Dr. Anand Teltumbde, Surendra Gadling, and Sudhir Dhawale, who are accused in the Bhima Koregaon case of 2018, have filed a petition in the Bombay High Court opposing the decision to transfer them from Taloja Central Prison to a “unspecified prison” in the state.
The petition was filed on behalf of the male inmates against whom “an extremely prejudicial order was passed by the Special Court under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act, permitting their transfer without offering any hearing to them,” according to Rama Teltumbde and Minal Gadling, as well as Sharad Gaikwad, a friend of Dhawale.
The petitioners claimed that the Superintendent was attempting to divide the accused and send them to different jails. It went on to say that the former Superintendent’s actions were “an act of victimisation” since they had claimed their rights as prisoners.
The petition cited instances of prisoners’ rights being violated by prison authorities, particularly during the pandemic. It also drew attention to the “tight censorship” of communications to and from the accused’s relatives, which was brought to the attention of the prison authorities and contested in the High Court.
According to the petition, the accused are from different states in India, and living at the same facility has made it easier for their families and lawyers to communicate.
Mina Gadling, anticipating the transfer, sent a legal notice to the former Superintendent, demanding that he postpone the transfer until she could pursue legal action.
Out of the 13 defendants incarcerated in Taloja Central Prison, Dr. Varavara Rao has been freed on medical bail, Hany Babu is being treated in a private hospital, and Father Stan Swamy died in July 2021.The rest ten accused had been asked by the current Superintendent, if they wanted to be transferred to another jail, and the ten accused unanimously said no, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.