Saturday, December 9, 2023

Bhima Koregaon: Mahesh Raut gets bail by Bombay High Court after spending five years

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The Bombay High Court on Thursday granted bail to tribal activist Mahesh Raut, one of the human rights defenders who were arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case of 2018 under draconian UAPA.

The Court stayed its order for a week after the National Investigation Authority (NIA) sought time to file an appeal against the same before the Supreme Court.

Raut is the sixth person to get bail in the Bhima Koregaon case after Sudha Bharadwaj, Varavara Rao, Anand Teltumbde, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira.

A division bench of Justices AS Gadkari and Sharmila Deshmukh passed the order.

Raut was arrested in June 2018 and has been in custody since. He approached the High Court after a special NIA court rejected his bail plea in November 2021.

Raut is a forest rights activist and a former fellow of the prestigious Prime Minister’s Rural Development Programme and worked with the Gadchiroli Collector. He had graduated from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in 2011 after which he did a fellowship on conflict zones.

Senior Advocate Mihir Desai and Advocate Vijay Hiremath who appeared for Raut.

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