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NHRC takes its own motion, issues notice to Maharashtra government for the arrests of 5 activists in Bhima Koregaon case

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) taking on its own motion, issued a notice to the Maharashtra government for the arrests that were made of the five activists by the police from different cities yesterday on Tuesday in links with the investigations in the Bhima Koregaon violence.

Among the ones that have been arrested include civil liberties activists Arun Ferreira, Varavara Rao, Gautam Navlakha and Vernon Gonsalves and lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj.

NHRC also took notice that it seems that the standard operating procedure in linkage to these arrests has not been followed properly by the police authorities which may amount to the violation of their human rights.

It has asked both the director general and the chief secretary of police of the state to supply it with a factual report concerning the matter within the duration of four weeks.

On the other hand, the Delhi high court has put a stay on the transit remand for the civil liberties activist Gautam Navlakha, seeing that the police have not been able to give in a reasonable explanation for the offence that he had been arrested for.

The decision on a transit remand for lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj remains pending before the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Faridabad. The activist told the court that she did not have anything to do with the incident for which she had been arrested. According to her, the FIR did not even have her name and is being harassed and arrested only because of her ideology.

As far as Gautam Navlakha’s case is concerned, the court has reportedly questioned that how the Pune police managed to get a transit remand from the Delhi court without any local witness. The court has also directed the police to get the documents translated into English which are in vernacular language.

The NHRC has also made an observation that it had received a complaint from an NGO from Geneva concerning the illegal arrest of the five human rights defenders namely Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling and Sudhir Dhawale by the Maharashtra police in the month of June 2018.

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