New Delhi: Observing that dissent is the safety valve of democracy, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said the five activists - Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and P Varavara Rao, arrested by the Maharashtra police in relation to Bhima-Koregaon violence be kept in ‘house arrest’ till September 6.
“Dissent is a safety valve for democracy. If you don’t allow this safety valve, then the pressure cooker will burst. Look the people who are arrested after nine months. They are professors, lawyers and activists working for a cause," observed the five-judge bench led by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
The apex court also sought the response of Maharashtra Government in the writ petition filed challenging the arrest of five activists for their alleged Maoists links from Delhi, Faridabad, Mumbai, Thane and Hyderabad.
The Pune police said the activists are linked to Maoist groups and have shown "intolerance to present political system".
There is "conclusive proof" that they have a nexus with other unlawful groups and deliberate involvement in larger conspiracy. The activists, the police said, were planning to recruit members from 35 colleges and launch attacks.
The police say the arrest of the activists follow the arrest of five other activists earlier this year in June, when the police retrieved a huge amount of data.
Those arrested earlier were charged with the January 1 clashes that broke out at Bhima-Koregaon near Pune, between Dalits and upper caste Marathas at an annual event....