Varavara Rao held in connection with plot to kill Modi

Varavara Rao held in connection with plot to kill Modi

Revolutionary writer Varavara Rao file photo

The Pune Police on Tuesday arrested writer Varavara Rao from his residence in connection with an alleged plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the outlawed CPI (Maoist) Party.

The arrest took place amid sloganeering by rights activists gathered around Rao’s house. Rao was whisked away by the police after an eight-hour-long search at his house since early in the morning. The Pune Police say that Rao will be presented before a local court.

The police arrived in Hyderabad on Monday night and began simultaneous searches at the houses of eight people, including professor Satyanarayana of EFLU (English and Foreign Languages University), and two journalists who are close to Rao. Soon after entering their houses, the police ensured that their connections with the outside world were cut off. "They even did not allow relatives and friends to contact Varavara or his wife", said noted rights activist N Venu Gopal.

The arrest came in the wake of a conspiracy hatched to assassinate Modi in June this year. A letter purportedly written by 'R' addressed to Maoist leader Prakash had mentioned that Rao would provide funds for the attack. The letter, according to the police, was recovered from human rights activist Rona Jacob Wilson, when he was arrested in Delhi. Rona was among the five arrested by the Pune police in June in connection with the Bima-Koregaon violence in Maharashtra on December 31.

Letters furnished by the Pune Police in a local court revealed an alleged conspiracy by the Maoist party to assassinate Modi through a suicide bomb. The letter mentioned "Varavara’s" name. The letter also reportedly mentions that Rs 8 crore is needed to purchase M-4 rifle and 4 lakh rounds of ammunition.

“We are thinking along the lines of another Rajiv Gandhi type incident. It sounds suicidal and there is a good chance that we might fail. But we feel that the party PB/CC must deliberate over our proposal. Targeting his road shows could be an effective strategy,” the letter reportedly states.

Rao had earlier rebutted the allegations while confirming that he knew Wilson very well as a rights activist. Rao has described the letter as a cheap trick to save the falling graph of Modi and the BJP.

Rao is a sympathiser of the Maoist movement. He had played a crucial role in bringing the outlawed extremist party to talks with the Y S Rajasekhara Reddy government in 2005.