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SC verdict on activists’ arrest ‘unfortunate’: Varavara Rao’s family

The Supreme Court’s refusal to interfere in the arrest of five rights activists is “unfortunate and unexpected”, a family member of P Varavara Rao, who is under house arrest here for his alleged links with Maoists, said on Friday.

Varavara Rao, a Left leaning writer, was arrested from the city last month, while activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Farreira were nabbed from Mumbai, trade union activist Sudha Bharadwaj from Faridabad in Haryana and civil liberties activist Gautam Navlakha was arrested in New Delhi.

The Supreme Court Friday refused to interfere in the arrest of five rights activists in connection with the Koregaon-Bhima violence case and declined to appoint a SIT for probe into their arrest.

The court also refused the plea seeking immediate release of the activists.

“This is unfortunate and unexpected because the way the whole proceedings went on and the way the judges reacted, we were hoping that the case will be quashed…

“Because the falseness of the concocted evidence has come out openly in the court. Despite our hopes and expectations today’s 2:1 judgment refused to intervene,” N Venugopal Rao, a nephew of Varavara Rao told agencies.

Though the court refused to intervene, it was a relief that it extended the house arrest by four weeks, he said.

Speaking to reporters, Varavara Rao’s wife Hemalatha said, “We did not expect this judgement. We, me and Varavara Rao sincerely thank the lawyers for taking up our case. Following the arguments in the court, we assumed that the case will be quashed.”

Varavara Rao was arrested on August 28 by the Pune Police. He is under house arrest since August 30 as per the Supreme Court’s order.

Venugopal Rao said they will move either the Bombay High Court or the Hyderabad High Court seeking quashing the case against Rao and others.

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