Pune police arrest Vara Vara Rao from Hyderabad home

Pune police arrest Vara Vara Rao from Hyderabad home

Vara Vara Rao. 

The Maharashtra police on Saturday night arrested Maoist ideologue and revolutionary poet Pendyala Vara Vara Rao for his alleged role in the Bhima Koregaon clashes in January this year and the plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The arrest of 78-year-old Rao followed a Hyderabad High Court order on Friday refusing to quash the transit remand issued by chief metropolitan magistrate on August 28, facilitating the Maharashtra police to take him into custody.

A special team of the Pune police led by an officer of Assistant Commissioner of Police rank, which arrived in Hyderabad on Friday, arrested Rao. They would shift him to Pune, after taking permission from the local court.

Tension prevailed at his apartment in Gandhinagar here, where a large number of sympathisers, human rights activists and members of civil liberties organisations gathered, raising slogans against what they described as illegal arrest of the poet.

“We strongly condemn the brutal repression of democratic and human rights’ activists. The arrest of Vara Vara Rao is highly unconstitutional and illegal,” said civil rights activist and lawyer V Raghunath.

Wife breaks down

His family members, including his wife Hemalatha, broke down, as Rao was forced into a vehicle by the Pune police.

The period of house arrest of Rao ended on October 26 but the Hyderabad high court extended it by three weeks on the plea that his health condition did not permit him to be shifted to Pune.

The high court said the writer could approach the Mumbai High Court seeking quashing of the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Pune police against him.

Rao was arrested on August 28 and taken to Pune, after the Pune police conducted searches on his house and reportedly seized incriminating material. He was charged with conspiring with Maoists to create disturbances in Maharashtra. Four other rights activists were also arrested by the Pune police the same day from different parts of the country on near similar charges.

However, following a writ petition filed by historian Romilla Thapar and others challenging the arrests, the Supreme Court passed an order to keep them under house arrest.

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