Activists' arrest: Never heard of their Naxals links, says Sharad Pawar

The NCP chief further said that he would be visiting the homes of the arrested civil right activists and talk to their families and locals in the area.

Published: 29th August 2018 10:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 31st August 2018 05:03 PM   |  A+A-


Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar (File | PTI)


NEW DELHI: Taking a strong exception to the arrests of five activists, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday ridiculed the government for arresting the activists in the name of association with the Naxalite movement.

"Those who have been arrested and at least I can say in my home state, I know some of them, they are activists. It's a very unfortunate thing that the government and the police authority are arresting them in the name of association with Naxalite movement," Pawar told reporters here.

"I know some individuals, and as per my information, they are not the ones, who can go to the extreme level to the assassination of X and Y," he added.

The NCP chief further said that he would be visiting the homes of the arrested civil right activists and talk to their families and locals in the area.

"After getting information about the Maharashtra arresting, I have decided I will go to everybody's house and discuss with the local population, their neighbours and everyone," he elucidated.

On Tuesday, raids were carried out by the Pune Police in Mumbai, Ranchi, Hyderabad, Faridabad, Delhi and Thane, with informed sources telling ANI that Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Gautam Navlakha, Varnan Gonsalves and Sudha Bhardwaj were the five activists arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence which broke out in January.

The violence erupted in Bhima Koregaon during the gathering to mark the 200th anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon battle. A youth died and several others, including 10 policemen, were injured in the incident.

Pawar further noted that he knew some of the activists personally, but to associate them with the Naxals was wrong.

"I know some of them and they are activists, they are leftist but I never heard that they are associated with Naxalism. Those, whose thinking is of Left type, I can't call each and every one of them as Naxals," Pawar added.

When asked if arrests were an effort to divert the attention from questions being raised on Sanatan Sanstha's role in the killing of rationalists M.M. Kalburgi, Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar and Gauri Lankesh, Pawar noted that as per media reports, certain organisations, are closely associated with these assassinations.

"If these reports are factually correct, then anyone can come a conclusion that, just to divert the attention from those particular incidents and those involved in it, unnecessary importance are given to these people who are activists," he said.

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