Disha Ravi’s Arrest Reflects BJP Govt’s Authoritarianism

The recent arrest of Disha Ravi (21), a Bengaluru-based young environmental activist by the Delhi Police from her home and taking her away to Delhi without any information to the local authorities is not only the latest among a string of arrests under the guise of threat to the security of State that our authoritarian rulers have ordered. It is also a sign of the extent to which the Modi-led government is willing to go to suppress criticism of its policies which adversely affect crores of common people and benefit a tiny section of business tycoons.

When the arrest itself is not justified, the consequent remand to police custody for interrogation for five days, without there being any legal assistance to her is not only unlawful but an affront to the Constitution. The Magistrate who ordered police remand for five days bid adieu to all established norms set by the criminal justice system. The Magistrate’s order was passed as a matter of course and mechanically; it lacks application of judicial mind.

We apprehend that there is every possibility of creating false evidence against Ms. Disha Ravi during her police custody. The BJP govt at the Centre is not honouring the role of the States in the matter of criminal investigation, not even the BJP govt that is in power in Karnataka! ‘Press the NIA or at least Delhi Police into service’ appears to be the norm today. We condemn this authoritarian attitude of the Central government.

The so-called ‘Toolkit’ that the Delhi Police, who work directly under the Central Home Ministry, claim undermines the nation is nothing but a set of proposals for peacefully and democratically protesting the anti-farmer, pro-agribusiness policies of the BJP government. Let the people not go by what the government and its trumpeters claim in the media and social media. We appeal to the people just look up the contents of the ‘dreadful’ document for themselves.

The BJP government’s intimidatory tactics seem to know no bounds. Keeping people who criticise their anti-people policies in jail for years without a trial after labelling them terrorists, Maoists, anti-national, secessionists, pro-Pakistani is a classic years-old tactic of the current ruling dispensation.

We strongly condemn the arrest of Disha Ravi by Delhi police and the consequent police custody for five days. This, we fear, will enable the police to cook up evidence against her.

V Vasantha Lakshmi
(HRF Coordination Committee member
TS & AP)

G Madhava Rao
(HRF Telangana State president)

N Amar
(HRF Telangana State secretary)

S. Jeevan Kumar
(HRF Coordination Committee member
TS & AP)

Dr S Tirupathaiah
(HRF Telangana State general secretary)


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