Activists' arrest: Varavara Rao's family to move court

Activists' arrest: Varavara Rao's family to move court

With the Supreme Court on Friday refusing to intervene in the arrest of five rights activists in connection with Koregaon-Bhima case, the family members of Hyderabad-based revolutionary writer and Maoist ideologue P Varavara Rao declared that they would fight for justice in the lower courts.

The Supreme Court also gave a go-ahead to the Pune Police to proceed with their investigation.

Rao's close aide N Venugopal, who was speaking on behalf of the family, said that there was hope that Rao and the other activists would be set free as the top court in its last hearing found the Pune Police was not producing enough evidence against them. He said the family would move the High Court in Hyderabad or Mumbai or in Nagpur.

“All these cases are cooked up and concocted. Even today in the judgement Justice Chandrachud has given a dissent note clearly mentioning how Pune Police have made so many blunders,” Venugopal said. He said the police searched houses without warrants and gave a Panchanama report in a language not known to the accused, and brought their own stock witnesses.

“That means there is no case and it is a case of arresting and silencing dissenting voices. But two other judges, including Chief Justice of India Deepak Misra, believed the Pune Police but gave us relief of four weeks to continue in house arrest. They were allowed to move a lower court. Our legal fight will continue. We are already in touch with our counsels in the Supreme Court and they will suggest the future course of action,” Venugopal said.

It may be mentioned that Rao was arrested by the Pune Police on August 30 from his residence in Hyderabad. Activists Vernon Gonzalves and Arun Ferreira, lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj and civil liberties activist Gautam Navalakha were also arrested on the same day in simultaneous raids by the Pune Police.

Historian Romila Thapar and four other rights defenders moved the apex court for their release. The Supreme Court then put all the activists under house arrest the next day.