Arrest of activists ploy to divert attention from failures of BJP governments: Mayawati slams 'government terror'

The BSP chief said the government was trying to intimidate poets, lawyers, activists, human rights advocates, professors and intellectuals.

Published: 29th August 2018 04:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th August 2018 04:32 PM   |  A+A-


BSP president and former UP chief minister Mayawati (File | PTI)


LUCKNOW: BSP chief Mayawati on Wednesday slammed the Modi government for the arrest of writer Varavara Rao, lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj and human rights activists Arun Fereira, Gautam Navlakha and Vernon Gonsalves and said this was yet another attempt of the BJP government to "terrorize the civil society".

The arrests, on charges that they were Maoist supporters, was a ploy to hoodwink the people and divert their attention from the failures of the BJP governments, the Dalit leader said.

"This is government-sponsored terror and height of misuse of government agencies," Mayawati said in a statement.

She said the government was trying to intimidate poets, lawyers, activists, human rights advocates, professors and intellectuals.

Varavara 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 
or birth,
residence, language and committing acts prejudicial to maintenance
of harmony, an official had told PTI.

She also alleged that instead of following the legal procedure against people who were named in the FIR regarding the Bheema-Koregaon violence, the NDA government was victimizing Dalit leaders whose lives were open books.

"The government is trying to arm twist, terrorize people running NGOs, social workers and it is indeed the height of misuse of government machinery," the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister alleged.

In simultaneous multi-city raids, the Pune police on Tuesday had conducted searches at the houses of nine civil rights activists and arrested five of them for alleged Maoist links, sparking outrage among activists and intellectuals across India. 

The searches and arrests were made in connection with the investigations into the clashes between Dalits and upper caste Marathas at Bhima Koregaon in Pune on January 1 that was allegedly triggered by the Elgar Parishad (conclave) organised a day earlier. 

(with Online Desk inputs)


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