Three activists back to homes, in house arrest

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 31 Aug 2018 08:30:22





Varavara Rao was brought to Hyderabad by air

Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira were sent to Mumbai by road

THREE of the five Left-wing activists held for their alleged links with the Maoists were on Thursday brought back to their homes in Mumbai and Hyderabad from Pune after the Supreme Court ordered the Maharashtra Police that they be kept under house arrest and not in their custody.

Alleging that the activists were being framed, Leftist poet and writer Varavara Rao, who was brought to Hyderabad by air, hit out at the Centre and the Maharashtra Government. Describing dissent as the “safety valve of democracy”, the apex court on Wednesday directed the Maharashtra Police that the five activists be kept under house arrest at their homes until the next day of hearing on September 6. 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 that he was being framed with fabricated letters to save those who were really responsible for the clashes at Bhima Koregaon 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 Bharadwaj is confined to her home in Faridabad and civil liberties activist 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 the 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 Bhima-Koregaon village near Pune after an event called Elgar Parishad, or conclave, on December 31 last year.