SC seeks reply of Maharashtra police on bail plea of Surendra Gadling in 2016 Surjagarh mine arson case

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought the response of the Maharashtra government on a bail plea of advocate Surendra Gadling in connection with the 2016 Surjagarh iron ore mine arson case.

A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi issued notice to the state government and sought its response on the petition within four weeks.

On January 31, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court had refused to grant bail to Gadling while noting that prima facie the accusations against him were true.

On December 25, 2016, Maoist rebels had allegedly set ablaze 76 vehicles that were being used for transporting iron ore from Surajgarh mines in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli.

Gadling is accused of providing aid to Maoists, who were working at the ground level. He was also alleged to have entered into a conspiracy with various co-accused and some of those absconding in the case.

He was booked under various provisions of anti-terror law the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, and the Indian Penal Code.

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The prosecution had claimed that Gadling provided secret information about government activities and maps of certain areas to underground Maoist rebels.

Gadling is also accused of having asked the Maoists to oppose the operation of Surjagarh mines, and instigated many locals to join the movement.

He is also an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case pertaining to alleged provocative speeches delivered at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017 which police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in Pune district.

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