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Three more accused move to Mumbai Court for discharge in Bhima Koregaon case

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The Special Court under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act had three more accused in the Bhima Koregaon case seeking discharge from all charges against them in the 2018 case.

The accused who sought discharge from the case linked to Elgar Parishad that led to violence in 2018 were Sudhir Dhawale, Mahesh Raut and Dr Anand Teltumbde .

Sudhir Dhawale who is the prime accused in case, says that he should be discharged as his only contribution is to have lent his name to the Elgar Parishad event with some other other organisers including retired judges Justices PB Sawant and Justices BG Kolse Patil.

Dhawale who owns a Marathi left-leaning publication and was arrested on June 6, 2018 claimed in the FIR that he was among the various speakers and his arrest had come after complaint was lodged against him, almost after a week.

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In his speech Dhawale had called for protection of Democracy and peaceful resistance which come under his fundamental rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.

He complains that his arrest was only because he called upon people to not vote for BJP . Dhawale was equally vocal on the point that the other two people who are accused were never a part of the event but still to fabricate a story they were accused.

The second person who was accused is Mahesh Raut, a land rights activist who had been a former research fellow of the Prime Minister’s Rural Development Programme. He was arrested in 2018 by Pune Police. Raut stated that no case can be  made out against him either under Indian Penal Code (IPC) or Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

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Raut is alleged to have handled money for the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and for having helped two students go to Gadchiroli. Raut further said that he was alleged because of the letters obtained from the device of co-accused Rona Wilson’s device which he claims had been compromised with.

The third applicant is Dr. Anand Teltumbde, whose name was added to the FIR in November 2018. Dr. Teltumbde is a scholar and a professor of management at the Goa Institute of Management, Teltumbde surrendered before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) after the Supreme Court refused to grant him protection from arrest in March 2020. He is accused of involving the spread of the agenda through different means.

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