New Delhi, Sep 6: The arrest of the five activists, alleged to be close to naxalites was not based on a dissenting view or difference in their political views and ideologies, the Maharashtra government said in its response to the Supreme Court.
The counter affidavit, filed by the Maharashtra police on a plea of historian Romila Thapar and four others challenging the arrest of these activists in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence case alleged that they were planning to carry out violence in the country and ambush the security forces.
Romila Thapar and Devki Jain, Prabhat Patnaik, Satish Deshpande and Maya Daruwala had challenged the arrest of the activists by Pune Police after raids across five states on August 28.
The state police said there was sufficient evidence to "dispel" the claim that they were arrested for their dissenting views. It also questioned the locus of the petitioners, Thapar, economists Prabhat Patnaik and Devaki Jain, sociologist Satish Deshpande and legal expert Maja Daruwala, and said they were "strangers" to the investigation in the matter.
Sudha Bhardwaj, P Varavara Rao, Gautam Navlakha, and lawyers and activists Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves were arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy.
The government said that the cogent evidence has so far shown that these persons are part of banned terrorist organisation Communist Party of India (Maoist). There has been serious criminal offences made out against them and incriminating material has also emerged, the Maharashtra government said.
The activists were not just involved in planing and preparing for violence, but were in the process of creating large scale violence, destruction of property, the reply further said.
The Supreme Court had earlier ordered the house arrest of all these persons. Hearing on the matter would continue on September 6.