After the Supreme Court refused to intervene in the arrest of the five accused persons in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case, petitioner Romila Thapar, Maja Daruwala and Vrinda Grover hit out at the ruling government and accused them of spreading 'state terrorism'.
"I will read out the statement I have prepared", historian Romila Thapar said. "We the petitioners approached the Supreme Court when 5 well known lawyers journalists and civil rights activists were arrested across the country. They were charged with abetting acts of terror under the UAPA. Our intention was to draw the attention of the judiciary to what we believe is a case of gross misuse of the state’s powers under draconian laws like the UAPA", she continued.
Giving her version of terrorism while attacking the government, she said that 'Arbitrary arrests are the source of anxiety for us'.
"But we believe there are two kinds of terrorism that create fear and undermine democracy. One is violent terrorism, and second is harassing those who don't conform to the norms set by their masters," she said.
"Arbitrary arrests are source of anxiety for us all and this is also a kind of terror. Warrant was written in a language we do not understand. Similar arrests were made in June. Continuous attempt to erode rights. We wanted SC to check this erosion of rights", she added.
Reading the verdict of the Supreme Court, Maja Daruwala, who is a police reform activist and also the petitioner, informed:
Four weeks are given, Court has stated that they (activists) must be left alone while the probe goes on. Police haven't got a go-ahead to arrest but to probe in a legal way; not to harass. The Arrest comes at the end of a viable process of the probe, not meant to be the first action, must make that clear".
"A dissenting, minority judgment of Justice Chandrachud upheld our concerns and contention", said Vrinda Grover.
"Swoop by the Maharashtra Police on 28 August in various parts of the country, raids done on well-known activists, lawyers, poets 5 of them were arrested. Immediately the High Courts were approached. The next day a written petition was moved in the Supreme Court on behalf of these 5 accused. Many senior lawyers expressed solidarity and wanted to be seen as agreeing what the petition put forward. The Supreme Court further confirmed the house arrest. During this period the proceedings have gone on in the Supreme Court. Today the judgment was given. A majority judgment declined the request for a SIT. A dissenting, minority judgment of Justice Chandrachud upheld our concerns and contentions", said Vrinda Grover.
Read: Urban Naxals Case | 'Wrong To Attack The Institution When Verdict Doesn’t Come In Your Favour': Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis on Indira Jaising's Open Attack On CJI Post Supreme Court's Refusal to Interfere With The Arrest Of The 5 Accused
Earlier on Friday, in a 2:1 majority judgment, the court rejected the plea for SIT probe in the case and said that "accused can't choose which agency will probe them." Supreme Court while pronouncing the judgment said it is not a case of arrest due to dissent".
"Accused persons do not have a say in the investigating agency that probes them. Not a case of arrest due to dissent," said the apex court , adding, "evidence doesn't show that the arrest was made to quell dissent."
The Supreme Court also ruled that the accused will continue to be "under house arrest for 4 weeks and that Maharashtra police to continue with the prove in the case".
Urban Naxals Case | 'Wrong to attack institution when verdict doesn’t come in your favour', Devendra Fadnavis rebuts Indira Jaisingh's open attack on CJI