Security stepped up for human rights lawyer Asim Sarode
The Pune police have stepped up security cover for prominent human rights lawyer Asim Sarode. Earlier a gunman was deployed to guard him round the clock. Sarode had previously received security in November, 2018 following intelligence inputs about a threat to his life.
Sarode claims that he received the second security from the State Intelligence Department (SID). Sarode, has taken up cases against big conglomerates in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) as well as against fringe right-wing outfit Sanatan Sanstha.
Sarode who is the founder of the Pune-based Sahyog Trust said the authorities had not specified the nature or the source of the threat against him. Sarode said, “I have been accorded ‘X’ category security with two police officials, one of them is armed. I have been asking the intelligence bureau and police about the nature of the threat and who has it come from, however they have been evasive regarding this.”
When contacted over the issue, Deputy commissioner of police (special branch) Ashok Morale said,“ We have not given Asim Sarode any security. It might have come from the State Intelligence Department which usually sends the Special Protection Unit (SPU) personnel to protect the people who have received threats.”
Talking about the threats Sarode said “ We are speaking about democratic and human rights. Besides, we are also talking about transparency in judiciary and other important institutions of the government which is angering the other side.”
When Sarode was giving additional security in November, he said, “I had not asked for any security from my end. I was informed in September that the intelligence had come up with a list of 20 individuals working for social causes who were in need of state protection. A committee of the Pune Police had prepared the detailed list.”
Sarode is currently engaged in fighting legal cases related to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial Statue in Mumbai representing the Akhil Maharashtra Machimar Kruti Samiti, purse seines fishing nets case, tree cutting cases, Jat Panchayats and Sanatan Sanstha.