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UPA Identified 128 Bodies With Links to Maoists, Activists Arrested Part of Them: Govt

The government received flak for the arrest of a few rights activists for suspected Naxal links prepared by the then UPA dispensation in 2012.


Updated:August 29, 2018, 7:39 PM IST
UPA Identified 128 Bodies With Links to Maoists, Activists Arrested Part of Them: Govt
Pune Police arrested Varavara Rao Tuesday after carrying out a search at his residence in Hyderabad. Rao is a renowned poet, writer and activist and is noted for his revolutionary writings and public speeches. He is also considered an eminent Marxist critic of Telugu literature and has taught Telugu Literature to undergraduate and graduate students for decades. According to reports, Pune police have detained him after a search of his residence in connection with an alleged plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is not the first time Rao has been arrested for his writings and political activity. Andhra Pradesh government had ordered his arrest in 1973 but the High Court had struck down the order after Rao spent a month in jail. Rao was again arrested during the Emergency, under Maintenance and Internal Security Act (MISA). (Image: AP)
New Delhi: As many as 128 organisations suspected to be having links with Maoists were identified by the UPA government in 2012 and some of those arrested by the Maharashtra Police in recent crackdown were part of these front groups of the red ultras, officials said on Wednesday.

As the government received flak for the arrest of a few rights activists for suspected Naxal links, officials came out with a list, prepared by the then UPA dispensation in 2012, of organisations "having connections with the Maoists".

"The UPA government had, in December 2012, identified 128 organisations with linkages to the CPI (Maoists) and written to all state governments asking them to take action against people involved with these organisations. Seven of those Varavara Rao, Sudha Bhardwaj, Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Mahesh Raut arrested so far belong to the organisations appearing in this list," a government official said requesting anonymity.

While Rao, Bhardwaj, Ferreira and Gonsalves were arrested on Tuesday, Gadling, Wilson and Raut were arrested on June 6.

Ferreira and Gonsalves, two of the five arrested on Tuesday, were held in 2007 too and they had spent several years in prison. Similarly, Rao has been arrested several times by the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Police in the past.

The official said what is under investigation in the current case are the linkages of these individuals with the CPI (Maoist), a banned organisation operating with the devious objective of overthrowing democratic order, and the support provided by them to the CPI (Maoist).

"Such individuals cannot escape responsibility for aiding and abetting the violent acts committed by CPI (Maoist)'s underground cadres," the official said.

"The CPI (Maoist), towards achievement of its ultimate objective of seizure of political power through protracted peoples war, attaches immense importance to the urban movement which works towards creation of a United Front in support of their movement," another official said.

The urban movement is the main source for providing leadership and resources to the CPI(Maoist). The responsibility for provision of supplies, technologies, expertise, information and other logistic support is also shouldered by the overground activists in urban centres, the official said.

Since 2001, altogether 6,956 civilians and 2,517 security personnel have been killed by the CPI (Maoist), according to a government figure.

Naxal violence has also caused massive damage to infrastructure and virtually stalled development activities in some parts of the country.

The Maharashtra Police has named the organisations to which the arrested people belong: Surendra Gadling (General Secretary, Indian Association of People's Lawyers), Rona Wilson (Public Relation Secretary, Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners), Sudhir Dhawale (Republican Panthers), Shoma Sen (Executive Member, Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights) and Mahesh Raut (State Convener, Maharashtra, Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan). All were arrested on June 6.

Those who were arrested yesterday are: Varavara Rao (President, Revolutionary Democratic Front), Sudha Bharadwaj (Vice-President, Indian Association of People's Lawyers), Gautam Navlakha (Leader, People's Union for Democratic Rights), Vernon Gonsalves (ex-Secretary, Maharashtra State Committee of CPI/Maoist) and Arun Ferreira (ex-Member, Maharashtra State Committee of CPI-Maoist).

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| Edited by: Naqshib Nisar
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