Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday criticised the government after the police raided the homes of 10 human rights activists across multiple cities and arrested five of them.
“There is only place for one NGO in India and it’s called the RSS,” he tweeted. “Shut down all other NGOs. Jail all activists and shoot those that complain. Welcome to the new India. #BhimaKoregaon”.
The raids were conducted in connection with an investigation into a public meeting that was organised before caste-related violence erupted at Bhima Koregaon near Pune on January 1. The homes of Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Gautam Navlakha, Stan Swamy, Varavara Rao, Kranti Tekula and Naseem and Anand Teltumbde were among those raided in Delhi, Mumbai, Faridabad, Hyderabad, Goa and Ranchi.
Scroll.in has reviewed the search warrants that cite sections of the anti-terrorism law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and sections of the Indian Penal Code relating to the offence of promoting enmity between groups.
Several activists, writers, and politicians have condemned the raids and arrests. Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Prakash Karat called the police action “a brazen attack on democratic rights”. “We are demanding that all the cases against these people be withdrawn and they be released forthwith,” he said. Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, historian Ramachandra Guha, author Arundhati Roy, and organisations such as Amnesty and Oxfam are among those who have spoken against the arrests.