Special NIA court rejects Teltumbde’s bail plea

A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court rejected social activist Dr. Anand Teltumbde’s bail plea in Mumbai this Saturday, The Hindu reported. Teltumbde had sought the bail on medical grounds. He said that he was suffering from a respiratory condition and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, being a respiratory disease too, could endanger his health. 

D.E. Kothalikar, Special Judge, and in-charge of the NIA Court while rejecting the plea said that “There is material on record for remanding him to judicial custody. Hence, he is remanded to judicial custody till May 8.”

Dr. Teltumbde had been reprimanded to judicial custody on April 25 by the special NIA court judge A T Wankhede after he had surrendered before the NIA on April 14.

Dr. Teltumbde, grandson-in-law of Dalit icon Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar was booked initially by the Pune Police for his alleged links to the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). He had been booked along with civil rights activist Gautam Navlakha and nine others under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. They were booked following the violence that erupted at Koregaon-Bhima in January 2018.

The Dalit scholar, an engineer by profession and CEO of Petronet India Ltd., is an IIM-graduate who has also taught at the Indian Institute of Technology.

Numerous social activists had criticised the government for witch-hunting when Dr. Teltumbde surrendered before the NIA court on April 14, which was also the Birth Anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar.