, Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Varavara Rao.

NHRC’s release emphasizes on the allegation of the police authorities not having followed the standard operating procedure while making these arrests, asserting that if true, the allegations may amount to violation of the human rights of those arrested.

It further notes that the Delhi High Court, while staying the transit remand for Mr. Navlakha, has observed that the police did not have a satisfactory explanation for the arrest. Besides, it also takes note of the fact that the Court has questioned as to how the Pune police managed to get a transit remand from a Delhi court without any local witness.

With regard to Ms. Bharadwaj’s arrest, NHRC considers her claims that she had not been named by the FIR and was only being harassed and arrested for her ideology. It has, therefore, issued notices to the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police, Maharashtra, calling for a factual report in the matter within four weeks.

Before parting, the release mentions the fact that NHRC had issued another notice on the illegal arrest of five human rights defenders—Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale, Shoma Sen and Mahesh Raut—by the Maharashtra police in the month of June. However, no report has been received by it from the DGP, Maharashtra so far.

Read the Press Release Here