Anand Teltumbde, accused in Bhim Koregaon case, gets bail

Scholar-activist Anand Teltumbde, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, was on Saturday released from the Taloja central prison in Navi Mumbai, a day after the Supreme Court rejected the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) plea challenging the bail granted to him, an official said.

Teltumbde, 73, who spent two-and-a-half years behind bars in the case, walked out of the jail around 1.15 pm, he said. “On Friday, the apex court had dismissed the NIA’s plea challenging the Bombay High Court’s order giving bail to Teltumbde. Accordingly, he was released after the completion of bail formalities,” he said.

On November 18, the high court had granted bail to Teltumbde, who was arrested by the central agency on April 14, 2020, after he surrendered before the NIA, the official said.

Of the 16 suspects arrested in the case, Teltumbde is the third to be freed on bond. While lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj is currently free on ordinary bail, poet Varavara Rao is out on health-related bail.

The case allegedly stems from provocative remarks made at the Elgar Parishad conclave in Pune on December 31, 2017, which, according to the police, led to unrest the following day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial outside the western Maharashtra city. The conference was allegedly organised by certain people with Maoist ties, according to the Pune Police.

Pune Police filed a First Information Report on January 8, 2018, in accordance with the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The case was later handed off to the NIA. Teltumbde had asserted that he had not attended the Pune City Elgar Parishad event on December 31, 2017 or delivered any controversial statements.

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