After the Hyderabad High Court dismissed the petition of revolutionary writer and Left ideologue P Varavara Rao, the Pune police took him into custody on Saturday evening, even as he protested.
Rao is accused is of plotting to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which he and his family have denied vehemently.
The Hyderabad High Court on Friday refused to set aside the transit remand order issued by the chief metropolitan magistrate, Hyderabad. The lower court had on August 28 issued the transit demand facilitating the Maharashtra police to take Rao to Pune in connection with the case relating to clashes at Bhima Koregaon in January. Varavara Rao had challenged the validly of the transit remand.
Following the High Court’s order, the Pune police came to Hyderabad on the same day. However, they did not arrest Rao, since it was too late in the night.
Learning about the imminent arrest, several activists had thronged Rao's residence in Gandhi Nagar and protested. However, the Pune police took him in to custody at around 9.15 pm on Saturday, according to family members.
Rao reportedly said that though the police don’t have a fresh warrant, he’s accompanying them to not create any trouble. He argued that the transit warrant issued by the local court had expired.
Varavara Rao’s wife, Hemalatha told TNM, “They did not produce the High Court order or show fresh warrant.”
Rao was first arrested on August 28 along with activists Arun Ferriera, Gautam Navlakha and Vernon Gonsalves. A case was booked against human rights activist Sudha Bharadwaj as well. She is also presently under police custody. These activists are also accused of inciting violence in Bhima Koregaon, Pune. However, the Supreme Court intervened against their arrest and directed that they be under house arrest until September 6.
Plot to kill Prime Minister Modi
In June this year, police in Pune had allegedly recovered a letter mentioning a plan to assassinate PM Modi from the house of one of the five persons arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence.
The letter, written by a person identified only as 'R', reportedly mentions a plot to kill the Prime Minister on the lines of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. It also referred to a requirement of Rs 8 crore to purchase a M-4 rifle and four lakh rounds to execute the plot. The letter reportedly mentions Varvara Rao's name.
Varavara Rao, who heads Virasam, an association of revolutionary writers, had strongly denied the allegations. He had said that all five arrested in the case were working for the betterment of the downtrodden.
Speaking to reporters in Hyderabad at the time, Rao had said, “I have absolutely nothing to do with the claims made in the letter. The police cannot do anything other than arrest me and foist false cases against me. The people arrested by the Pune police had all been working for the downtrodden and the release of political prisoners. They are not involved in murder politics.”
He had also alleged that the letter was planted.