Bhima Koregaon: Rona Wilson Granted 2 Week Temporary Bail After Father’s Demise

Wilson was arrested by Pune Police in April 2018 under the UAPA for his alleged role in the Bhima Koregaon violence.

2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>File image of activist Rona Wilson.</p></div>

The Special NIA court has granted temporary bail to activist Rona Wilson following his father’s demise on 18 August.

Wilson had last met his father months before he was arrested by Pune Police in April 2018 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for his alleged role in the violence at the Bhima Koregaon Memorial.

Special Judge DE Kothalikar directed Wilson to be released between 13 to 27 September, on furnishing a PR Bond of Rs 50,000 with two sureties, LiveLaw reported. He has also been asked to surrender on 27 September at 6 pm.

Wilson’s father had passed away in Kerala, after which he had sought bail for two weeks from 13 September saying that a ceremonial mass is scheduled for 16 September and that meeting his family would bring him “solace”.

'His Presence Isn’t Necessary': NIA

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had, however, opposed Wilson’s plea saying that the final rites are over, LiveLaw reported.

The NIA contended that Wilson was simply creating a ground for his release and that neither his presence is necessary and nor had he proven why the "mass" can't happen in his absence.

This comes weeks after advocate Surendra Gadling, one of the undertrials in the Bhima Koregaon case, was granted temporary bail on 12 August, by a sessions court in a different 2016 UAPA case to go and participate in his mother’s funeral rites.

The Charge Sheet

The NIA submitted a list of seventeen draft charges against the accused in the Bhima Koregaon case in August this year.

These charges include waging of war against the Government of India, which is punishable by death.

The charges, however, do not mention a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi – as had been claimed by the Pune Police in 2018. All it mentions at one place is “an attempt to do or cause death of public functionary”.

'Incriminating Evidence Planted': Arsenal Consulting

Wilson was the first accused to be arrested in the case by the Pune Police in June 2018. He along with other civil liberty activists and academics have been incarcerated under the stringent UAPA, based on letters retrieved from Wilson and co-accused Surendra Gadling computer to claim a conspiracy to overthrow the government.

However, Wilson has challenged his prosecution under UAPA on grounds that the incriminating letters were planted on his laptop as has been supported by several reports.

Arsenal Consulting, a digital forensics company in the US, had concluded that Wilson’s computer was infected with a malware called NetWire, planted through an email on 13 June 2016, two years before his arrest.

Earlier in February, Wilson had moved the Bombay High Court seeking the formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to inquire into the alleged planting of fabricated documents in his computer over a course of about 22 months.

(With inputs from LiveLaw)

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