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Ex-Nagpur university professor Shoma Sen released on bail in Elgar Parishad case

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Mumbai: Former Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen, who was arrested in connection with the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, was released from Byculla jail in Mumbai on Wednesday afternoon.

The 66-year-old professor of English literature had secured bail from the Supreme Court on April 5.

After completing all the necessary formalities, Sen walked out of the jail, as confirmed by a senior prison official to news agency PTI. Her lawyer, Indira Jaising, shared the news of her release on social media, posting, "She is finally out, Shoma Sen with her daughter outside Byculla jail."

Sen was among the 16 individuals, including activists and academics, who were arrested in relation to the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017. Pune Police had alleged that the conclave had Maoist backing and that the speeches made there had incited caste violence near the Bhima Koregaon war memorial in Pune district the following day.

Several others accused in the case, including P Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, and Anand Teltumbde, have already been granted bail. Gautam Navlakha is currently under house arrest after his initial detention. Another accused, Father Stan Swamy, passed away in prison while his bail application on medical grounds was pending.

When granting bail to Sen, the Supreme Court imposed certain conditions.

Sen is required to keep the GPS of her mobile phone active at all times during her bail period. Her phone must also be paired with that of the investigating officer from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to enable tracking of her exact location. Additionally, Sen is not allowed to leave Maharashtra without obtaining permission from the special NIA court.

The bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Augustine George Masih noted, "The ailments by themselves may not be serious enough for granting bail on medical ground. But taking cognisance of the composite effect of delay in framing charges, period of detention undergone by her, the nature of allegations against her vis-a-vis the materials available before this court at this stage in addition to her age and medical condition, we do not think she ought to be denied the privilege of being enlarged on bail pending further process subsequent to issue of chargesheets against her."

Addressing the allegation against Sen of raising funds for a terrorist act, the bench stated that, based on the material provided, the prosecution has not been able to substantiate or even suggest corroboration of the claim.

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TAGS:Elgar Parishad CaseBhima KoregaonShoma Sen
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