Mudda discusses multi-city crackdown by Maharashtra Police; Bhardwaj, Ferreira, Gonsalves, Rao , Navlakha currently under house arrest
In a major development, the Maharashtra Police, investigating the Bhima-Koregaon violence in Pune, has conducted a multi-city crackdown, raiding the homes of several prominent Left-wing activists, writers and lawyers and arrested five over alleged Maoist links on Tuesday. The arrests triggered huge reactions amongst political parties and other human rights activists.
The Bhima-Koregaon violence in Pune last year is alleged to have been planned by the Elgar Parishad, a conclave that was attended by several Leftist organisations and activists on December 31 last year.
Simultaneous raids targeted the residences of prominent Telugu poet P Varavara Rao in Hyderabad, activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, trade union activist Sudha Bharadwaj in Faridabad and civil liberties activist Gautam Navlakha in New Delhi.Subsequently, Rao, Bharadwaj, Ferreira, Gonsalves and Navlakha were arrested under IPC’s Section 153 (A), which relates to promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place or birth, residence, language and committing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony, said the official.
The premises of Father Stan Swamy, a tribal leader in Jharkhand, were also searched but he was not detained, the official said. Others whose residences were reportedly raided are Susan Abraham, Kranthi Tekula and Anand Teltumbde in Goa.
Taking the development with the seriousness it deserves, APN chose to discuss it in its flagship show, Mudda, on Wednesday afternoon. Participants of the debate were Samir Singh, spokesperson of BJP, Ramesh Bidhuri, a BJP Member of Parliament, Rakesh, a social activist, Ajay Verma, a Congress leader, Nitin Satpute, a lawyer at Bombay High Court, and Govind Pant Raju, consultant at APN. Anant Tyagi anchored the debate show.
Verma, the Congress leader, said the prime minister’s position is the most important chair. “If anybody is involved in such a conspiracy, it cannot be considered to be in the nation’s interest. We condemn such an act. However, we demand that the events should be investigated honestly,” he said.
Reacting to the Congress’ demand for a thorough and honest investigation, BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri said that “those belonging to the party have no right to raise their voices against corruption or for any rights issue as it is the one that has sold the country”.
Samir Singh said misleading statements are against the interests of the country. The fact about the arrests is that Maharashtra Police is investigating the Bhima Koregaon violence and Naxalites were found to have supported the violence.
Satpute, a lawyer practicing in Bombay High Court, said that absence of some names in an FIR does not mean that they were not involved in the violence. These names were cited during the investigation.
Rakesh, a social activist, said that whole developments were being questioned as those arrested were held earlier as well. These people have a certain track record. Five people were arrested while several others’ premises were raided.
Raju observed that the way the whole issue was being handled raises several eyebrows.
—Compiled by MA Kazmi
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