Live: "Dissent Is Safety Valve Of Democracy," Says Supreme Court On Activists' Arrests

The police said the arrests were linked to last year's Bhima Koregaon violence, in which Dalit activists had clashed with upper-caste Marathas.

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Live: 'Dissent Is Safety Valve Of Democracy,' Says Supreme Court On Activists' Arrests

Activist Sudha Bhardwaj has been placed under house arrest till August 30.

A day after the pan India crackdown on activists, the action shifted to the courts today with the Supreme Court giving urgent hearing to a plea against the arrests in the afternoon and three of the five who were nabbed to be produced before a Pune court.

Telugu poet Varavara Rao and activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira were taken to Pune late last night and are likely to be produced in a court later in the day, a senior police official in Pune said.

The other two arrested for their suspected links with Maoists were trade unionist and lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj in Faridabad and civil liberties activist Gautam Navlakha in Delhi. The five activists - Varavara Rao, lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj, and activists Arun Fereira, Gautam Navlakha and Vernon Gonsalves - were arrested in a multi-city raid by Pune police on Tuesday. 

The police said the arrests were linked to last year's Bhima Koregaon violence, in which Dalit activists had clashed with upper-caste Marathas.

In June, five people -- Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson and Shoma Sen -- were arrested for allegedly making "provocative" speeches at an event in at Bhima Koregaon village in January, which, the police said, triggered violence. Yesterday's raids were carried out on basis of what they said during interrogation, the police said.

Here are the LIVE updates on the activists' arrest case:


Aug 29, 2018
17:28 (IST)
Arrest of activists shows 'emergency-like' conditions prevailing in country: Yashwant Sinha

Former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha today alleged "emergency-line" conditions are prevailing in the country under the present regime and the arrest of five activists on suspicion of Maoist links shows that any voice of dissent is not safe. "What happened yesterday is the prime example of assault on freedom of speech and freedom of the press," he told reporters in Bengaluru.
Aug 29, 2018
17:24 (IST)
It's not right to demoralise police. Bhima Koregaon violence was serious blow to our nation and constitution. Plot of igniting caste tensions is out in open now and police are taking action. Courts are there and if they think they're innocent, then they can seek bail, says Union Minister Hansraj Ahir
Aug 29, 2018
17:19 (IST)
In view of information regarding Supreme Court order in five activists' matter, high court to hear it tomorrow after getting copy of top court's decision: news agency PTI
Aug 29, 2018
17:10 (IST)
Hearing the case of activists' arrest, Justice DY Chandrachud said, "Dissent is the safety valve of democracy. If you don't allow the safety valve pressure cooker will burst."
Aug 29, 2018
17:02 (IST)
On activists' arrest, Supreme Court says as an interim measure all the five will be kept under house arrest at their homes till September 6.
Aug 29, 2018
16:51 (IST)
Supreme Court issues notice to Maharashtra in activists' arrest case.
Aug 29, 2018
16:46 (IST)
Arguing for the activists, senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi says that those arrested are with impeccable integrity.
Aug 29, 2018
16:43 (IST)
An Attempt To Silence Masses: Prakash Ambedkar On Activists' Arrest

Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar termed the arrests of activists for suspected Maoist links as an attempt to "silence" the masses. He said those raising voices against the government were NGOs and non-political organisations, but had their roots in the masses.

"With these raids, the government is trying to silence the masses, but I doubt whether the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) will be silent. They will be more active in opposing the government because they do not have any stake," he said.
Aug 29, 2018
15:56 (IST)
Read: Fresh Evidence Led To Arrests, Activists Were Watched For A Week, Say Cops
After the arrest of five rights activists on Tuesday, which has been challenged in the Supreme Court, Pune police sources claim that their investigations pointed at Maoist activities and a "big conspiracy" that involved recruiting university students.
Aug 29, 2018
12:53 (IST)
Aug 29, 2018
12:39 (IST)
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra will hear the matter at 3.45 p.m. after counsel Prashant Bhushan appearing for Thapar, Daruwala and three other activists mentioned the matter for an urgent hearing.
Aug 29, 2018
12:35 (IST)
Accused activists' were planning a big conspiracy, sources in Pune police told NDTV, adding that 35 colleges were targeted for recruitment. 
Aug 29, 2018
11:36 (IST)
Activist Arun Fereira was arrested from Thane by the Pune police on Tuesday
Aug 29, 2018
11:34 (IST)
Activists' arrest arrest a "brutal, authoritarian, oppressive, arbitrary. illegal act": Ramachandra Guha

The action by the Pune Police has triggered a massive controversy, with many describing it as "absolutely chilling" and a "virtual declaration of emergency". 

Author and historian Ramachandra Guha called the arrest a "brutal, authoritarian, oppressive, arbitrary. illegal act" by the Pune police. Speaking to NDTV after the arrest of five well-known activists and intellectuals, Mr Guha blamed it on the "corporate cronies of the ruling government," who, he said, were bent on grabbing tribal land, forest and mineral resources. The arrest of the activists was meant to take away the only representation the tribals have, he said
Aug 29, 2018
10:36 (IST)
Aug 29, 2018
10:21 (IST)
Aug 29, 2018
10:19 (IST)

Human rights activist Gautam Navlakha at his residence after he was arrested by the Pune police
Aug 29, 2018
10:17 (IST)
A petition against the arrests will be filed by senior lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan and some others in the top court at 10:30 am.
Aug 29, 2018
10:11 (IST)
Human rights lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj to be kept under house arrest till August 30
The High Court had barred human rights lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj  from being taken to Pune, ordering that she be kept under house arrest till August 30.

Sudha Bharadwaj is one of the five activists who were arrested on Tuesday during a multi-city sweep by the Pune Police over allegations of Maoist links. The arrests, made in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence on December 31 - in which Dalit activists had clashed with upper-caste Marathas - triggered widespread shock and anger.
Aug 29, 2018
10:08 (IST)
The raids follow the questioning of five people - Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson and Shoma Sen - who were arrested in June, sources said. They had allegedly made "provocative" speeches at the event, triggering violence at Koregaon Bhima village.
Aug 29, 2018
10:08 (IST)
Varavara Rao was arrested for his alleged involvement in a Maoist plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mr Rao's name had cropped up in a letter seized by the police during searches at the premises of one of the five people arrested in June in connection with 'Elgar Parishad', an event in Pune that allegedly triggered violence in Bhima Koregaon a day later.
Aug 29, 2018
10:08 (IST)
The five - Maoist ideologue Varavara Rao, lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, activists Arun Fereira, Gautam Navlakha and Vernon Gonsalves - were arrested by the Pune Police in connection with the violence at Koregaon Bhima in Maharashtra on January 1 when Dalits had clashed with upper-caste Marathas. The raids were carried out in Delhi, Faridabad, Goa, Mumbai, Ranchi and Hyderabad.
Aug 29, 2018
10:07 (IST)
A petition against the arrests will be filed by senior lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan and some others in the top court at 10:30 am.
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