MUMBAI: Welcoming the Supreme Court's verdict on arrests of five activists in Bhima Koregaon raids, Maharashtra Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis Friday said that "Maoists are conspiring against the nation".
“We welcome the decision. On basis of investigation conducted & evidence collected by Pune Police, it has been considered valid & SC has said it'll not interfere in the investigation,” said Fadnavis.
The Supreme Court Friday ruled that the arrests of activists in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence are not because of dissent and difference in political views. The SC also ruled that the five activists - Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha - will continue to remain under house arrest for four more weeks. The SC has also declined the plea on behalf of the activists to constitute a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the case.
“They (activists) were attempting to trigger a civil war in the country. They were trying to shield the Naxals and to kill PM Modi. Now everything is being revealed,” added the Maharashtra CM.
“SC accepted that there is no political influence and it’s not a plot to suppress voice of the opposition.
“It is a great victory for Pune police and country. They've (activists) been doing this for many years but there was no evidence against them, so probe couldn't be completed,” said the senior BJP leader.
“Today’s verdict by SC vindicates our stand against urban Maoists. In fact, this was absolutely a conspiracy against the nation. SC pointed out that it's not a political conspiracy. SC also appreciated that state government or GoI isn't trying to curb dissenting voice.”
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprising of Justices A M Khaniwlkar and D Y Chandrachud read out the verdict.
The Maharashtra police on August 28 arrested the five activists in connection with an FIR lodged following a conclave – 'Elgaar Parishad' – held on December 31 last year that had later triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima village in the state.
The police claimed that the activists have links to the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist).