The police knocking on doors at odd hours and implicating and arresting people in false cases are not new, said Hemalatha, wife of the revolutionary writer Varavara Rao arrested by the Pune police in Hyderabad on Tuesday.
“I am worried about his health and the medical care he needs as he is 78 years old,” she said. Remaining calm and composed while addressing a press conference soon after her husband’s arrest, she said more than 20 criminal cases had been registered against Mr. Rao in the past several decades.
Not a single case was proved in any court of law, she said. He had been forced to be in prison for nearly 11 years in false cases.
“Even when my daughters were less than five years of age, the police arrested him when we were in Warangal. Police cases are not going to deter him or us from fighting for a cause,” she said.
Ms. Hemalatha said some 20 policemen in plainclothes entered their house but were unwilling to disclose their names.
“Same was the case with me. When they seize hard discs, phones and collect all our details, don’t we have the right to at least know their names,” asked K.V. Kurmanath, senior journalist and son-in-law of Mr. Rao, whose flat was also raided by the Pune police.
Mr. Kurmanath sought to know if people did not have the right to at least keep copies of their personal content such as family pictures when the police seized hard discs or mobile phones.
Mr. Rao’s daughter Anala maintained that she was familiar with false cases slapped by police against her father. She recalled that the police in Warangal “slapped a false case against my father accusing him of storing bombs in house”.
“We don’t store bombs but distribute bhaavaalu [ideas],” she said. The revolutionary writer’s associates, civil rights activists and members of the Revolutionary Writers Forum ( of which Mr. Rao was a founder member) pledged solidarity with his fight for the cause of depressed sections of society.
Another journalist T. Kranthi, whose house also was raided, said illegal detentions would happen tomorrow to others.