Undeclared Emergency: Many Lawyers & Activists Across The Country Raided And Arrested
Human rights advocate Sudha Bharadwaj and activists Varavara Rao and Vernon Gonsalves have been arrested.
A team of police officials on Tuesday raided the houses of human rights activists across the country. While Pune police officials raided the houses of activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, another team barged into activist Stan Swamy’s house and office in Ranchi.
In Hyderabad, houses of activists Varavara Rao, Kranti and Naseem have also been raided. Sources have confirmed that Varavara Rao has been arrested. He is being taken to Nampally court for transit from where he will be shifted to Pune.
Shivaji Pawar, ACP, Swargate, Pune police, confirmed to The Wire that raids were being conducted.
The raids are being conducted in connection to the investigations into a public meeting organised days before violence erupted at Bhima Koregaon near Pune on January 1, reported Scroll.
Siraj Dutta, an activist from Jharkhand who witnessed the raid at Stan Swamy’s house told Scroll, “The Maharashtra and local police came at around 6 am and knocked on (Swamy’s) room (in Ranchi) and said they have to conduct a search operation.”
The police reportedly confiscated computers, laptops, books and papers during the raid.
Dutta added, “They wanted him to sign on a panchayat nama in Marathi, but Stan and all of us there refused. Stan requested a translation, which they did not give, but they gave an undertaking, explaining the whole statement to him in English and Hindi. The whole thing was video recorded. They made him sign on the panchayat nama, which basically explained the seizure list and that they had done this raid. Then they went away.”
Human rights activists suggest that similar raids are being conducted in several parts of the country.
Sudha Bharadwaj, a human rights advocate, was taken into custody on Tuesday morning, after police officials conducted a raid at her house, reported The Wire.
Vernon Gonsalves has also been arrested and a Panchnama is currently being conducted. Gonsalves’ family has claimed that they don’t have clarity on the reason of his arrest, the report added.
Others arrested include human rights lawyer from Nagpur Surendra Gadling, Dalit rights activist and journalist Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, former Prime Minister Rural Development fellow Mahesh Raut, and associate professor from Nagpur University Shoma Sen.
According to sources, all the Panchnamas in the arrests are written in Marathi due to which the detainees are unclear about the details of their arrest.
Veteran activist and journalist Gautam Navlakha was also arrested from his residence in New Delhi. It has come to light that the Delhi High Court has issued a stay against Navlakha’s transit remand, and he has been put on house arrest till the hearing on Wednesday morning, reported The Hindu.