Searched My House Without Warrant: DU Prof Hany Babu on Raids

“They searched for 6 hours, took 3 books, lap top, phone, hard disks,” his wife Jenny Rowena tweeted.

Updated
India
2 min read
Policemen accompany protesters staging a demonstration in Mumbai on 2 January against the violence in Bhima Koregaon in Pune district.
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The Pune Police on Tuesday, 10 September, searched the residence of Delhi University professor Hany Babu in Noida in connection with its probe into the Elgaar Parishad case for alleged Maoist links, officials told PTI.

In a statement later in the day, Babu said that the officers conducted searches without a warrant and without providing reasons. He added that the officers have seized his phone and his laptop, along with the phones of his family members, thereby barring them from communicating with friends.

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE RAIDS

Pune Assistant Commissioner of Police Shivaji Pawar said no arrest was made during the search operation at 45-year-old Babu's house in Sector 78 of Noida, adjoining the national capital, early in the morning.

The search was conducted at his residence in connection with offences registered at Pune's Vishrambaug police station under Indian Penal Code sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 121 and 121A (waging or attempting to wage war against government), 124A (sedition), among others.

Noida Senior Superintendent of Police Vaibhav Krishna said, “Video recording of whole proceedings was done, reasons for search were explained to him in English, a copy of seizure panchnama was given with his due acknowledgement.”

The SSP said the Pune Police team comprised a senior crime branch officer and cyber experts besides Pawar, the investigation officer in the case, while the Noida Police provided logistical support.

Babu, who teaches English in DU, was not named in the FIR, according to police.

The Elgaar conclave was held at the historic Shaniwar Wada in Pune on 31 December, 2017, ahead of the 200th anniversary of the battle of Koregaon Bhima.

According to police, speeches made at the conclave aggravated the caste violence around Koregaon Bhima village in the district on 1 January 2018, in which one person was killed and several others were injured. Police have so far arrested nine people in the case.

WHAT DID HANY BABU SAY?

Babu alleged that police did not have a search warrant and they seized the phones of his daughter and wife, barring them from communicating with friends.

"The officers entered my residence and looked through every room of my apartment. The search went on for six hours, at the end of which they said they will be seizing my laptop, my hard disks, my pen drives and books. They made me change the passwords of my social media accounts and my email accounts," he said.

His wife, Jenny Rowena, who teaches English at Miranda House, said they are scared after the raid, but DU teachers and students have expressed solidarity with them.

"We were sleeping when they came. We didn't know why they were doing it. They told us that the case does not need a search warrant. They just told us some case number and then said it is connected to Rona Wilson case," she told PTI over phone.

"We have books in three rooms and they video recorded the books. After six hours, they said that ‘you are suspects now in the Bhima Koregaon case’," she said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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