Scholar and activist Anand Teltumbde on Saturday, 26 November, was released on bail from the Taloja central prison in Navi Mumbai in connection with the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case.
What we know: Teltumbde's release comes a day after the Supreme Court on Friday, 25 November, dismissed the National Investigation Agency's (NIA) plea against the Bombay High Court order granting him bail.
On Saturday, a two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli refused to interfere with the high court's order, but said:
"Observations of the High Court shall not be treated as a conclusive conclusion in all proceedings."
Who is Teltumbde? The 73-year-old prolific anti-caste writer and activist has been in jail for the past two and a half years in connection with the case. He is the third person to get bail after co-accused Varavara Rao and Sudha Bharadwaj. He is, however, the only one out of the 16 accused to have been granted bail on 'merits' – meaning, no prima facie case was made out against him, according to the Bombay High Court order.
What was the NIA's plea? The Bombay High Court, on 18 November, granted bail to Teltumbde, who has been in jail since April 2020 on charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The NIA then requested that the operation of the order be given a stayed so that it can approach the Supreme Court to challenge his bail. The HC agreed and stayed the operation of the bail order for a week.
What's the case about? The Bhima Koregaon case pertains to the alleged inflammatory speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on 31 December 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial on the outskirts of the western Maharashtra city. Teltumbde had claimed he was not present at the event nor made any provocative speeches.