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Bhima Koregaon caste violence row: Activists arrested from across the country

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The Pune Police, on August 28, conducted raids and arrested activists in connection with violence in Maharashtra’s Bhima Koregaon in January 2018. Raids were conducted at homes of activists and intellectuals in Delhi, Haryana, Mumbai, Thane, Ranchi and Hyderabad.

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Early morning sweep searches were conducted wherein Father Stan Swamy’s home in Ranchi was also raided. Laptops, pen drives and documents have been seized from the homes of the activists that were raided. The police claimed that the activists were involved in a terror plot.

Activist Sudha Bhardwaj was picked up from Faridabad while activist and poet Varavara Rao was arrested in Hyderabad. Activists Arun Fereira and Venon Gonsalves have also been taken into custody.

Rao’s name came into the fore through a letter seized by the police during searches at the premises of one of the five people arrested in June in connection with the Elgar Parishad event on December 31 last year to commemorate 200 years of the Bhima Koregaon battle in 1818, news agency Press Trust of India reported.

Previously in June, according to an FIR registered at the Vishrambaug Police Station after the event, five people were arrested for having close Maoist links after they allegedly made “provocative” speeches at the event, triggering violence at Bhima Koregaon village in the district.

At that time, Dalit activist Sudhir Dhawale was arrested from Mumbai, whilst lawyer Surendra Gadling, activist Mahesh Raut and Shoma Sen were picked up from Nagpur. Rona Wilson was arrested from his home in Munirka in Delhi in simultaneous raids.

Also read: Bhima Koregaon violence case: Top urban Maiost operatives’ arrested from Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur

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