The house, an immovable property of Ravinder Ganjhu has been attached by the NIA under the provisions of Section 25(1) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
Bail petition in a district court has led to the revelation that almost a year ago the Telangana Police filed cases under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against 152 people, including human rights activist and former professor of Hyderabad Central University Haragopal and former Osmania University professor Padmaja Shaw.
However, the people named in the FIR were unaware of the charges under UAPA until the matter came to light during another trial.
The cases were filed by the Tadvai police of the Mulugu district in Telangana on 19 August, 2022. But it came to light only recently when president of the People’s Democratic Movement Chandramouli sought bail in another case against him in the Rangareddy court. The court had directed to furnish all FIRs against Chandramouli. Only then it came to light that one of the FIRs that named Chandramouli also had 151 other names, including that of Prof Haragopal.
The cases included charges of pulling down the state government and recruiting innocent people into Maoist party.
The charges under the UAPA were brought against the 152 accused after the police carried out combing operations on 19 August, 2022 after receiving a tip off that the Maoists were holding a meeting at Berelli village. When the police reached a temporary shelter, the Maoists escaped into a dense forest. The police seized some Maoist literature and kit bags on the spot and the names of Prof Haragopal and Padmaja Shaw, Prof Gaddam Laxman, Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira were apparently found in the literature left behind.
According to human rights activists, some of the accused had already died by the time the police registered the UAPA case against them such as Hospet Suresh, a retired judge of Bombay High Court who died two years ago.
According to Gutta Rohith of Human Rights Forum, this is a “dragnet UAPA case”. He pointed out, “There have been at least nine such omnibus FIRs in the last seven years where the number of accused in each runs into hundreds. There are dozens of people who have at least 4-5 UAPA cases against them. If it is a UAPA, it has to be a dragnet FIR.”
While Prof Haragopal dismissed the charges as fiction by the police, Kalpana Kannabiran, a sociologist said, “It is state repression that breaches public peace, not demands by citizens for state accountability.”