The National Investigation Agency (NIA) carried out searches at the residences of High Court advocate Raghunath Verose and former member of Jana Natya Mandali, Dappu Ramesh, here on Wednesday evening for alleged links to the outlawed CPI (Maoist).
Sources in the agency told The Hindu that around 6 p.m., two teams along with Andhra Pradesh police started the raids at Raghunath’s house at P&T Colony in Dilsukhnagar, and Ramesh’s house at Gudimalkapur, Mehdipatnam.
The NIA said incriminating materials, including documents and various digital devices, and revolutionary literature were found during the searches.
The digital evidence would be seized and sent to the forensic laboratory to retrieve the data forensically. “We have enough evidence to prove their unlawful activities and links with the CPI (Maoist) cadres. They were making efforts to strengthen the ‘red cadre’ in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and were in frequent touch with the top leaders,” an officer said on condition of anonymity.
He said that advocate Raghunath was accused in at least five cases booked under Section 18, 18-B and 20 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Section 120-B (Conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code. “They both have links with the banned Maoist party. We are likely to arrest them and produce them before the Special NIA Court to judicial custody,” he said. Meanwhile, Civil Liberties Committee (CLC) president Prof. G. Laxman condemned the raids and said that the agency is ‘unlawfully’ harassing the advocate and bed-ridden Ramesh.
“Even they booked UAPA and Conspiracy against me. It is their (both State and Central governments) normal practice to curb the alternate voice in the society,” he said.
“Whoever is raising the voice against the issues related to farmers, unemployment, are arrested by the NIA and the local police for no reasons,” Prof. Laxman said.
The agency also carried out searches at the residences of journalist Pinaka Pani and Somashekar Sharma alias Arun in Kurnool, and VIRASAM senior leader Varalakshmi in Anantapur and other places in Andhra Pradesh.