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Mayawati Slams Arrest of Activists, Calls Move 'Govt-Sponsored Terror'

In a statement, Mayawati said the government was trying to intimidate people involved in fighting for the rights of the Dalits, poor and the downtrodden in and outside the courts.

PTI

Updated:August 29, 2018, 10:02 PM IST
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Mayawati Slams Arrest of Activists, Calls Move 'Govt-Sponsored Terror'
File photo of Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati. (Getty Images)
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New Delhi: BSP supremo Mayawati on Wednesday dubbed the arrest five activists as a "government-sponsored terror" tactic to divert the attention of the people from its "failures".

In a statement, she said the government was trying to intimidate people involved in fighting for the rights of the Dalits, poor and the downtrodden in and outside the courts.

The activists were arrested on Tuesday under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion, race, place or birth, residence, language and committing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.

"Through such government-sponsored terror, BJP dispensations want to divert people's attention from their failures," she alleged.

She alleged that no legal procedure were followed in making the arrests. "The display of unity by Dalits at Bhima-Koregaon did not go well with the BJP," she said in the statement.

She said the claim that there was a conspiracy to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi reminds of the alleged "fake encounters" in Gujarat years ago.

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister claimed that instead of following the legal procedure against people who were named in the FIR in the Bheema-Koregaon violence case, the government chose to "victimise" Dalit leaders whose lives were an "open book".

Mayawati also termed the policies of the BJP governments at the Centre and in Maharashtra state as "anti-people".

The Pune Police yesterday raided the homes of prominent Left-wing activists in several states and arrested five of them -- poet Varavara Rao in Hyderabad, activists Vernon Gonzalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, trade unionist and lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj in Faridabad and Chhattisgarh and civil liberties activist Gautam Navalakha in Delhi.

The raids were carried out yesterday as part of a probe into the violence between Dalit and the upper caste groups at Koregaon-Bhima village near Pune after an event called Elgar Parishad on December 31 last year.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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