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Supreme Court verdict on activists’ arrest powers Amit Shah’s attack on Congress

The Supreme Court on Friday said there was prima facie material to show that the five arrested activists had links to a banned Maoist group and rejected their argument that they were arrested for their dissenting views.

india Updated: Sep 28, 2018 17:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Amit Shah,Congress,Activists arrest
BJP president Amit Shah addresses the media at BJP State Office, Nampally, in Hyderabad on September 15.(PTI File Photo)

BJP chief Amit Shah on Friday tore into the Congress after the Supreme Court ruled that there was prima facie evidence that five rights activists have links to a banned Maoist group and were not arrested for their dissenting views.

“There is only one place for idiocy and it’s called the Congress. Support ‘Bharat Ke Tukde Tukde Gang’, Maoists, fake activists and corrupt elements. Defame all those who are honest and working,” Shah tweeted.

The court, however, said the lawyer and trade union activist Sudha Bhardwaj, Telugu poet P Varavara Rao, activist Gautam Navlakha, and lawyers Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves will remain under house arrest for more four weeks and can seek bail

Shah also asked the Congress to clear its stand on urban Naxalism.

In a countrywide crackdown on August 28, the Maharashtra police arrested poet Varavara Rao in Hyderabad, activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, trade unionist and lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj in Faridabad and Chhattisgarh and civil liberties activist Gautam Navlakha in Delhi for suspected Maoist links.

The police raids were part of a probe into a conclave—Elgar Parishad—held in Koregaon-Bhima near Pune on December 31, 2017 which had allegedly triggered violence the next day.

Following the arrest, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had accused the BJP-led government of jailing activists.

“There is only place for one NGO in India and it’s called the RSS. Shut down all other NGOs. Jail all activists and shoot those that complain,” he had tweeted.

First Published: Sep 28, 2018 15:28 IST