Police cook up a Harry Potter-like story: Vernon family

Police cook up a Harry Potter-like story: Vernon family

Vernon Gonsalves along with his wife Susan Abraham and son Sagar Abraham-Gonsalves minutes before he was arrested by the Pune police last week.

The Pune police cooked up a "Harry Potter-like story" linking human rights activists and civil rights defenders to violence, says the family of Mumbai-based Vernon Gonsalves, who is one of those arrested for alleged Maoist-links.

"Its nothing but a Harry Potter-like story...sounds like some kind of fable," said Susan Abraham, the wife of Gonsalves, a resident of Andheri in Mumbai.

The 62-year-old Gonsalves is currently under house arrest - following the directives of the Supreme Court - after having been arrested by the Pune police in connection with the Elgar Parishad-Koregaon Bhima cases.

According to Susan, it was all being done to protect - Milind Ekbote, the founder of Pune-based founder of Samasta Hindu Aghadi and Sambaji Bhide Guruji, the founder of Sangli-headquartered Shree Shiv Pratisthan Hindustan - whom she said were responsible for the 1 January, 2018 caste riots in Pune. "The government just wants to protect them," she said.

According to her, the 31 December 2017, Elgar Parishad in Pune was a highly successful meeting.

"The government, the police just want to malign the success of the Parishad by linking it to CPI (Maoist) and Naxalism," said Susan, adding that more than 250 organisations had taken part in the meeting that discussed various issues. "Also the fact that Shaniwarwada was chosen as the venue for the meeting has not gone down well among certain sections," said Susan, who is a lawyer, pointing out that for six months activists have travelled from district to district to ensure that the Pune meeting is a success. 

"Ekbote was arrested but Bhide was given clean chit....now these 10 (civil rights defenders and human rights activists) were arrested (in two phases 6 June and 28 August)...they (the BJP-led government) want to forget about Ekbote and Bhide," she said, adding that people those who are not connected have been picked up by Pune police. 

On the other hand, she pointed out that Sanatan Sanstha has not been banned.

"So many people have been arrested, bombs were seized, weapons were seized, activists linked to the organisations were arrested," she said, in a reference to the investigations involving the murder of rationalist Dr Narendra Dabholkar, Communist leader Govind Pansare, writer MM Kalburgi and journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh. 

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