The Azad Maidan police detained seven people on Tuesday for allegedly protesting outside the Bombay High Court to demand a thorough investigation into the 2014 death of Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya.

Judge Loya had been presiding over a special CBI court hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh ‘fake encounter’ case. He died, apparently of a sudden heart attack, in Nagpur, where he had gone to attend a wedding. A magazine had published a report containing allegations made by the judge’s family members, raising questions about the circumstances surrounding his death.

On Tuesday, the activists said they were simply wearing white T-shirts with the slogan, “Who Killed Judge Loya?” and protesting peacefully, when the police detained them.

The Azad Maidan police said they had detained Ashok Pai, an activist from Andheri, who was once attached to the Agni Foundation NGO as a volunteer. The police also detained Vinod Chand, Sameer Rohekar, Ashokkumar Pandey, Vinod Jha, Nitin Basrur and Shibu Pillai, lone woman in the group.

The police said all seven activists claimed they had come together through social media. “On December 7, we had served a 149 notice (Code of Criminal ProcedureCrPC) to prevent cognisableoffences to three people: Ashok Pai, Vinod Chand and Sameer Rohekar. Still, they decided to go ahead with the protest. So they were picked up under the Bombay Police Act, 1951 (Maharashtra) Section 68 (all persons shall be bound to conform to the reasonable directions of a police officer given in fulfillment of any of his duties under this Act), and left afterwards under Section 69 of the said act,” said a police official. The police said if the activists wanted to protest, they should have taken permission and protested at Azad Maidan. “They detained us for five hours. This shows how much pressure is on the police department, and how much pressure is on the machinery. We had just come to protest peacefully.’” Pai said.

“We are all well to do people just wanted to create some awareness among people about the death of Judge Loya, as it needs a thorough investigation after the way his death occurred. We suspect there is political pressure in the case. Everybody is just sitting quiet on it,” said Pai. He said Basrur, who is retired, had come all the way from Pune to support the cause, while Pandey runs a coaching class.