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Bhima Koregaon probe LIVE updates: Sudha Bharadwaj's daughter says raid team didn't have search warrant

CPM leader Prakash Karat criticised the raids conducted across the country on Tuesday. 'This is a brazen attack on democratic rights. We are demanding that all the cases against these people be withdrawn and they be released forthwith,' he said.

FP Staff August 28, 2018 19:09:56 IST
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Bhima Koregaon probe LIVE updates: Sudha Bharadwaj's daughter says raid team didn't have search warrant

Highlights

17:25 (ist)

Raids conducted in at least seven cities

Quoting sources, ANI reported that the raids were conducted at Mumbai, Ranchi, Hyderabad, Faridabad, Delhi and Thane on Tuesday. The Pune Police also carried out searches at multiple places in various states on the residences of people suspected to have Maoist links.

14:16 (ist)

Who is Stan Swamy?

Stan Swamy is a tribal rights activist who has been a supporter of the pathalgadi movement in Jharkhand since it's inception. Swamy and 20 others, including former Congress MLA from Kolebira, Simdega district of Jharkhand, were booked by Khunti police on 30 July for sedition under sections 121, 121A and 124A of the IPC and Sections 66A and 66F of the IT Act.

Pathalgadi are stone slabs bearing inscriptions that villagers in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have, over the past year, appropriated to declare their "independence" from the state and central government, and as signposts to mark tribal agitation.

ACP Shivaji Pawar of Pune Police has been investigating the case and had personally coordinated with DIG Ranchi, AV Homkar to ensure raid is conducted swiftly in wee hours of the morning.

Input by Manmohan Singh, 101Reporters

13:28 (ist)

Home of activist Vernon Gonsalves raided in Mumbai 

A team of Maharashtra Police raided the Mumbai home of activists Vernon Gonsalves in Mumbai. According to 101 Reporters, the raid at Gonsalves’s house began at around 6 am and is still underway. 

Gonsalves is a former professor of business organization at a prominent Mumbai college. He has been previously accused of having links to banned Naxalite outfits. Gonsalves was also labelled an ex-central committee member and former secretary of Maharashtra State Rajya Committee of the Naxalites. He has spent six years in prison between 2007 and 2013, when he was picked up by the Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad from his Mumbai residence in August 2017. 

He was convicted under various sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Arms Act in 2007 by a Mumbai court. 

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Aug 28, 2018 - 22:33 (IST)

Activists, intellectuals issue joint statement to condemn raids, arrests

In view of the raids as part of the probe into the Bhima-Koregaon violence, a joint statement was published by activists and intellectuals — including former vice-president JNU Students’ Union, Shehla Rashid Shora, former navy chief Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas, MLA Jignesh Mevani, and student activist Umar Khalid — condemning the arrest of activists and public intellectuals.


Click here to read the full text of the joint statement

Aug 28, 2018 - 18:41 (IST)

People conducting raid didn't have search warrant: Sudha Bharadwaj's daughter

Bharadwaj was arrested earlier in the day.

Aug 28, 2018 - 18:39 (IST)

Advocate drafts urgent appeal to NHRC

Advocate Mangla Verma has drafted an urgent appeal to National Focal Point - Human Rights Defenders, NHRC.

"After their arrests, the activists were taken to Pune from various locations on transit remand by the Pune Police and are currently under judicial remand in Yerwada Jail in Pune," said the appeal.

"It is falsely alleged in the FIR that the human rights defenders had circulated controversial pamphlets and delivered hate speeches in an event organised by a coalition of 260 non-profit organisations, called Elgar Parishad on December 31, 2017, at Pune’s Shaniwar Wada, which police claim led to the Bhima Koregaon violence that broke out on January 1, 2018," it further said.

"A prejudicial narrative was created in the mainstream media immediately following the arrests of the above mentioned human rights defenders projecting them as 'Maoist operatives' to justify their arbitrary arrests," it also said.

Aug 28, 2018 - 18:13 (IST)

People's Watch executive director speaks on matter against activist Thirumurugan Gandhi (2/2)

People's Watch executive director Henri Tiphagne said: "He (Thirumurugan Gandhi) was finally released from police custody as per the orders and directions of the Metropolitan Magistrate. As Thirumurugan Gandhi came out of the office from the buildings of the former commissioner of police near Pantheon Road, a group of police men once again surrounded him rudely and lifted him into another vehicle and have taken him to Royapettah police station allegedly to remand him to judicial custody in Crime No 440/2017 u/s 143,188, 353 IPC.

"Human Rights Defenders Alert took up his case before the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention when he was arrested under the Goondas act last year (2017) and gave an interim opinion in No 88/2017. The NHRC was also approached in this matter and they also orally addressed the Tamil Nadu Police."

Aug 28, 2018 - 17:55 (IST)

People's Watch executive director speaks on matter against activisit Thirumurugan Gandhi (1/2)

Speaking about how activists are being targeted and the way in which human rights groups are coming to their defense, People's Watch executive director Henri Tiphagne said: "Thirumurugan Gandhi, a human rights defender from Tamil Nadu, was detained on the basis of a lookout circular at the Bengaluru International Airport on 9 August and handed over to the airport police.

"The Tamil Nadu Police reached there at 9.30 pm and brought him after obtaining a transit warrant to Chennai the next morning. When produced before the metropolitan magistrate at Chennai's Saidapet Court, he was refused to be remanded since there was no prima facie case and the police were only allowed to continue to investigate him till the 24 hours period was."

Aug 28, 2018 - 17:37 (IST)

ABAM general secretary says activists losing their right to protest

"Stan Swamy is known to me. He is a known figure in the tribal belts of Jharkhand. By taking activists into custody, the government is violating Article 19 of the Constitution that guarantees right to freedom of opinion and expression,"  Rajkumar, General Secretary, Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Mahasabha, said.

He asserted that the activists were losing their right to free speech because of the situation. "In Article 244(1), there is a provision on administration and control of the tribal areas that fall under the 5th Schedule of the Constitution. The areas are to be directly governed by the governor and are autonomous in terms of governance. The activists are protesting that this is not being implemented and are losing their right to protest and free speech in the process," he said.

Aug 28, 2018 - 17:32 (IST)
Arundhati Roy says arrests 'tells us clearly where India is headed'
 
What is happening is absolutely perilous, said author and Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy after the raids, which were carried out as part of a probe into the violence at Maharashtra's Koregaon-Bhima village, triggered by 'Elgar Parishad' event in Pune on 31 December.
 
"The simultaneous state-wide arrests are a dangerous sign of a government that fears it is losing its mandate and is falling into panic. That lawyers, poets, writers, Dalit rights activists and intellectuals are being arrested on ludicrous charges... while those who make up lynch mobs and threaten and murder people in broad daylight roam free, tells us very clearly where India is headed," Roy told PTI in a message.
 
PTI

Aug 28, 2018 - 17:28 (IST)

CPM's Prakash Karat calls raids ' brazen attack on democratic rights'

CPM leader Prakash Karat criticised the raids conducted across the country on Tuesday. "This is a brazen attack on democratic rights. We are demanding that all the cases against these people be withdrawn and they be released forthwith," he said.

Aug 28, 2018 - 17:25 (IST)

Raids conducted in at least seven cities

Quoting sources, ANI reported that the raids were conducted at Mumbai, Ranchi, Hyderabad, Faridabad, Delhi and Thane on Tuesday. The Pune Police also carried out searches at multiple places in various states on the residences of people suspected to have Maoist links.

Aug 28, 2018 - 17:02 (IST)

Six NGOs had been mentioned in an IB report in June

In June, six NGOs operating out of Delhi's Katwaria Sarai figured in an Intelligence Bureau report titled 'Impact of NGOs on development' on NGOs stalling development projects.

“These four NGOs are Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament & Peace (CNDP), Popular Education & Action Centre (PEACE) and Jan Sangharsh Samanvaya Samiti, the latter being the focal point for anti-Fatehabad nuclear power plant,” the IB report stated.

It also said that an inquiry into pattern design and funding of protests at uranium mines and nuclear plants revealed a superior network of pan-India organisations linked to terrorist organisations.

"We at Human Rights Defenders Alert have issued a communication to the NHRC because each of those detained are human rights defenders. This isn't an act limited to the Maharashtra Police, we find a national design to this entire operation. The only sign of hope in this process is that the Delhi High Court has intervened," said Henry Tiphange, Executive Director at People's Watch.

Input by Pallavi Rebbapragada

Raids LIVE updates: Sudha Bharadwaj's daughter said the raid team of ten people which conducted the search did not have search warrants, although it had other documents.

CPM leader Prakash Karat criticised the raids conducted across the country on Tuesday. "This is a brazen attack on democratic rights. We are demanding that all the cases against these people be withdrawn and they be released forthwith," he said.

A Habeus Corpus petition has been filed in Delhi High Court against the arrest of journalist Gautam Navlakha. He was picked up from his Delhi home on Tuesday afternoon. The Delhi High Court will hear the petition at 4 pm.

"This is another example of government selectively targeting Christians in the name of Pathalgadi and Maoist connections. Case number 4/18 registered by Vishrambaug police station in Pune is an attempt to link Father Swamy with urban Maoists groups, which is wrong." said Vasvi Kido, a social worker.

Human rights activist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj was arrested from her Delhi residence on Tuesday. The police had earlier raided her Badarpur residence and confiscated her laptop, journal, storage devices and mobile phones. The police reportedly also requested access to her email IDs and social media accounts.

Writer and activist Varavara Rao has been arrested in Hyderabad and is being taken to the Nampally court to obtain transit warrant. Father Stan Swamy from Ranchi said that the Pune police raided his residence at 6 am on Tuesday and took his laptop, mobile phone, his tab, a few documents, 20-25 videotapes and a press release on the Pathalgadi (movement) released a few weeks ago. Pune police said that they had received confidential information about Swamy and so wanted to seize his laptop, hard drives, mobiles, notebooks and other technical equipment to prevent him from destroying information.

Teams of Pune police raided the houses of activists in Mumbai, Ranchi, Hyderabad and Faridabad. Among those whose houses were searched are Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, Sudha Bharadwaj in Faridabad and Stan Swamy in Ranchi. In Hyderabad, raids were reported from the homes of Varavara Rao and his family members, and two other activists, Kranti and Naseem.

Taking the investigation in the Bhima Koregaon incident forward, the police teams are conducting nationwide raids. A team of Maharashtra Police raided the home of noted social worker, Father Stan Swamy in Namkum area of Ranchi in Jharkhand around 6 am on Tuesday morning. Police have confiscated several items like computers, laptop, CDs, papers and books during their search. Swamy was also quizzed about activities of several banned organisations in Maharasthtra. Jharkhand police are aiding the operations.

Meanwhile, similar reports were recieved from Telangana, Delhi and Mumbai. According to reports, teams of Maharashtra Police have simultaneously raided Arun Ferreira, Susan Abrahams and Vernon Gonsalvez's residences in Mumbai. Activist Gautam Navlakhas Delhi residence and Anand Teltumbde's house in Goa were also raided. In Telangana's capital Hyderabad, Professor Vara Vara Rao and his daughters Anala and Pawana's houses were raided. Teams raided journalist Kurmanath's house in Hyderabad as well.

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