Pune police take activists back home

Police deployed outside residences

Published - August 31, 2018 12:32 am IST - Mumbai

Rights activist Arun Ferreira being brought to his home  in Thane.

Rights activist Arun Ferreira being brought to his home in Thane.

The Pune police on Thursday sent three activists, who were arrested for their alleged links with Maoists, to their homes in Mumbai, Thane and Hyderabad, as per the directive of the Supreme Court.

Activists Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Telugu poet Varavara Rao reached their homes in the morning.

Poet and revolutionary writer Varavara Rao, who was arrested by the Pune police two days ago from his house in Hyderabad for alleged Maoist links, was flown back on Thursday amid tight security.

Mr. Rao was arrested on Tuesday.

Around Wednesday midnight, his family got information he was being brought back.

“As we said earlier, we were not worried about anything but his health as he is 78 and has to regularly take some medicines,” the writer’s wife Hemalatha said on Thursday. The Pune police, along with Mr. Rao, landed at the Shamshabad airport around 6 a.m.

They drove him first to the Chikkadpally police station. On completion of some legal formalities, they took him to his flat in Siddametty’s Himasai apartment building in Gandhinagar.

As anticipated by the local police, relatives, friends, rights activists, journalists and members of different associations began to turn up in large numbers there to meet him. Nearly, 20 policemen, some of them gun-toting, were deployed in the corridor leading to the writer's flat.

Heavy contingents of police stood guard outside the building. Some teams were ready with vehicles to evacuate in case of any demonstrations.

Earlier, Pune’s Assistant Commissioner of Police Shivaji Pawar, the investigation officer in the case, said: “The three activists have been placed under house arrest, with our men ensuring compliance.”

Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira were taken to Andheri in Mumbai and Thane respectively by road.

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