NEW DELHI:The National Investigation Agency on Tuesday arrested Delhi University professor Hany Babu in connection with the Bhima Koregaon riots for allegedly propagating Naxal activities and Maoist ideology.
54-year-old Hany Babu Musaliyarveettil Tharayil, a resident of Gautam Buddha Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, is an Associate Professor with the Department of English, a spokesperson of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said.
“During investigation it was revealed that Hany Babu Musaliyarveettil Tharayil was propagating Naxal activities and Maoist ideology,” an NIA statement said.
The case relates to inciting people and giving provocative speeches during an Elgar Parishad event organised by the Kabir Kala Manch at Shaniwarwada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which promoted enmity between various caste groups and led to violence resulting in loss of life and property and statewide agitation in Maharashtra, the official said.
NIA sources said Babu has close association with arrested activists Rona Wilson and Gautam Navlakha. The NIA has accused Hany Babu of conspiring with other arrested accused in the case to carry out subversive activities. He will be produced in a special NIA court in Mumbai on Wednesday where the NIA will seek further custody for questioning, the agency said, in a statement.
Babu is a resident of Noida and was recently summoned by NIA Mumbai branch for questioning. Officials said after questioning him for the last few days a decision was taken to arrest him.
“During the course of questioning his association with accused Gautam Navlakha and others was established. The need for custodial interrogation was felt,” an official said.
The NIA had taken over investigation in this case from Pune police in 2020. The investigating agency named 11 of the 23 accused in the FIR, including activists Sudhir Dhawale, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha. Except Teltumbde and Navlakha, the others were arrested by Pune Police in June and August 2018 in connection with the violence. They were accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), and are still in prison.
Babu’s home was searched by the Maharashtra police in September 2019 as part of the investigation into the violence that broke out in Bhima Koregaon village near Pune on January 1, 2018, a day after an anti-caste event called the Elgar Parishad was held. On Tuesday, NIA sources said that Babu's residence and other places associated with him have not been searched yet by NIA but searches can be carried out to look for incriminating evidence that might help the NIA in its investigations.