Afternoon Voice

NHRC issues notices to Maha govt and DGP

The NHRC today issued notices to the Maharashtra government and the state’s police chief, saying standard operating procedure was not “properly followed” in the arrests of five activists and this amounted to a violation of their human rights.

The Maharashtra chief secretary and the director general of police have been asked to submit a ‘factual report’ in the matter within four weeks.

A senior official of the National Human Rights Commission said the notices were sent after the rights panel took cognisance of the reports of arrests in multiple cities yesterday.

On the basis of the media reports, the Commission has observed that it appears that the standard operating procedure in connection with these arrests has not been properly followed by the police authorities, which may amount to violation of their human rights, an official said.

Pune Police yesterday raided the homes of prominent Left-wing activists in several states and arrested five of them — poet Varavara Rao in Hyderabad, activists Vernon Gonzalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, trade unionist and lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj in Faridabad and Chhattisgarh and civil liberties activist Gautam Navalakha in Delhi.

The raids were carried out as part of a probe into the violence between Dalit and the upper caste groups at Koregaon-Bhima village near Pune after an event called Elgar Parishad on December 31 last year.

A police official said the five arrested are suspected to have Maoist links and had allegedly funded the Elgar Parishad conclave.