Kiren Rijiju replies to Rahul Gandhi's tweet 'supporting Maoist sympathisers', says national security must be above politics

Union minister Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday responded to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, over Rahul's tweet against government action on left-wing and human rights activists for suspected 'Maoist' links. Rijiju, in a tweet, criticised Rahul for 'openly supporting' Maoist sympathisers.

He said:

The tweet comes after Rahul Gandhi said that in the "new India", there was space for only one NGO — the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The Congress chief tweeted on Tuesday:

The Maharashtra Police on Tuesday raided the homes of prominent left-wing activists in several states, and arrested at least five of them as part of a probe into the violence between Dalits and the upper caste Peshwas at Koregaon Bhima village near Pune after the Elgar Parishad event on 31 December, 2017.

Congress spokesperson Jaipal Reddy condemned the raids and arrests saying no human rights activists should be arrested without a case. "I condemn those arrests in unqualified terms. No human rights activist should be arrested. For that matter, no Indian can be arrested without a proper case," he said.

"I defend the rights of everybody, more particularly human rights protesters. They are selfless NGOs, activists, who are obliged to fight the enveloping darkness of dictatorial tendencies," he told reporters when asked about the arrests of some activists by the Pune police.

Near-simultaneous searches were carried out at the residences of prominent Telugu poet Varavara Rao in Hyderabad, activists Vernon Gonzalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, trade union activist Sudha Bhardwaj in Faridabad, and civil liberties activist Gautam Navalakha in New Delhi.

Subsequently, Rao, Bhardwaj, Ferreira, Gonzalves and Navalakha were arrested under IPC Section 153 (A), which relates to promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language and committing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Aug 29, 2018 10:47 AM

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