Will Arrest of Activists Help Boost PM Modi’s Popularity?

(Kautilya Arya)

Was there a conspiracy being hatched to carry out a Rajiv Gandhi type attack on Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi?
This is a million dollar question here in India which has now become a hot topic of debate after crack down on rights activists who have been crying foul committed by the establishment.

While the State has dubbed as “urban maoist or urban naxals” to those arrested human rights activists and other members of some civil societies coming in their support, those condemning the crackdown on the activists has described the police action as a part of “undeclared emergency”.

Supporters of police action and those standing for the activists have been relentlessly taking help of media – print, electronic and digital – to ventilate views and counter-views and it appears that citizens are divided based on their political inclination.

Those having leftist ideology and have leaning towards the Congress Party are summing up the development as one targeted towards those who have been against the policies of the NDA government while those supporting the present regime says that activists and opposition parties are anti-Hindu.

Those who have supported the police action against the activists says that when there was a crackdown on the members of Santan Dharm recently for their alleged subversive activities, no opposition party or members of civil socities came forward to question the police action but when activists having alleged links with Maoists are apprehended, issue of human rights violation was being raised.

The activists and opposition parties have linked this arrest to the upcoming assembly elections in three states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The view that the State want to stop the movement of rights activist in the these states, affected by naxals have been propounded by them.

Also successful strike on the activists will help the NDA government in the 2019 general elections.

Some of the activists are saying that same stand was taken b the Gujarat Government between 2003 to 2009 to carry out encounter killings on the ground that those gunned down were allegedly in conpiracy to kill the then Chief Ministers.

While debate is on, all eyes have now turned towards the Supreme Court as petitions against the arrests of the activists have been filed and the apex court has ordered house arrest of those arrested person till it takes up the case on September 6.

It has to be seen whether the apex court will lift its interim order and allow the investigators to quiz the arrested activists or will the apex court grant liberty to them.

The activists, meanwhile are using all available resources to counter the police theory that there was a conspiracy in making to carry out Rajiv Gandhi type attack on Modi.

In turn, the investigating agencies have also swung into action and made public some of the documents in which names of arrested rights activists are mentioned for providing logistical support to the underground Maoists.

Some of the retired top cops have also come up in support of the police and have condemned the activists and political leadership of opposition parties for questioning the arrest.

Those who were arrested on August 28 are: Varavara Rao (president, Revolutionary Democratic Front), Sudha Bharadwaj (vice-president, Indian Association of People’s Lawyers), Gautam Navlakha (leader, People’s Union for Democratic Rights), Vernon Gonsalves (ex-secretary, Maharashtra State Committee of CPI/Maoist) and Arun Ferreira (ex-member, Maharashtra State Committee of CPI-Maoist).

Before five of these activists, Maharashtra police has arrested some other activists in June this year in connection with the same Bhima Koregaon case of January last year in which there was a large scale violence.