Mayawati slams Modi govt over arrests of ‘Maoist sympathisers’, says this is BJP’s attempt to ‘terrorise civil society’

Lucknow: BSP chief Mayawati on Wednesday slammed the Modi government for the arrest of Maoist ideologue Varavara Rao, lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj and human rights activists Arun Fereira, Gautam Navlakha and Vernon Gonsalves and said this was yet another attempt of the BJP government to “terrorize the civil society”.

“This is government-sponsored terror and height of misuse of government agencies,” the Bahujan Samaj Party leader said in a statement.

She said the government was trying to intimidate poets, lawyers, activists, human rights advocates, professors and intellectuals.

The arrests, on charges that they were Maoist supporters, was a ploy to hoodwink the people and divert their attention from the failures of the BJP governments, the Dalit leader said. She also alleged that instead of following the legal procedure against people who were named in the FIR regarding the Bheema-Koregaon violence, the NDA government was victimizing Dalit leaders whose lives were open books.

“The government is trying to arm twist, terrorize people running NGOs, social workers and it is indeed the height of misuse of government machinery,” the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister alleged.

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