Activists’ Arrest: Only 1 Out of 7 Groups Named by Cops is Banned

Maharashtra Police wrongly claimed that activists arrested in Bhima Koregaon case belong to seven banned groups.  

1 min read
Activists’ Arrest: Only 1 Out of 7 Groups Named by Cops is Banned

The Maharashtra’s Police’s claims that seven organisations – which the activists arrested in the aftermath of the Bhima Koregaon violence case belong to – were banned, is reportedly incorrect. According to The Indian Express, only one out of the seven – the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) – has been declared ‘unlawful’.

According to the report, the Revolutionary Democratic Front was declared unlawful by Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha under the respective state public safety laws. While Odisha Government banned the organisation 2005, Andhra Pradesh followed suit in 2012 and Telangana banned the outfit in August 2018.

The six other organisations branded ‘unlawful’ by the police however, including Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights, Indian Association of People’s Lawyers, People’s Union for Democratic Rights, Republican Panthers, Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners and Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan, were reportedly never banned.  

Following the arrests of activists since June this year, the Maharashtra Police have claimed that eight out of the ten activists booked belong to these seven organisations.

The activists are P Varavara Rao (RDF), Gautam Navlakha (People’s Union for Democratic Rights), Sudha Bharadwaj and Surendra Gadling (Indian Association of People’s Lawyers), Rona Wilson (Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners), Shoma Sen (Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights), Sudhir Dhawale (Republican Panthers) and Mahesh Raut (Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan). 

Quoting official sources, The Indian Express reported that the two remaining activists – Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira – were allegedly formerly associated with the Maharashtra State Committee of the CPI (Maoist) which was banned in 2009.

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