CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury today announced that the Left parties will hold a protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi against the arrest of five Left-wing activists by the Maharashtra Police in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence case. Yechury termed the police action against five activists an “unethical crackdown” and said that activists will gather in the national capital in large numbers to lodge their protest against the government.
“There will be a protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi tomorrow by the Left and all progressive groups against the unethical crackdown,” Yechury told news agency ANI.
On Tuesday, the Maharashtra Police had conducted raids in five states and arrested five Left-wing activists in connection with the violence triggered after “Elgar Parishad” event held on December 31 last year near Pune. They were identified as Telugu poet Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonzalves, Arun Farreira, Sudha Bhardwaj and Gautam Navalakha.
While Rao was arrested from Hyderabad, Gonzalves and Arun Farreira were taken into custody from Mumbai. All three were later taken to Pune. The police said that the three will be presented before a Pune court today where they will seek their custody.
The remaining two Sudha and Gautam were not allowed to be taken Pune by the Punjab and Haryana High Court and Delhi High Court, respectively. The HCs had said that the two should be kept under house arrest until the Maharashtra Police obtains transit remand for them.
Yesterday, Yechury had said that the government has imposed an “undeclared emergency” in the country. “The CPI(M) strongly condemns the raids conducted by police authorities on the homes of several civil rights, human rights and Left intellectuals. This is a blatant attack on democratic rights. This is not acceptable and is one of the most authoritarian moves by the present government. This is an emergency,” he had said.
“Those who sympathised with the dalits were picked up but those who are guilty and were engaged in violence are roaming freely. Ever since the Bhima Koregoan violence against dalits began, the Maharashtra Police along with central agencies have been targeting dalit rights activists and lawyers who have been taking up their cases. The activists have been arrested under the UAPA charges. This is not justified. CPI(M) demands immediate release of all these activists,” he had added.
On its part, police have said that there is credible evidence against all the five persons. According to police, they were also a part of a conspiracy to eliminate Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and Union Home Rajnath Singh.