Pune police arrest Telugu writer Varavara Rao again in Elgaar Parishad case

Written by Sabrang Staff | Published on: November 19, 2018

Rao reportedly said that though the police don’t have a fresh warrant, he’s accompanying them to not create any trouble. He argued that the transit warrant issued by the local court had expired. Varavara Rao’s wife said that they did not produce the High Court order or show a fresh warrant.

 

Varavara Rao

Image Courtesy: PTI
 
Hyderabad: Varavara Rao, a writer, poet and human rights defender was arrested by Pune Police on Saturday from his Hyderabad residence. A day after he was sent to police custody, he was taken to Sassoon Hospital in Pune on Monday after he complained of difficulty in breathing, news agency ANI reported.
 
The Hyderabad High Court on November 15 had refused to extend his house arrest.
 
“The Hyderabad High Court had turned down Mr. Rao’s plea which sought the quashing of a transit remand issued by a Hyderabad magistrate. This led the Pune police to take the noted poet into custody from his home on Saturday evening, amid impassioned scenes which saw a large number of Mr. Rao’s supporters condemning the arrest and raising slogans against the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),” Indian Express reported.
 
Earlier, a Pune court on Sunday sent Rao to police custody till November 26 in connection with the Elgaar Parishad case. The activist was taken into custody after the duration of his house arrest granted by the Hyderabad High court ended.
 
“Police have alleged that Rao was a senior and active leader of the banned CPI-Maoist and was involved in a range of activities, including procurement of weapons through contacts in Nepal and Manipur, and carrying out attacks in Surjagad in Gadhchiroli. Rao was arrested along with activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Gautam Navlakha, on August 28 over alleged links with the CPI-Maoist and for organising the Elgaar Parishad event on December 31 that allegedly led to the Bhima Koregaon violence,” the report said.
 
“The 78-year-old Mr. Rao, a revolutionary Telugu writer well-known for his vocal and trenchant anti-establishment views. Mr. Rao’s incendiary writings sympathetic to the plight of the downtrodden have brought him in continual conflict with the Telangana police and government in the past 40 years. Despite being charged in more than a score cases, he has been acquitted in every one of them,” a report by The Hindu said.
 
“Mr. Rao, who has been charged with procuring arms for the Maoists, funding the spread of ‘Urban Naxalism’, as well as plotting to assassinate Prime Minister Modi among other things, was produced before the court late afternoon. On Thursday, the city police had submitted a 5,160-page charge sheet against the five activists arrested by the Pune City police during the first countrywide crackdown on June 6 for their alleged linkages with the Maoists and the Bhima-Koregaon clashes of January 1,” the report said.
 
“Learning about the imminent arrest, several activists had thronged Rao's residence in Gandhi Nagar and protested. However, the Pune police took him into custody at around 9.15 pm on Saturday, according to family members. Rao reportedly said that though the police don’t have a fresh warrant, he’s accompanying them to not create any trouble. He argued that the transit warrant issued by the local court had expired. Varavara Rao’s wife, Hemalatha told TNM, “They did not produce the High Court order or show a fresh warrant,” The News Minute reported.
 
In an interview with Sabrang India, Former Bombay High Court Judge Justice Hosbet Suresh had said, “In Andhra Pradesh, Naxalites did exist 15-20 years ago. Many people were arrested out of which may be two or three were actually Naxalites. Today, there is not a single Naxalite in AP. All areas we had covered back then are now free. Varavara Rao, a poet and revolutionary helped to achieve that. (Rao is communist, activist, renowned poet, journalist, literary critic, and public speaker from Telangana.) He was also considered a Naxalite back then and was embroiled in many cases against him. In the course of time, the number of Naxalite activities came down. Rao was instrumental in rehabilitating them. He found out the affected areas and people and helped the government in identifying people and changing the attitudes in the region. He is now being seen as the main instigator of Naxals. It is utter nonsense and the whole case is bogus.”

 
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