The Supreme Court, on Friday, turned down the plea for probe by a Special Investigation Team into the Bhima Koregaon case, with a 2:1 majority. The majority opinion by CJI Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar dismissed the plea, while Justice DY Chandrachud dissented, holding the arrests to be baseless.

Soon after the verdict, the eminent academicians who had petitioned the Supreme Court held a press conference in Delhi. In a written statement, the activists lauded the fact that the Supreme Court has granted interim protection of four weeks to those arrested, and were “pleased to note that at least the liberty and dignity of the human rights activists has for the time being not been jeopardized and the Supreme Court has protected the same.”

The press statement, signed by Romila Thapar, Devaki Jain, Prabhat Patnaik, Satish Deshpande, and Maja Daruwala states that the “illegal or unjustified acts of state functionaries who, instead of pursuing the actual perpetrators of violence, misuse their powers to harass those who  do not conform to the politics  of their  current masters” is also a sort of terrorism.