New Delhi | The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered house arrest for the 5 activists arrested on Tuesday in connection to the Maoist by the Pune police.
During the hearing, CJI Deepak Mishra said, “Dissent is the safety valve of democracy. If you don’t allow the safety valve pressure cooker will burst”. The five-judge bench of the Apex court led by CJI Deepak Mishra ordered that poet Varavara Rao and activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Fereira, Gautam Navlakha and Vernon Gonsalves will be under house arrest until the next hearing on September 6. The top Court further asked the Maharashtra government to file a response to the petition challenging the arrests.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Pune police conducted raids at houses of various activists and intellectuals in Delhi, Haryana, Mumbai, Thane, Ranchi and Hyderabad. The police arrested Sudha Bhardwaj from Faridabad, activist and poet Varavara Rao in Hyderabad along with activists Arun Fereira and Vernon Gonsalves.
Claiming that activists were linked to a bigger conspiracy and planning to recruit members from 35 colleges and launch attacks, the Police charged the activist under the controversial Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, which authorizes raids and arrest without a warrant if a person is suspected to “support terrorist acts or unlawful activities”.