By LE Desk

Mumbai, March 22: A special NIA court in Mumbai on Monday rejected the bail plea of Stan Swamy, a tribal rights activist, booked in connection with being part of the conspiracy in connection with the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case.

Swamy had moved the bail plea in November last year, claiming that he has been falsely implicated due to the nature of his writings about caste and land struggles of the people in India.

The NIA arrested the 83-year-old activist in October last year on the basis of several letters found in his possession which it claimed established his connection with banned CPI (Maoist) organisation.

While objecting to his plea, the NIA claimed there are around 140 emails exchanged between Swamy and other accused – Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha and others. It also claimed that Swamy was a “staunch supporter” of organisation which work as fronts of CPI (Maoist). The probe agency recovered several letters from Wilson’s computer which were used to book other accused in the case.

The defence also submitted a copy of a report from a Massachusetts-based digital forensics firm, Arsenal Consulting, which claimed that just few hours before the arrest of Rona Wilson, another accused in the case, his computer was tampered with, the Hindustan Times reported.

In his bail plea, Swamy refuted NIA’s allegations and questioned the authenticity of letters that the agency submitted as evidence. “The prosecution has attached word and pdf copies of the letter. They are not even part of emails. That these alleged letters were ever sent or received is questionable,” said Swamy’s bail plea.

Swamy had previously applied for bail on medical grounds, citing his Parkinson’s disease, but was denied it. Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating nervous disorder that can cause involuntary spasms and tremors that make it difficult for patients to carry out everyday actions, such as drinking water, without aid.

Violence had erupted in the vicinity of a war memorial in Koregaon Bhima, on the outskirts of Pune city, on January 1, 2018, allegedly after provocative speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave.

The Pune Police, which initially probed the case, claimed that the conclave was backed by outlawed Maoist groups. The NIA later took over the case.

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