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India’s top court refuses to release 5 rights activists

September 28, 2018

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s top court has rejected pleas by five rights activists that they be freed nearly four weeks after being arrested for alleged links to Maoist rebels.

The Supreme Court said Friday the activists were not arrested because of their political views, but there was evidence of connections between them and the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

The court extended the activists’ house arrests by four weeks to help them seek bail from lower courts while police in Maharashtra state complete their investigation.

The government says Maoist rebels are active in several states and pose India’s biggest internal security threat. The rebels, inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting the government for more than four decades, demanding land and jobs for the poor and indigenous communities.

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