Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has opposed bail plea of former journalist Gautam Navlakha, an accused in the Elgar Parishad - Bhima Koregaon case, stating that the lower court rejected his bail plea on the grounds that the accusations against him are prima facie true. NIA has also claimed that Navlakha was an active member of a banned terror organisation and engages in activities furthering its objectives.
The affidavit filed by NIA opposing Navlakha’s bail plea states that Navlakha visited the US thrice to address the 'Kashmiri American Council' conference organised by Ghulam Nabi Fai, arrested by the FBI in July 2011 for accepting funds from the Pakistan government and its spy agency ISI.
Navlakha’s was in contact with Fai via email and sometimes even phone. Navlakha had even written a letter to the Judge of the US Court, seeking clemency for Fai, claimed NIA.
The central agency has further claimed that Navlakha was recruited by Fai on the direction of the ISI, indicating his nexus and complicity with Fai and the ISI.
Evidence of Navlakha's involvement
NIA has claimed that Navlakha is an active member of a banned terror organisation and engages in activities furthering its objectives. During searches at Navlakha’s house, the NIA recovered Incriminating documents from gadgets in his house, claimed NIA.
Besides, the NIA has alleged that Navlakha underwent weapons training with other accused in Naxalite-infested jungles.
During the hearing on Tuesday, Sandesh Patil, appearing by for the NIA, sought time as Additional Solicitor General was unavailable.
The sessions court, while rejecting Navlakha’s bail had observed: “Material/evidence collated by the Investigating Agency in reference to accusations against Navlakha prevailed over the material and grounds put forth on behalf of him.”
Navlakha challenged HC order
Navlakha approached the HC challenging this order before. The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017. The police claimed that it triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in Pune district. It is also alleged that the conclave was backed by Maoists. More than a dozen activists and academicians have been arrested for their complicity in the case. The probe was subsequently transferred to the NIA.