New Delhi [India], APril 14 (ANI): Activist Gautam Navlakha will be produced on Wednesday in Delhi's National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case.
Earlier in the day, Navlakha surrendered in NIA's Delhi Headquarter. He is one of the accused for his alleged involvement in the Bhima-Koregao riots of 2018. Anand Teltumbde, another accused in the case had surrendered in Mumbai in NIA office.
The Supreme Court last week had granted one week time to both activists Navlakha and Teltumbde to surrender and makes it clear that no further extension would be granted.
As Navlakha has surrendered in Delhi, the NIA will produced him in its special court on Wednesday for further proceedings.
In a statement, Navlakha said the "draconian provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act are not accompanied by stricter procedures regarding evidence, especially electronic, considering the stringent punishment provided for under the Act; the procedures, which otherwise provide tighter rules regarding evidence, are instead made elastic".
"Under this double whammy, jail becomes the norm and bail an exception. In this Kafkaesque domain, process itself becomes punishment," he said.
Navlakha was among the five activists arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case. However, he was granted protection from arrest by the apex court and the Bombay High Court.
"As I prepare to leave to surrender before the NIA Headquarters in Delhi, I am glad that Justices Arun Mishra and Indira Banerjee gave me another week of freedom when they passed the order on April 8. A week of freedom means a lot in my condition, even in the age of lockdown," he said.
He said their order resolved the predicament he encountered in complying with the March 16 order of the apex court, which obliged him to surrender by April 6 before the NIA, Mumbai.
"The lockdown that followed prevented me from travelling. Also, there was no direction from the NIA (Mumbai) regarding what I should do under the circumstances. I know now that I have to surrender myself to the NIA Headquarters in Delhi," he said.
In view of challenges posed by the COVID-19, he said: "Although no case of COVID-19 has been reported in any jail so far. I am affected by the fear that my near and dear ones harbour about my captivity amidst COVID-19. I cannot help but feel disappointed that the terse order of the Supreme Court on April 8 had no reference to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has overtaken the world, including all of us in India."
Pune Police booked Navlakha for their alleged Maoist links and other charges, following the violence at Koregaon Bhima village in Pune district on January 1, 2018. One person was killed and several others were injured in the incident. The police have filed 58 cases against 162 people in the matter. (ANI)