New Delhi: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday came out in support of the activists who were arrested during the raids conducted in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence, arguing that freedom of thought, belief, and expression are fundamental rights in any democracy.
“I have no sympathy whatsoever for Maoism but freedom of thought, belief and expression are fundamental rights in any democracy. To arrest activists who have neither committed nor facilitated violence is to betray our democracy. This is not the India that Gandhiji fought to free,” he tweeted.
Raids were carried out by the Pune Police in Mumbai, Ranchi, Hyderabad, Faridabad, Delhi, and Thane, with informed sources telling ANI that Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Gautam Navlakha, Varnon Gonsalves and Sudha Bhardwaj were the five activists arrested in connection with the violence which broke out in January.
Following the arrests, Congress president Rahul Gandhi took a dig at the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and questioned the arrest of the five activists, tweeting “There is only place for one NGO in India and it’s called the RSS. Shut down all other NGOs. Jail all activists and shoot those that complain. Welcome to the new India. #BhimaKoregaon,” Gandhi scion tweeted. The Bhima Koregaon violence erupted while observing the 200th anniversary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in January. A youth died and several others, including 10 policemen, were injured in the violence.