Hours after the Supreme Court conditionally transferred three activists arrested by Pune police from jail to house arrest, Telangana BJP leader Krishna Saagar Rao called them “naxal mentors.” He alleged that under the façade of being ‘intellectuals’ and ‘professionals’, they coached and mentored naxals.
On Tuesday, Pune police which is probing the investigation of an alleged assassination plot to kill the PM, had conducted simultaneous raids across seven cities—Delhi, Hyderabad, Faridabad, Ranchi, Goa, Mumbai and Thane.
Following the raids, they arrested five activists—Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha. However, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha could evade the arrest after intervention by their lawyers.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court said that these activists were to be kept on house arrest and Justice Chandrachud opined that dissent was essential to democracy.
However, speaking to TNM, BJP spokesperson Rao said that the outrage that BJP was stifling the voice of political opponents was untrue. “They are not political opponents, they are opponents of Indian constitution, Indian democracy and integrity and sovereignty of the country," he said.
When asked on what basis he made the allegation that the activists were “naxal mentors”, he said, “It’s a fact, if they have to contest it, let them. I’m making a factual statement. One of their collegues GN Sai Baba is in jail..”
Slamming the Congress and its President, Rahul Gandhi, he said, “Out of the 10 persons detained, seven of them were found suspected to be having extremist links none other than the UPA government.”
He alleged that the Congress party and the Left were giving a political spin to a regular law enforcement and investigation process.
Accusing the Left of having utter contempt for democracy he said, “Left parties have no respect for constitution, democracy, elected government and law of land. This government will not keep quiet, if they try to poison few sections of the society and disturb communal harmony.”
Without naming the activists, he alleged that the Bhima Koregaon violence was ‘plotted’ and ‘executed’ under the guidance of few of these mentors.
“When investigative agencies are charging these individuals under sections of law through court monitored legal process, how is it partisan and vengeful? BJP does not consider them as its political opponents; we consider them as opponents of Indian democracy, Indian constitution, Indian integrity and sovereignty,” he said.
“The extreme left-wing parties are scared that their real agenda to destabilize India is being exposed,” he alleged.
Responding to the allegation made by revolutionary writer Varavara Rao’s family that the arrests and the alleged plot is a coverup for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to gain sympathy and consolidate the Hindu votes, he said, “It is a senseless, baseless and a politically bankrupt accusation. The arrests have nothing to do with polarization or sympathy gaining. It’s purely baseless.”