Bhima Koregaon Violence: Activist Varavara Rao Arrested

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Hyderabad: Telugu poet Varavara Rao, accused of having Maoist links, was Saturday taken into custody by the Pune Police from Hyderabad in a case related to Elgar Parishad conclave, a senior official said here.

Rao was so far under house arrest in Hyderabad. Joint Commissioner of Police (Pune Police) Shivaji Bodakhe said an extension of his house arrest granted by the Hyderabad High Court expired on November 15.

On October 26, the Pune Police had taken into custody co-accused Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves, while Sudha Bharadwaj was taken into custody the next day.

Left-leaning activists Rao, Ferreira, Gonsalves, Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha were arrested in August after the Pune Police conducted raids at various places in the country in connection with the Koregaon Bhima violence case.

Navlakha has not been taken into custody yet. The police alleged that the activists had links with the Maoists, who backed Elgar Parishad held in Pune on December 31 last year. The Parishad, the police alleged, instigated violence near Koregaon Bhima war memorial in Pune district the next day.

However, the activists were put under house arrest on Supreme Court’s order. The apex court subsequently said the Pune Police can go ahead with the probe.

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