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Varavara Rao arrest: Families being targeted is new for us, says wife Hemalatha

Police teams from Pune along with local police conducted searches at the residence of revolutionary writer Varavara Rao, his daughters and others in the city.

Published: 28th August 2018 04:44 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th August 2018 07:42 PM   |  A+A-

Revolutionary writer Pendyala Varavara Rao being taken into custody by Pune police. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Left-wing sympathiser and revolutionary writer Pendyala Varavara Rao's wife Hemalatha, soon after police nabbed her husband, said arrests or searches at their home is nothing new. At the same time, she said Tuesday's raid that followed Rao's arrest was first of its kind.

“This is the first time in our life that something like this has happened. They have raided our daughters and sons-in-law who do not know anything and have nothing to do with them. One of my sons-in-law teaches at EFLU, what will he know? Families being targeted is new for us,” she said.

According to her, around 20 policemen came in the morning at 8:30 a.m. "All of them spoke in Marathi and to us in Hindi. One of them was a city police SI from the nearby police station. Since my husband was a BP patient, they let me cook rice for him, he ate curd rice," said Hemalatha, adding that no one misbehaved or talked to them rudely.

"He had around 20 cases on his name and is acquitted in all of them. We are used to arrests and searches."

ALSO READ: Bhima Koregaon violence: Outrage over multi-city raids, arrests of rights activists

But, she said, "everytime they knocked on our door, they would tell us ‘Sir needs to be arrested’ and that’s about it. Today they made us sit in one corner and they searched the entire home.” Some sarees and clothes were thrown onto a diwan after the raids were over. When asked what was seized or taken, she said, “They took cellphones, both of ours and some of his old ones, and a computer hard disk. At the end they made us sign a document listing what they took.”

“I have no fear about this case, it is a false one and there is no substance in it. But I am afraid of his health, he is 78, and has some issues. But I have full faith in his willpower”

After the medical examination at Gandhi hospital in Secunderabad, Rao was produced before a local court at Nampally for a transit warrant. He is to be shifted to Pune for further inquiry.

Rao and wife Hemalatha were supposed to go to Warangal on Tuesday to meet their eldest daughter Sahaja.

Sahaja who rushed to her parents' home in Ashok Nagar upon hearing news reports broke down and maintained “All this happened when I was not there, I wish I was here Amma.”

Editor of Veekshanam and a close aide of Varavara Rao, G Venugopal, said: “He may get bail sometime later. He will be harassed for sometime. Finally, the case is a false one and will not stand the scrutiny of the court." When asked what their plan was, he said, “Right now Prashanth Bhushan and Vrinda Grover have moved SC for bail,” he said.

Would the family or anyone else travel to Pune? Venugopal said they had lawyers in Pune so they did not decide if they wanted to go. “Houses of both daughters have also been raided and we still do not know all the details,” he added

Supporters and members of the CPI ML-ND were seen discussing in hushed tones whether Varavara Rao will be treated like professor Sai Baba. “They have foisted some false cases and it will go on all the way. This is a politically charged arrest,” says CPIML-ND union IFTU’s secretary Pradeep. 

According to him, the CPIML-ND will soon take up country-wide protests against today's arrests. They also sought Telangana government's intervention in protection of democratic rights.

Meanwhile, Kranti Tekula, a photojournalist with a vernacular media house, earlier said to be arrested in connection with the case came out to media and said he has no role in the case and had nothing to
do.



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