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A special court on Friday rejected the bail pleas of activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves, who were arrested on August 28 by the Pune police in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon clashes.

They along with another activist—Varavara Rao—have been on house arrest since then while a fifth, Gautam Navlakha’s  house arrest was quashed by the Delhi high court earlier this month.  On August 30, the Supreme Court had directed all the five activists to be placed under house arrest. On September 28, the apex court had granted a period of four weeks to the activists to exercise other legal remedies available under the law, while rejecting a plea by historian Romila Thapar and others seeking the immediate release of the five arrested rights activists and an SIT probe into their arrest.

Accordingly, Bharadwaj, Ferreira and Gonsalves had filed their bail pleas in the Pune sessions court in the second week of October. Earlier this week, the Hyderabad High Court extended Rao’s house arrest period by three weeks while Navlakha’s arrest has already been quashed by the Delhi High Court. The apex court has also rejected the Maharashtra government’s special leave petition (SLP) against the Delhi HC order.

                                                                                                      —India Legal Bureau

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