The Supreme Court on Monday deferred the hearing on the Maharashtra government’s plea challenging the Bombay High Court order by which the extension of time granted to the state police to conclude probe in the Bhima Koregaon violence case was set aside, to December 11. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it wanted to see the “charges” against the accused and asked senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Maharashtra government, to submit before it by December 8 the chargesheet filed by the state police in a special court in Pune. The court will then take up the application by Maharashtra to defend its action of filing chargesheet beyond the stipulated 90-day period.
On November 16, the Pune police had filed a chargesheet against five accused who were arrested in June over their alleged role in the Bhima Koregaon violence. Those arrested were - Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, Sudhir Dhawale and Rona Wilson. The charge sheet, submitted by police in Pune Session court suggests that around 80 witnesses have been examined in the case and the entire campaigning for Elgar Parishad including the speeches delivered at the conclave had aggravated the Bhima Koregaon violence.
Besides, the Pune police in another coordinated raid across India on August 28 had arrested five other activists - Sudha Bhardwaj, P Varavara Rao, Gautam Navlakha, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves. All of the detained activists are currently kept under in-house arrest following a Supreme Court order on August 29.
Bhima Koregaon violence refers to the alleged Maoist attack at Maharashtra's Bhima-Koregaon village earlier this year during the 200th birth anniversary celebration of a British-era war.
The skirmish claimed one life and left several others injured on January 1, 2018. It is believed to be the assassination plot of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the lines of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. The former prime minister was assassinated by an LTTE bomber Dhanu in 1991.