Minority community members termed terrorists for questioning Modi govt: Activist’s wife

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MUMBAI, August 31: The wife of human rights activist Vernon Gonsalves, arrested by the Pune police for suspected Maoist links, on Friday claimed that the BJP-led government is labelling persons from minority community as “terrorists”, if they call the Modi government “communal”.
“If any person from the minority community merely says that the Modi government is communal, he is labeled a terrorist,” Susan Abraham, who is a lawyer, told PTI.
The Pune police had on Tuesday raided the homes of prominent Left-wing activists in several states and arrested five, including Gonsalves, as part of a probe into the violence at Koregaon-Bhima village near Pune after an event called Elgar Parishad, or conclave, on December 31 last year.
They police brought Gonsalves to his house in suburban Andheri today, a day after the Supreme Court ordered that the activists be kept under house arrest at their homes till September 6. Susan alleged that the government was indulging in “double standards”.
“There is a growing demand for strict action against right-wing Sanatan Sanstha for actual unlawful and terror activities but the government refuses to label it as a terror outfit,” she said.
She questioned the arrest of Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha, along with her husband. “What is the connection of Bharadwaj and Navlakha to Koregaon-Bhima incident,” she said.
“My husband told police that they arrested him illegally based on fabricated charges. Police know very well that he has no connection with the Koregaon-Bhima violence,” she said.
Gonsalves’ son Sagar said it was “bizarre” to see that books easily available in a public library and in public domain were used as “evidence” to arrest his father.
“When the Pune police team raided our home, it was bizarre to see them going through these books. These were books you can see anywhere in public domain,” he said.
“They were picking out books which mentioned Maoist and naxal names or something related to revolution.
They were later kept aside, while a police officer took some books. Those books were later packed and kept as evidence,” he said. (PTI)