This is NIA’s second case against activists after Bhima-Koregaon case in which activists like Sudha Bhardwaj, Anand Teltumbde, Professor Hany Babu MT, Father Stan Swamy have already been arrested
HYDERABAD — The National Investigation Agency on Wednesday conducted simultaneous raids at seven different locations in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The raids which began at 6 pm continued till late in the night. Premises of several Adivasi, Dalit and human rights activists were the targets of search operations. These leaders are believed to have links with Maoists.
NIA sleuths, accompanied by Andhra Pradesh police, raided Telangana civil liberties Committee vice-president and high-court advocate V Raghunath’ residence in Dilsukhnagar, Hyderabad.
Similar searches were conducted in the residence of revolutionary singer Dappu Ramesh in Hyderabad. Civil rights activists condemned the raids, stating that these were intended to create fear among those raising their voice against anti-people policies.
“This is nothing but suppression of people’s voice and indicates growing intolerance. Both the Union and State governments do not want anybody to question them. If anybody dares to do so, they charge them with foisted cases with UAPA charges,” Gaddam Laxman, president of the Civil Liberties Committee, Telangana, said.
In Andhra Pradesh, raids were conducted in five different locations. The residences of AP Civil Liberties Committee state president Chittibabu in Rajahmundry; Pinaka Pani, secretary of Revolutionary Writers Association (Virasam, founded by Maoist ideologie and Telugu poet Vara Vara Rao) in Kurnool; another Virasam leader Varalaxmi in Kadapa; advocate K Padma and her colleague K S Chalam in Visakhapatnam were raided by the NIA officials on Wednesday.
The Hindustan Times had reported on Sunday that the NIA has booked at least 64 persons – mostly activists and a journalist – under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and sedition for helping Maoists in their activities.
This is NIA’s second case against activists after Bhima-Koregaon case in which several activists like Sudha Bhardwaj, Anand Teltumbde, Professor Hany Babu MT, Father Stan Swamy have already been arrested for allegedly being part of Maoists’ frontal networks to increase their influence.
The raids are said to be a part of the investigation following the arrest of one Pangi Naganna in Vishakapatnam in November last year. The police had then seized several documents pertaining to the Maoist party from the bag of Naganna, who claimed to be a journalist.
They suspected that Naganna might be acting as a courier for Maoists and handed over the case to the NIA later. The NIA registered a case on March 7, 2021 and began the probe.
In all, 64 persons were included in the case as suspects including Naganna, the first information report filed by NIA said.