Rights activist Varavara Rao returns to a quiet welcome in Hyderabad, to be put under house arrest

Varavara Rao was brought to Hyderabad's RGI airport from Pune at 4.20 a.m., following Supreme Court order on Wednesday that he should be placed under house arrest.

Published: 30th August 2018 09:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st August 2018 05:07 PM   |  A+A-

Writer Varavara Rao welcomed by his family on his return to Hyderabad. Rao was arrested on Tuesday afternoon and taken to Pune court in multi-city raids which rounded up four other rights activists. (Photo | EPS

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Revolutionary writer and founder of Virasam, Pendyala Varavara Rao, who was arrested by Maharashtra police from his Jawahar Nagar residence in Hyderabad on Tuesday afternoon and later taken to Pune returned home early Thursday morning. His name had cropped up in an alleged communication, suggesting a plot to kill prime minister Narendra Modi in June 2018. 

Meanwhile, it's business as usual at the writer's apartment where he has been kept under house arrest since this morning. Residents of the apartment are being allowed to move freely. Even food delivery boys are being allowed to go inside as usual after signing the visitors' register.

Anala, Rao's daughter said that armed police personnel are sitting outside their house. She, however, alleged that the cops who were speaking nicely in the morning when Rao was dropped have begun to behave rudely after his friends and well-wishers started coming to meet him.

Since morning there has been a steady stream of activists, writers and
lawyers coming to meet Varavara Rao, who is under house arrest.

The police who are on bandobast duty allowed all of them to meet Rao at his residence. Those who met with Rao include academicians Prof G Haragopal, Prof Gaddam Laxman, women's rights activist Sandhya, advocates V Raghunath of CLC, High Court advocate Suresh and Arunank.

"They should allow anyone and everyone to visit Rao. House arrest only means Rao's movements need to be restricted to home and it does not mean that supporters and media cannot meet Rao at home. Who decides who should be allowed to meet and who should not," said Sandhya while coming out of home. However, none of them divulged any details of their conversation with Rao inside home.

The police also allowed son-in-law senior journalist KV Kurmanath and nephew, journalist N Venugopal to meet Rao.

However, media persons were not allowed anywhere near the home. Senior journalist and president of Indian Journalist Union (IJU) Amar Devulapally who reached Rao's residence in the morning was not allowed inside the building premises and he had to leave.

All the activists who met Rao criticised Telangana police of high handedness for controlling their meetings with Rao.

Two police personnel from Pune are also on guard outside Rao's house.

The 78-year-old was brought to the city from Pune in an Indigo flight that reached Hyderabad's RGI Airport at 4.20 a.m., following Supreme Court order on Wednesday that he should be placed under house arrest. 

READ| Literature and hard disks seized from Varavara Rao’s residence; three of his associates also raided

He reached home at 6.30 a.m. to a quiet welcome. When Express spoke to his wife Hemalatha, she said that Rao reached home safely. Around 4-5 policemen including an inspector were seen posted outside Rao's house in the morning whereas some policemen were also present inside his house. 

A few close relatives of Rao, including his nephew and senior journalist, N Venugopal were allowed to visit Rao. Till Wednesday night there was no clear information as to how Rao will be brought to Hyderabad as there were speculations that he will be brought by road.

The Pune police, currently investigating the alleged case of an anti-terror law, took the assistance of the State police to execute the SC order. The order said that the five activists should be kept under house arrest till September 6. Any violation will be considered as a cognisable offence, according to police.

Police escort writer Varavara Rao to his Jawahar Nagar residence on Thursday. (Photo | EPS)

Another police official, speaking to Express on Wednesday night, said the Telangana police will implement the order of house arrest and will provide the required bandobust. 

"The number of police personnel to be deployed will be decided depending on the situation. There will be a conflict if he tries to step out of the house,'' said Jitender, Additional DGP (Law and Order).

Scores of people, agitated by the arrest including a number of social activists, may want to meet Varavara Rao (while in house arrest), but it is not going to be easy. Only a few people would be allowed to meet him.

"In normal parlance, a house arrest means that the person is meant to be kept inside the house, remain calm and not incite people," a senior police official said adding that not everyone would be allowed to meet the activist because it is against the purpose of house arrest. 

''The order copy would set the record straight on what role we have to play, usually policing is a State subject and the Pune police would not be part of the bandobust,'' he added.

Explaining further, P Viswa Prasad, DCP, Central Zone said: "a house arrest in a regular parlance is a preventive arrest. Until and unless the person doesn't attempt to step out, it would be normal. But if the person steps out, it will be a cognisable offence and the guards at the place would ask the person to get inside."

"Usually a sub-inspector and four home guards or two guards would be posted," he added.

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