Mumbai: Scholar-activist Anand Teltumbde, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, was on Saturday released from the Taloja central prison in Navi Mumbai a day after the Supreme Court rejected the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) plea challenging his bail.
Teltumbde, 73, who spent two-and-a-half years behind bars in the case, walked out of the jail around 1.15 pm.
He was happy, he told the waiting media persons.
“I am happy after being released from prison after 31 months. It is obvious, but the sad thing is that this is the fakest case and it put us behind bars for years,” Teltumbde added.
On Friday, the apex court had dismissed the NIA’s plea challenging the Bombay High Court’s order giving bail to Teltumbde. He was released after the completion of bail formalities a day later.
On November 18, the high court had granted bail to Teltumbde, arrested by the central agency on April 14, 2020.
The HC had observed that prima facie (on the face of it) there was no evidence showing his involvement in any terrorist acts.
Teltumbde is the third of the 16 accused arrested in the case to be released on bail.
Poet Varavara Rao is currently out on bail on health grounds while lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj is out on regular bail.
The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial on the outskirts of the western Maharashtra city.
Pune Police had also claimed that the conclave was organised by some persons with alleged Maoist links.
A First Information Report was lodged by Pune Police on January 8, 2018, under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The NIA later took over the case.
Teltumbde had claimed he was not present at the December 31, 2017 Elgar Parishad event held in Pune city.