Bhima-Koregaon violence: Gautam Navlakha, other activists were in touch with Hizbul Mujahideen

Mumbai: In a bid to make its case more stronger, the Pune Police on Wednesday told the Bombay High Court that the human rights’ activist Gautam Navlakha and other Naxal groups, he is associated with, were in contact of the pro-Pakistan organisation — Hizbul Mujahideen. The police further told the HC that the activists were also in touch with several separatist leaders from Kashmir.

A bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre is presently dealing with the plea filed by Navlakha to quash the criminal proceedings against him. The bench has extended his interim relief from arrest till Thursday.

During the course of the hearing, public prosecutor Aruna Kamath-Pai told the bench that the activists were in touch with Hizbul Mujahideen, the pro-Pakistani militant organisation.

She said that during the investigations the police had seized certain documents from the laptops of co-accused Rona Wilson and Surendra Gadling, who are presently in judicial custody.

“These recovered documents show that accused Navlakha and various of his Naxal groups had conducted bilateral talks with Hizbul leaders. He has been liaising with the banned terrorist organisations since 2011,” Pai told the bench.

“In fact, from 2011 till 2014, Navlakha was in touch with Kashmiri separatists like Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Shakil Bakshi etc,” Pai added.

At this, the counsel appearing for Navlakha said the allegations are baseless. He further urged the court to not allow the request made by the police to vacate the interim protection granted to Navlakha so that they can arrest him and further probe the matter.

The bench then adjourned the matter till Thursday for further hearing of the case. It may be noted that the bench had in an earlier hearing said it did not found any prima facie material against Navlakha in the case.

Navlakha was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and other offences. On July 5, the high court had granted him interim protection from arrest till July 23.

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