Bhima Koregaon Case: Activists Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira Walk Out of Jail


Both Gonsalves and Ferreria were in custody since August 2018 for their alleged involvement in offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

Team Clarion

MUMBAI —  Nine days after being granted bail in Bhima Koregaon case by the Supreme Court, activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira walked out of Navi Mumbai’s Taloja Jail on Saturday as a special court here has issued their release order.

Both Gonsalves and Ferreria were in custody since August 2018 for their alleged involvement in offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

A lawyer linked to the case said the special court hearing cases related to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) issued their release order on Friday and the accused walked out of the jail on Saturday as their bail formalities before the court have been completed, according to media reports.

The apex court on July 28 granted bail to the two accused, noting that the actual involvement of Gonsalves and Ferreira in any terrorist act has not surfaced from any third-party communications.

The SC bench comprising Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sudhanshu Dhulia granted bail to them, noting that mere holding of certain literature through which violent acts may be propagated would not attract the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

“Considering the fact that almost five years have elapsed, we are satisfied they have made out a case for bail. The allegations are serious, no doubt, but for that reason alone, bail cannot be denied to them,” the bench said.

Gonsalves and Ferreira were arrested in August 2018 for their alleged role in the case and have been in judicial custody since then.

As many as 16 activists have been arrested in the case, of whom three are currently out on bail.
Scholar-activist Anand Teltumbde and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj are out on regular bail, while poet Varavara Rao is currently out on bail on health grounds.

Another accused, activist Gautam Navlakha, is currently under house arrest as per the direction of the Supreme court.

The prosecution’s case is that the Gonsalves and Ferreira played an active role in the recruitment of and training for cadres of the said organisation and Ferreira also had a role in managing the finances of that organisation.

The case pertains to the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017 which, according to the Pune police, was funded by Maoists.


PhotoL: Activists Arun Ferriera and Arun Gonsalves walking out of jail. — Twitter/indiraJaising.


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