The city police have invoked the provisions of the A.P. Public Security Act against the 18 tribals from Chhattisgarh and two A.P. Civil Liberties activists who were arrested at the Gowliguda bus station and accused them of coming to Hyderabad to ‘encourage’ people to join the outlawed Maoist party.

The FIR issued by the Afzalgunj police lists out writer Vara Vara Rao, Ganti Prasadam, Padma Kumari, Raghunath as absconding accused persons in addition to noted Maoist leaders such as Chandranna, Maoist secretary of NTSZC, Ramanna, secretary of DKSZC, Ooke Ganesh of DKSZC, Hari Bhushan of NTSZC and many other top naxal leaders.

The police took into custody the 18 tribals and two APCLC leaders at the bus station on Monday morning. Civil Liberties activists maintained that the tribals had come to participate in martyrs’ memorial meeting to be organised on Wednesday and Thursday and that APCLC leaders had gone to the station to receive them. They alleged that the police arrested them only to foil the meeting.

Interestingly, the FIR mentions that the APCLC leaders had ‘confessed’ that they were working for “Maoist extremists and [that]they had come there as per the instructions of their leaders Vara Vara Rao, Ganti Prasadam, Padma Kumari and Raghunath to take these 18 people from Chhattisgarh…”

The police claimed that they seized three CDs said to be containing videos showing the ‘janata sarkar’ run by Maoists in Chhattisgarh, two photographs of deceased extremists, and three cell phones from the arrested persons.

A local court here on Tuesday remanded them to judicial custody till July 30.