Bhima Koregaon case: Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha surrender before NIA
Civil rights activists Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde have surrendered before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, officials said on Tuesday.
Teltumbde arrived at the NIA office at Cumbala Hill in south Mumbai along with his wife Rama Teltumbde and brother-in-law and Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar. Navlkaha surrendered in New Delhi.
Anand Teltumbde is the grandson-in-law of Dalit icon Dr B. R. Ambedkar, whose 129th birth anniversary is being observed on Tuesday.
The Supreme Court had on March 17 rejected the pre-arrest bail pleas of Teltumbde and Navlakha, and directed them to surrender before the investigating agency.
'Keeping with the Supreme Court's directive, Anand Teltumbde appeared before the NIA to surrender,' his lawyer Mihir Desai said. The academician will be placed under arrest and produced before a sessions court by evening, an official said.
Navlakha, editor of Mumbai-based Economic and Political Weekly journal for years, has denied all charges against him
Teltumbde, Navlakha and several other civil liberties activists have been booked under stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for alleged Maoist links and conspiring the overthrow the government.
The activists were booked initially by Pune police following violence that erupted at Bhima Koregaon.
According to police, the activists made inflammatory speeches and provocative statements at the Elgar Parishad meet held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which triggered violence the next day.
The police also said these activists were active members of banned Maoist groups.
The case was later transferred to NIA.
Teltumbde and Navlakha were given interim protection by the Bombay High Court while their pre-arrest bail pleas were being heard.
After the high court rejected their applications, the duo approached the Supreme Court.
On March 17, the apex court rejected their pleas and directed them to surrender within three weeks.
On April 9, the Supreme Court granted the duo another week to surrender by way of last chance.