The Elgaar Parishad case became prominent because of the arrests of some high-profile activists and lawyers, some of who are in jail for over a year now. The initial investigation had focused on the people and groups who had organized the Elgaar Parishad. Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mewani and former JNU student Umar Khalid were among those who had participated in Elgaar Parishad and made speeches. Pune police claimed that while carrying out the investigation, it had stumbled upon the material that provided clues about the operations of a larger underground network of banned Naxalite groups.
Here’s a quick timeline of the case
Dec 31, 2017: Elgar Parishad – a conference held in Shaniwar Wada near Pune to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon-Bhima.
Jan 1, 2018: One person killed in caste violence between two groups near Sanaswadi, adjacent to Koregaon-Bhima leading to the statewide Dalit agitation.
Jun 6: Pune police arrests prominent Dalit activist Sudhir Dhawale, Nagpur University head of English department Shoma Sen, activist Mahesh Raut and Kerala native Rona Wilson, who is associated with the committee for the release of political prisoners, in the case.
Aug 28: Maharashtra Police arrests Telugu poet Varavara Rao from Hyderabad, activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira from Mumbai, trade union activist Sudha Bharadwaj from Faridabad, and civil liberties activist Gautam Navlakha from Delhi. A petition filed in Delhi HC on behalf of Navlakha challenging his arrest. -Delhi HC directs Navlakha, arrested for alleged Maoist links, not be taken away from the national capital till it hears the matter the next day. Punjab and Haryana HC Court stay transit remand of Bharadwaj.
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Aug 29: Maharashtra Police gives in Delhi HC translated documents including FIR to Navlakha’s counsel. Historian Romila Thapar and four activists moved SC against the arrest of five rights activists seeking their immediate release and SIT probe. SC directs all activists be kept under house arrest till September 6.
Aug 30: Delhi HC not to proceed with the hearing of the plea against Navlakha’s arrest till further orders from SC.
Sep 5: Maharashtra govt claims in SC that activists were not arrested for their dissenting views but due to the cogent evidence linking them with the banned CPI(Maoist).
Sep 6: SC extends activists’ house arrest till Sep 12.
Sep 12: SC extends their house arrest till Sep 17.
Sep 17: SC further extends their house arrest till Sep 19 saying it will examine whether there is material supporting their arrest in the case.
(With inputs from One India, Indian Express, and others)