Setback to Pune Police as court orders immediate release of Goa professor Anand Teltumbde, says his arrest illegal

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In a setback to the Pune Police a court in Maharashtra on Saturday ordered the release of Goa professor Anand Teltumbde, who was arrested from the Mumbai airport by cops on Saturday morning.

Anand Teltumbde

Professor Teltumbde was produced the Pune Sessions Court, which ordered his immediate release.

The Pune Police had arrested Professor Anand Teltumbde in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case. Teltumbde, a professor at Goa Institute of Management, was arrested from the Mumbai airport at 3.30 am by the Pune Police.

Teltumbde had moved the Supreme Court in January this year seeking protection from the arrest. While the highest court had refused to quash the FIR filed against him, the court had given him protection from arrest for four weeks.

His lawyer has now termed his arrest illegal citing the Supreme Court’s order providing him protection for four weeks. “The Supreme Court in its January 11th order had given Anand Teltumbde a relief of four weeks which means he could not be arrested till February 11th, but still the arrest has been made. Will also inform the court about this order,” Rohan Nahar, who is representing Teltumbde in the case, was quoted by NDTV.

Facing imminent arrest, Teltumbde had written an open letter last month. He wrote, “You may have learnt from the media that my appeal for quashing the false First Information Report against me filed by the Pune police was rejected on January 14 by the Supreme Court. Fortunately, it gave me four weeks to seek pre-arrest bail from a competent court.”

He went on to add, “Uptill now I felt confident that whatever charges the police levied could be proved as criminal fabrication once they landed before the court and hence I did not feel the need to bother you.

“But my hopes stand completely shattered and I am left with just seeking bail right from the sessions court in Pune, to the Supreme Court. The time has come to build a visible campaign in support of me from various sections of people so as to save me from imminent arrest.”

Teltumbde may be produced in a court later today.

The Pune Police had arrested five activists last year in August in connection with the same case. The arrested individuals includeded Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha. The Pune Police had also conducted raids on Anand Teltumbde’s house in Goa.

Teltumbde and other arrested activists are accused of inciting violence in the Bhima-Koregaon violence in January last year. Violence had erupted during the Elgaar Parishad event, organised to mark the 200th year of the Battle of Koregaon. The date is observed by Dalit groups in memory of what they consider was their victory over the upper caste Peshwas.

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