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Congress Being Hypocritical, It Arrested Gautam Navalakha, Kobad Ghandy in Similar Crackdown: Former Home Secretary GK Pillai

Asked about the outrage over the five arrests of activists, writers and lawyers in nationwide raids on Tuesday, Pillai said there were similar protests even during Ghandy and his wife’s arrests in 2009. But evidence against those accused justified the arrests.

Marya Shakil | CNN-News18maryashakil

Updated:August 30, 2018, 8:11 AM IST
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New Delhi: Former Home Secretary GK Pillai, who is known as the man behind the 2009 Operation Green Hunt, India’s biggest offensive against the Naxalite movement, believes the Congress is being hypocritical in criticizing the crackdown on rights activists under a UPA era law, which the party itself had used to arrest the likes of Gautam Navalakha and Kobad Ghandy.

In an interview with CNN-News18, Pillai said, “To an extent I would say this is hypocrisy because the UPA government, too, acted upon Gautam Navalakha and Kobad Ghandy and others. There's enough evidence on record, which is why the police has acted against these people and this was infact upheld by the courts as well. After evidence is produced before the court, it must take a view whether it is credible evidence or not to prove that somebody is actively supporting a banned organisation.”

All the five persons who were arrested on Tuesday were charged under sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for their alleged Naxal activities.

Asked about the outrage over the five arrests of activists, writers and lawyers in nationwide raids on Tuesday, Pillai said there were similar protests even during Ghandy and his wife’s arrests in 2009.

“There was similar outrage even during that time but once we showed evidence of photographs of Ghandy’s wife Anuradha in combat uniform, holding an AK-47 and also the Maoists themselves admitting that she was a central committee member, it justified the arrests,” Pillai said.

“So if the police says they have credible evidence against the accused, we should leave it to the courts to take a call on the credibility,” Pillai added.

Earlier on Wednesday, Pune Police announced that they have come across several “credible evidence” against those arrested. Pune police further justified its action in a press briefing, claiming that the accused had a strong “intolerance of the present political system”.

Voicing his support for the raids and arrests of these activists, Pillai added, “CPI Maoists, which is a banned organisation, has openly declared in their manifesto that they will be using NGOs and intelligence to further their political aim. This is something we need to seriously worry and be alert about.”

| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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