Activists’ arrest: NHRC terms incident a human rights violation, issues notices to Maharashtra Police, state government

By: | Published: August 29, 2018 6:25 PM

Taking suo motu cognisance, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday said the arrests of five activists in Bhima Koregaon incident by the Maharashtra Police were in violation of the laid-down procedure and so "amounted to human rights violation".

NHRC ON ARREST, arrest of activists, bhima koregain violence arrests, aressts in bhima koregaon case, Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Fereira, civil liberties activists Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves, Varavara RaoThe NHRC served a notice on the Maharashtra government and the Maharashtra Police asking for a factual report in the matter within four weeks.

Taking suo motu cognisance, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday said the arrests of five activists in Bhima Koregaon incident by the Maharashtra Police were in violation of the laid-down procedure and so “amounted to human rights violation”. The NHRC served a notice on the Maharashtra government and the Maharashtra Police asking for a factual report in the matter within four weeks.

“It appears, the standard operating procedure in connection with these arrests has not been properly followed by the police authorities, which may amount to the violation of their human rights,” the NHRC was quoted as saying in an IANS report.

The NHRC notice was served to the Chief Secretary and Maharashtra Director General of Police Datta Padsalgikar. The NHRC also cited Delhi High Court’s decision to stay the transit remand for civil liberties activist Gautam Navlakha, observing that police have not been able to satisfactorily explain the offence he had been arrested for.

Further, the commission said that the similar issue of a transit remand of lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj was pending before the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Faridabad.

“The activist has told the court that she had nothing to do with the incident for which she has been arrested. According to her, the FIR did not even name her and she is being harassed and arrested only because of her ideology,” the NHRC said in a statement.

The arrests of activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Fereira, civil liberties activists Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves, and poet-activist Varavara Rao from different parts of India triggered a massive outcry in the country.

As per the Pune police, the activists have been arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence incident. On the other hand, the Opposition has dubbed the arrests as the incident as an attempt to dub the voice of those who oppose ruling dispensation.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court today ordered that the five human rights activists, arrested in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence case, be kept under house arrest till September 6, saying dissent was the “safety valve” of democracy.

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