Bhima-Koregaon case: Maharasthra police search Stan Swamy’s Ranchi house
A team of Maharasthra police team on Wednesday searched the residence of human rights activist, Stan Swamy at Namkum in Ranchi on Wednesday morning in connection with the probe into the Bhima-Koregaon case.
The police seized a hard disk, dongle and details of the 83-year-old’s social media and email accounts.
The Maharashtra police had on August 28, 2018 raided many locations across the country, including Swamy’s residence in Ranchi, and arrested rights activists Vernon Gonsalves in Mumbai, Arun Ferreira from Thane, Gautam Navlakha in Delhi, Sudha Bharadwaj in Haryana and Varavara Rao from Hyderabad for their alleged links with Maoists. The police had seized a laptop, two tabs, few CDs and some documents from Swamy’s residence.
The eight-member Pune police team arrived at Swamy’s Bagaicha campus around 7.15am. The team was assisted by the Ranchi police. “The search operation continued for around two-and-a-half hours. No interrogation took place. If any incriminating material is found, they (Maharashtra Police) will decide further course of action,” said Ranchi superintendent of police (rural) Ashutosh Sekhar.
The search operation was part of an investigation into the violence that erupted at Bhima-Koregaon village near Pune after an event called Elgar Parishad, or conclave, on December 31 last year.
Reacting to the search, Swamy said, “The Pune police conducted raid and carried out search operation for the second time, which is a matter of concern for us. I do not know what they want to establish. But, I am here to give my full cooperation in any legal proceeding.”
Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JJM) condemned the search operation and demanded dropping of all charges against Swamy. “These harassments are politically motivated and wholly unjustified,” said Siraj Dutta, a JJM member.
The Mahasabha members claimed Stan Swamy worked for the rights of adivasis and other underprivileged groups in the state.” “Stan Swamy has been a vocal critic of the government’s attempts to amend land laws and the land acquisition act in Jharkhand,” the JJM statement read.