Date 8th February, 2018

by- Kavita Srivastava
The court today was attended by a large number of friends from Pune and the rest of the country. From distinguished senior counsel Indira Jaising to law college students, the group included several representatives from the  trade unions, Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha and NTUI including its president Com.Vasudev,  representatives from the PUCL, Bahrip Bahujan samiti mahila Aghadi,  and of other women and environmental organisations were present in the court. All the lawyers including Siddharth Patil, Prakash, Nihal Singh Rathod, Shalini Gera,  Barun Kumar, Sadiq, Sanobar Kishtewar were present.

At about 3.30 pm, 7 of our arrested friends were brought in. Surendra Gadling and VaraVara Rao are presently in Aheri police station in Gadchiroli district , (they will be brought back to Pune on the 11th February from Gadchiroli). 

The otherwise lazy corridor filled up with greetings, smiles and happiness when our arrested friends were brought in surrounded by heavy police force. 

 Sudha Bharadwaj Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson, Mahesh Raut, Arun Fereira, Vernon Gonslaves, Sudhir Dhawale came into the court room and were made to sit in the accused box. 

The remand proceedings  and arguments on some of the applications presented were taken up once the Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar came in. The applications filed related to getting the Clone copies of the Charge Sheet and other issues.

Special public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar wanted a future date for the arguments on the applications. The next date kept for the hearing is the 15th of February. 

All the 7 friends in Jail have lost weight but were cheerful and smiling.

The hearing was a real morale booster as so many of their friends were present. Of course one of the concerns of the 5 of those arrested in June was that the SC had reserved the judgement on the Statutory bail granted to them by the Bombay High Court which had been challenged by the State of  Maharashtra in the SC. Despite arguments having been completed on 10th January the judgement had not come. 

The health of the activists was of real concern to all. was happy to see them bright and Cheerful, but many of us were in tears at the unfairness of these arrests and the ordeal that they are being subjected to.