Bhima-Koregaon riots: Activist Sudha Bharadwaj put under house arrest

Faridabad: Activist Lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj arrested by the Pune police who carried out searches at multiple places in various states on the residences of people suspected to have Maoist links; in Faridabad on Aug 28, 2018. (Photo: IANS)

Human Rights Activist Sudha Bharadwaj, who was arrested on Tuesday following the multi-city raids in connection with the Koregaon-Bhima riots in Maharashtra, has been put under house arrest after court intervention.

Chief Judicial Magistrate Ashok Kumar has barred the police from taking Bharadwaj to Pune, ordering that she be kept under house arrest till August 30.

Sudha Bharadwaj is one of the five activists who were arrested on Tuesday by the Pune police, alleging they have Maoist links.

Bharadwaj was picked up by the police from her home in Faridabad’s Sector 39. The police said they had seized two laptops, two mobile phones, and one pen drive from her home and she was also made to submit the passwords of her social media and email accounts.

Sudha Bharadwaj is a visiting professor of Law and Poverty, and tribal rights at the National Law University (NLU), Delhi. She is a civil rights activist and the general secretary of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) in Chhattisgarh.

Also Read | Bhima Koregaon violence: Five arrested by Pune police from across country

Talking to reporters on Tuesday, Bharadwaj had said, “I basically think that whatever is the opposition to the present regime, whether it is on the issue of tribal rights or workers’ right or human rights, whatever it is, or Dalit rights for that matter, everybody who is in the opposition is being rounded up in this manner. I have been working for the last 30 years, and I know very well, I am absolutely a public figure, everybody knows about my credentials, I have nothing to do with the incident in the FIR.”

“My mobiles, my laptops, my pen drive, have been seized by the police and I am pretty sure and I really apprehend that they are going to play around with my data. My Gmail password has been taken, my Twitter password has been taken, I really don’t know what they are going to do with all that. That is data which is in the air, that is nothing that you can seal by just sticking cellotape on it,” she added.

In major raids conducted across five states on Tuesday, the Pune police arrested five activists on charges of being Naxal sympathisers and to investigate their alleged connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence that rocked Pune in January this year.

The five persons raided are Varavara Rao (Telangana), Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Pereira (Mumbai), Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha (Delhi).

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Advisory Committee: Yves Berthelot (France),  PV Rajagopal (India), Vandana Shiva (India), Oliver de Schutter (Belgium), Mazide N’Diaye (Senegal), Gabriela Monteiro (Brazil), Irakli Kakabadze (Georgia), Anne Pearson (Canada), Liz Theoharis (USA), Sulak Sivaraksa (Thailand), Jagat Basnet (Nepal), Miloon Kothari (India),  Irene Santiago (Philippines), Arsen Kharatyan (Armenia), Margrit Hugentobler (Switzerland), Jill Carr-Harris (Canada/India), Reva Joshee (Canada), Sonia Deotto (Mexico/Italy),Benjamin Joyeux (Geneva/France), Aneesh Thillenkery, Ramesh Sharma, Ran Singh (India)