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Varavara Rao returns home, calling arrest of activists ‘government conspiracy’

Varavara Rao, 78, is one of the five activists who were arrested by the Pune police in raids in five cities for their alleged links with Maoists on Tuesday

india Updated: Aug 31, 2018 00:00 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Varavara Rao,Hyderabad,Maoist
Poet-Social activist Varavara Rao as he returns home to be placed under house arrest, in Hyderabad on Thursday, Aug 30, 2018. (PTI)

Revolutionary poet Pendyala Varavara Rao on Thursday said the Supreme Court order asking the Pune police to return him home in Hyderabad was a “slap on the face of the government”.

Rao, 78, is one of the five activists who were arrested by the Pune police in raids in five cities for their alleged links with Maoists on Tuesday. The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the activists will be kept under house arrest.

A police team flew Rao from Pune and dropped him at his apartment in Gandhinagar as the Telangana police put up a security ring. Rao’s wife Hema Latha received him as he stepped out of a police car and his family rushed to embrace him, but the poet didn’t show emotions.

“It’s a temporary relief of me and others, but the Supreme Court order is a slap on the face of the government. We have been booked in a conspiracy case just because we mooted a platform to raise the voice against the fascist rule in the country. In fact, the government itself has conspired against us,” Rao said aloud before entering the apartment complex.

Rao will be under house arrest till September 6, the Supreme Court has said. He cannot meet people outside his family and he cannot speak to people outside his home, even on his phone. A four-member Pune police team, aided by the Telangana police, will be posted at Rao’s residence.

“On Wednesday, we heard the prosecution’s argument for one hour. The court will hear the government on September 6,” Rao said. “The government’s action will have a lot of effect on the society. People will understand the government conspiracy,” he said.

He referred to noted historian Romila Thapar petitioning the Supreme Court on behalf of the five arrested and said that it substantiated the argument that the case was false and conspiracy by the government.

On August 28, the Pune police searched Rao’s home and questioned him for eight hours before arresting home. He was taken to Pune the same night on a transit warrant from a local court.

First Published: Aug 30, 2018 16:04 IST