The Special NIA court in Mumbai on Wednesday observed that the allegations made by the National Investigation Agency against Hany Babu, Associate Professor, Department Of English at Delhi University were serious in nature and remanded him to NIA custody of seven days till August 4 in the Bhima Koregaon case.
The 54-year-old professor was arrested by NIA, Mumbai on July 28 and the central agency which took over the probe from Pune police in January, has accused Babu of having association/links with the banned CPI(Maoist). During the investigation, various letters were recovered from the seized electronic articles which pointed to his role in the case, NIA has alleged.
Although the investigating agency sought ten days custody of the accused, Judge AT Wankhede observed-
"The allegations made against the accused are of serious nature. It is alleged that the accused is having connections/ links with banned outfit CPI Maoist.
The investigating officer wants to confront the accused with various facts established from the other accused. Looking to the nature of the offence and allegations levelled against the accused, the demand for custody is well founded. However, in place of ten days, the accused is remanded to the police custody remand for seven days i.e. up to August 4."
Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Shetty appearing on behalf of NIA submitted that professor Babu has to be confronted with various facts established and revealed during the investigation from the other arrested accused for the purposes of the investigation..
The NIA's application states-
"Accused has association/links with CPI (Maoist) party. During investigation, various letters were recovered from the seized electronic articles, wherein the role of accused transpired."
Appearing on behalf of professor Babu, Advocate R Sathyanarayanan submitted that his client has been interrogated by the agency from the last four to five days and therefore, further custodial interrogation of the applicant accused is not required.
While the Court allowed NIA's plea, an application was made on behalf of professor Babu seeking permission to allow necessities like clothes, home food, medicines, etc. However, Judge Wankhede said, "only clothes are permitted to be provided to the accused."
Pune police had raided Babu in September last year and confiscated all the electronic devices and books in his possession. The same devices are being used by the agency as evidence against Hany Babu, who was summoned by NIA in Delhi to appear before them on July 15 in Mumbai.
Following Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha's surrender, Hany Babu's arrest is another turning point in the case where Professor Shoma Sen and lawyer and activist Sudha Bharadwaj Former TISS Student and tribal rights activist Mahesh Raut, academic Vernon Gonsalves, lawyer Surendra Gadling, Public Relations Secretary Of Committee For Release Of Political Prisoners Rona Wilson, activist Arun Ferreira, activist Sudhir Dhawale and Telugu Poet Varavara Rao stand accused.
All the accused have been accused under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for inciting the caste based violence that took place at Bhima Koregaon on the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon held near Koregaon Bhima village on January 1, 2018. The Elgar Parishad conclave which took place a day earlier to commemorate the 200th anniversary is alleged to be linked to the violence which took place the next day, in the FIR registered with the Pune police.
Hany Babu also led the defence committee for former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba who was sentenced to life by a Gadhchiroli Sessions Court in 2017. Court concluded that the wheelchair bound professor with 90% disability was associated with Revolutionary Democratic Front(RDF), which is allegedly affiliated to outlawed CPI (Maoist) organization and held him guilty for conspiring to wage war against India.