Back to Hyderabad, Varavara Rao sees bigger conspiracy

Back to Hyderabad, Varavara Rao sees bigger conspiracy

Revolutionary poet and human rights activist Varavara Rao, one of the five activists who were arrested by Pune police in nationwide raids on Tuesday,...

Hyderabad: Revolutionary poet and human rights activist Varavara Rao, one of the five activists who were arrested by Pune police in nationwide raids on Tuesday, has been brought home to Hyderabad on Thursday. He was dropped at his residence in Gandhi Nagar at about 6:00 am. Family members and relatives greeted and welcomed him back home.

However, several policemen were kept on duty at his apartment and no one was allowed to go inside as he was confined to house arrest citing court orders.

"We have our own police officers and personnel along with the local police from the respective cities, who will be deployed at their residences," Pune's Assistant Commissioner of Police Shivaji Pawar said, who is the investigation officer in the case.

It may be mentioned here that Supreme Court had granted them reprieve on Wednesday, after hearing a petition challenging the arrests. The court said poet and Maoist ideologue Varavara Rao and activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Fereira, Gautam Navlakha and Vernon Gonsalves, will be under house arrest and not in police custody till the next hearing on September 6. The top court has asked the Maharashtra government to file a response to the petition challenging the arrests. As per directions of Court, three of the five noted rights activists, held for their alleged links with the Maoists, were brought back to their homes in Mumbai and Hyderabad from Pune.

Alleging that the activists were being framed, Varavara Rao hit out at the Centre and the Maharashtra government. Rao said that there cannot be a bigger conspiracy than calling those fighting against "fascist policies" as conspirators.
Varavara Rao said the case in connection with the Koregaon-Bhima clashes should have been filed against the central and Maharashtra governments and not human rights activists. "This is a false case. If the fight against fascist policies is called a conspiracy, then there cannot be a bigger conspiracy than this," Rao told reporters at RGIA in Hyderabad.

Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira, were sent to Mumbai by road, said a police official in Pune. Gonsalves reached his home in Mumbai's Andheri suburb around 7.30 am. His wife, advocate Susan Abraham, said, "Vernon reached home safely and we welcomed him." Gonsalves claimed he was being framed with fabricated letters to save those who were really responsible for the clashes between the Dalits and upper caste Marathas at an annual event near Pune. Ferreira was taken to his home in Charai area of Mumbai's neighbouring Thane district, an official said. While trade unionist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj is confined to her home in Faridabad and civil liberties activist Gautam Navalakha to his Delhi residence, Rao, Gonsalves and Ferreira were brought to Pune on Tuesday night.

Maharashtra police on Tuesday raided the homes of prominent Left-wing activists in several States and made five arrests, sparking a chorus of outraged protests from human rights defenders. The raids were carried out as part of a probe into the violence at Koregaon-Bhima village near Pune after an event called Elgar Parishad, or conclave, on December 31 last year.

As the three activists returned to their homes, leading intellectuals and civil society members demanded action against the Maharashtra police for launching a "vicious and malafide attack" against human rights activists and called for an immediate end to "such political acts of vendetta". The arrests highlight the violation of all due procedures and is a mockery of the legal system, said a joint statement signed by author Arundhati Roy, lawyer Prashant Bhushan as well as activists Aruna Roy and Jignesh Mevani among others. Social activist Stan Swami, whose residence was also raided on Tuesday, alleged that the government was silencing those who were working for the marginalised and voiceless sections of the society.

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