K Satyanarayana, the son-in-law of Hyderabad-based activist and poet Varavara Rao, on Thursday said he would move the Supreme Court against the Pune Police for their actions during Tuesday’s raids at his home, PTI reported.
Rao is among the five activists who are under house arrest in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence case. They are also accused of having links to the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist).
On August 28, a Pune Police team raided the homes of Rao and his two daughters. Satyanarayana, who is the dean of the Department of Cultural Studies and the dean of inter-disciplinary studies at the English and Foreign Languages University, said he suspects that the police are trying to implicate him also in the case. The professor said his father-in-law’s lawyers have agreed to fight his case too.
“They [police] treated me like I am a terrorist,” Satyanarayana told PTI. “They did not leave me even while I was answering nature’s call. They even took out and started reading personal and intimate letters between me and my wife written before our marriage. My wife objected to that. I told them that they were hurting human sentiments also.”
Satyanarayana said the police seized his academic work even though there is no case against him. His wife Pavana claimed the police questioned her about her attire and made “indecent comments”.
Pune Joint Commissioner of Police Shivaji Bodkhe dismissed the professor’s allegations. “No warrant is required [for searches] and no personal remarks were made,” Bodkhe told PTI. “All the proceedings have been documented on camera.”
The raids and arrests
On Tuesday morning, teams of the Pune Police also raided the homes of several activists in Mumbai, Ranchi, Delhi, Faridabad and Goa as part of an investigation into a public meeting on December 31, a day before caste-related violence erupted in Bhima Koregaon.
Later in the day, the police confirmed the arrests of Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, Gautam Navlakha in New Delhi, Sudha Bharadwaj in Faridabad and Rao in Hyderabad.
The following day, the Supreme Court criticised the Maharashtra Police for arresting the five activists eight months after the violence. It also stayed their transit remand and ordered that they be placed under house arrest till the next hearing on September 6.
The Delhi High Court on Thursday adjourned to September 14 the hearing of a habeas corpus petition challenging Navlakha’s arrest, IANS reported. The Punjab and Haryana High Court also adjourned the hearing of a plea demanding a stay on Bharadwaj’s transit remand, ANI reported.