India

Anand Teltumbde remanded in NIA custody till April 18 in Elgar Parishad case

A special court in Mumbai on April 14 remanded Dalit scholar and activist Anand Teltumbde in the custody of the National Investigation Agency till April 18 in Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case.

Mr. Teltumbde was arrested by the NIA earlier in the day after he surrendered before it following the Supreme Court’s directives.

Mr. Teltumbde is the grandson-in-law of Dalit icon B.R. Ambedkar, whose 129th birth anniversary is being observed on April 14.

Civil rights activist Gautam Navlakha, a co-accused in the case, also surrendered before the NIA in Delhi. His anticipatory bail plea was also rejected by the apex court.

Mr. Navlakha was to be produced before special NIA court in Mumbai through video conference, but the court said since he had surrendered in Delhi, he will have to be produced before a court there first.

An NIA lawyer said he would be produced before a court in the national capital for seeking his transit remand after which he will be brought to Mumbai.

Also read | ‘I earnestly hope that you will speak out before your turn comes’

Mr. Teltumbde reached the NIA office in Mumbai in the afternoon with his wife Rama Teltumbde and brother-in-law and Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar and surrendered.

In the court, the NIA sought a ten-day custody of Mr. Teltumbde, but judge A.T. Wankhede granted it remand till only April 18.

The Supreme Court on March 17 rejected the pre-arrest bail pleas of Mr. Teltumbde and co-accused Mr. Navlakha, and directed them to surrender before the investigating agency.

Mr. Teltumbde, Mr. Navlakha and nine other civil liberties activists have been booked under the stringent provisions of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for having alleged Maoist links and conspiring to overthrow the government.

Also read | How a British war memorial became a symbol of Dalit pride

The activists were booked initially by Pune Police following violence that erupted at Koregaon-Bhima in the district.

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 during 200th commemoration of the bat

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