bhima koregaon violence

Supreme Court: While hearing a criminal appeal against the judgment and order of Bombay High Court, wherein bail plea of activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira was denied, who were accused of conspiring the Bhima Koregaon violence, the Division Bench of Aniruddha Bose and Sudhanshu Dhulia, JJ., granted bail to the duo.

2018 marked the 200th year of battle for Dalit-dominated British Army defeating a Peshwa army, led by Peshwa Bajirao II, in Koregaon and hence there was a larger gathering at Bhima Koregaon. During the celebrations there were violent clashes between Dalit and Maratha groups, resulting in the death of one person and several others were injured. Tensions had started simmering on 29-12-2017, the day Govind Gopal Mahar’s memorial was found desecrated. The incident found mention in the Elgar Parishad, a big public conference organised by Dalit and Bahujan groups on 31-12-2017. It was alleged that inflammatory speeches were made at the event and that led to the violence the next day.

It was the aftermath of this violence that around 16 activists, including Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira, were arrested for allegedly conspiring and planning the violence and charged with various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 and the Penal Code, 1860. Subsequently, their bail applications were rejected by the Bombay High Court, forming the impugned order before the Court.

The Court had reserved judgment on 03-03-2023. Considering the fact that the two activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira were in jail for almost five years, the Court granted bail to the activists. The Court also imposed several conditions on them while granting bail to the duo.

Source: Press

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