For the second time in five months, the Pune Police on Tuesday raided the houses of activists, poets and writers, alleging they are Maoist sympathizers, across the country and detained several of them on Tuesday.
As per available information, the activists raided are Vara Vara Rao and Kranti Tekula in Hyderabad, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Pereira in Mumbai, Sudha Bharadwaj and Stan Swami in Chhattisgarh, Gautam Navlakha in Delhi and Anand Teltumbde in Goa. Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves and Sudha Bharadwaj have been detained by the police.
The raids were carried out in Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Hyderabad and Haryana since the morning. Scores of supporters of these activists staged protests during the police raids at various locations.
The raids were described as a follow-up to a similar action taken on April 17 when the Pune police swooped in on over half a dozen Dalit activists and those involved with the Kabir Kala Manch, which organised an Elgar Conference in Pune on December 31, 2017.
On January 1, caste riots erupted in Koregaon-Bhima which left one person dead, culminating in a Maharashtra shutdown on January 3 called by the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh, headed by Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of BR Ambedkar.
After nearly five months, the Pune police teams have fanned out in around half a dozen states and raided the homes and offices of several persons who maybe linked with the Elgar Conference and suspected to be Maoist supporters.
The police have seized items like computers, laptops, CDs, documents and books from them and claimed that they functioned like an 'urban think tank' for Maoists.
In April, the Pune police carried out a similar action targeting prominent human rights activists like Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale, all of whom were arrested, besides raiding Harshali Potdar, Jyoti Jagtap, Ramesh Gaychor and Sagar Gorke.