Right-wing group, Shiv Sena in an editorial in its mouthpieces, ‘Saamana’ and ‘Dopahar Ka Saamana’ criticised the Maharashtra Police for the arrest of five human rights activists allegedly be called ‘urban-Naxals’ on charges of plotting an assassination against Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
“The police contentions behind the arrests are ridiculous… The erstwhile government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was voted out and removed by the people — not by the Maoists. As of now… at least, it is still possible to change the government through the democratic processes,” the Sena said. “The (Pune) police must not shoot off their mouths like this and the government must bar them from such statements… It’s sheer stupidity.”
“The practice of using the police for different aims is nothing new for the politicians and government. In the present instance, the faster the truth emerges, the better, (remove the ‘mukhota’) for the police,” the Sena said.
“The former PMs, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were fearless and courageous leaders… It was their boldness which claimed their lives… But Modi will never indulge in such adventures. He is already provided the best security in the world and not even a bird can overfly him,” the Sena said, in response to Pune Police’s argument that Modi was being allegedly targeted in a “Rajiv Gandhi-style assassination”.
The Sena said that “if these handful of Maoists had so much political strength, they would never have lost their (Communist) governments in West Bengal, Tripura”.
It said the Pune police arrested P. Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Arun Fereira and Vernon Gonsalves — intellectuals in different fields of life, rights activists, considered extremely influential persons moving about in high society circles.
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“There are some doubts that something is wrong somewhere with these arrests… The facts must come out before the BJP becomes the butt of new jokes,” the Sena said.
Earlier, Pune police teams raided the houses of activists in Mumbai, Ranchi, Hyderabad, Delhi and Faridabad and arrested five in alleged connection to a Maoist plot, PTI reported.
Activist Sudha Bhardwaj from Faridabad, Varavara Rao in Hyderabad, activists Gautam Navlakha from Delhi, Arun Pereira and Venon Gonsalves from Mumbai have been detained by the police.
The police searched the homes of Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, Gautam Navlakha in New Delhi, Sudha Bharadwaj in Faridabad and Stan Swamy in Ranchi, Varavara Rao, Kranti and Naseem in Hyderabad and Dalit scholar Anand Teltumbde in Goa.
Varavara Rao was arrested today for his alleged involvement in a plot to assassinate Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, his family members said. His name had come up in a letter seized by the police during searches.