Eastern Times, New Delhi : NIA has raided the homes of more than 25 Human Rights, Civil liberties, feminist activists and progressive writers and a lawyers in AP and Telangana. The raids began on 31st March afternoon and continued till the early hours of the 1st April, for most of the activists. The NIA seized the phones, computers, laptops and some books and papers of most of those raided.
The two FIRs that were filed by the AP police, the first in Munchingput Police Station, Vishakhapatnam (47/2020) dated 23rd November 2020 and the 2nd in Guntur district FIR number 606/202, Piduguralla town police station, dated 24th November, 2020. A total of 80 people were accused in the FIR number 47/2020, with 27 people being common with those named in the Guntur FIR. The sections under which the Munchingput FIR was lodged were as follows, 120 (B), 121, 121(A), 143, 144, 124 (A) r/w 149 (All IPC Sections), UAPA sections 10, 13 and 18, AP Public Security Act, 8 (1) and 8 (@) and section 25 of the Arms Act.
The NIA Hyderabad took over the investigation of the Munchingput police station FIR on the 7th of March, 2021 and the FIR number RC-1/2021/ NIA/HYD was lodged by them. Wednesday (31st of March) afternoon, the NIA raided the homes of more than 25 senior activists who mostly belong to Human Rights, Civil liberties, women’s and writers organisations are academics, writers, feminists and lawyers. The raids continued till the early hours of Thursday morning.
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The names of some of those raided are as follows. Revolutionary writers association: 1. Paani, ( Kurnool district), 2. Varalakshmi (Kadapa District), 3. Arun (Kurnool District). Chaitanya Mahila Sangam, 4. Devendra, 5. Shilpa, 6. Swapna, 7. , 8. Rajeswari (Guntur), 8. Padma (Vishakhapatnam). Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC), 9. Raghunath, Hyderabad, 10. Chilika Chandrshekhar (Guntur District), 11 Chitti Babu, East Godavari. Human Rights Forum (HRF), 12, Krishna (Vishakhapatnam). Prajakala Mandali 13. Dappu Ramesh, (Hyderabad).Amarula bandhu mitrula sangham Friends and Relatives of Marxists (ABMS) 14. Anjamma (Prakasham District) , 15. Sirisha, (Prakasham district), Advocate, 16. KS Chelam of Vishakhapatnam.
Kavita Srivastava, President of PUCL, Rajasthan strongly condemned this act of NIA. In a statement PUCL, Rajasthan said, “this is just a witch hunt and an effort to silence our activists, who have stood up against injustice and questioned all Governments.
All these people were challenging anti democratic laws, illegal arrests and other undemocratic practices of the Indian State and their respective Governments of AP and Telangana, along with challenging caste and patriarchal violence against women, the hegemonic attacks by the Hindutva forces against Muslims, destruction in the name of development, protecting the land and forest rights of the people etc.
Most of these activists used the tools of fact finding committees, cultural expressions oragnised meetings, rallies and dharnas, putting out press releases pamhlets etc, which was not acceptable to the YS Jaganmohan Reddy Government, who got these illegal cases filed.
So they filed FIRs under sections of the UAPA, which was a sinister move to get activists to stop all work.” Statement said, ‘The Government of Telangana also has been filing false cases against the leaders and members of such organizations.Now the NIA has taken over, which we know is trying to put behind bars activists all over the country in the name of maoism, terrorism, crafting false cases of conspiracy relating to destablising the Indian Government etc. We strongly condemned this aggressive step by the NIA of attacking activists and writers via FIRs under UAPA and raids inorder to silence dissent.’