New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday took suo motu cognisance of media reports regarding the arrest of five activists by the police from different cities yesterday in connection with the investigations into the Bhima Koregaon violence. The NHRC said that it had observed that the standard operating procedure in connection with the arrests made had not followed the proper procedure of involving the police authorities which may ultimately amount to the violation of human rights. Also Read - Bhima Koregaon Case: NIA Files Charge-Sheet Against 8 People Including DU Professor, Activist Stan Swamy
Eminent activists and lawyers, including Romila Thapar, Prabhat Patnaik, Satish Deshpande and Maya Darnall, moved the apex court against the arrest of Left-wing activists. The petition against the arrest of the activists was mentioned before a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra which will give it a hearing by 3.45 PM today. Senior lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan is likely to file a petition against the arrests and raids by the police in the top court as well. Of the five activists, three — Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira — were expected to be produced in a Pune court today.
Varvara Rao’s daughter Sujatha described the trauma which they had been facing since yesterday. She spoke about their ordeal and mentioned how their entire house was searched and papers, hard disks, even old phones were taken by the police. It must be noted that the raids which are being carried out are a part of the investigation into the violence between Dalits and the upper caste Peshwas at Koregaon-Bhima village near Pune after an event called Elgar Parishad, or conclave, on December 31 last year.
Following the arrest of the activists, a large number of people has come out in support of them and condemned the act. While the CPI(M) Politburo protested against the raids and arrests of left-wing activists, calling it a “brazen attack on democratic rights and civil liberties”, Congress President Rahul Gandhi targeted the Modi government and RSS and said that there is place for only “one NGO” in “new India” which is called the RSS.