Activists’ arrest: National security must be kept above politics
The arrests of five civil rights activists and multi-city searches of their homes have triggered outrage and condemnation from various quarters. Left political organisations, some authors as well as Congress are smelling politics in it. Congress president Rahul Gandhi tried to come in direct confrontation with the Centre as he alleged the government is allowing only “one NGO” to work freely in the country.
“There is only place for one NGO in India and it’s called the RSS. Shut down all other NGOs. Jail all activists and shoot those that complain. Welcome to the new India,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted, using the hashtag “Bhima Koregaon”. What is, however, apparent is the fact that the Congress chief sought to politicise the arrest of five activists across India over alleged links with Maoists.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) did not miss the opportunity to lend it political colour saying that the BJP-led government is not doing anything to curb the activities of Sanatan Sanstha and mob lynchers and only targeting the writers and activists who have left leanings. Left wingers are also likening the police action to an act amounting to curbing the freedom of expressions.
But what Rahul and CPM are deliberately closing their eyes to is the fact that the arrests and searches were carried out as part of a probe into the violence at Maharashtra’s Koregaon-Bhima village, triggered by ‘Elgar Parishad’ event in Pune on Dec. 31 last year. The more serious aspect of the arrests is that the police uncovered the Maoists plan to assassinate PM Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and Home Minister Rajnath Singh. It is said that the two letters recovered over the past few months, indicating Maoist plans to assassinate these leaders, were also a reason for the raids.
With the reason for action being so serious in nature, how can Rahul Gandhi put politics over national security? Has Rahul Gandhi forgotten the assassination of his father Rajiv Gandhi who also fell prey to such plots? How can Left or Congress stand in support of those who are suspected of having Maoists link which makes the case directly linked to national security? Why is there an attempt to convert it into political slugfest when the issue is related to national security and law of the land?
Where is the role of BJP or RSS in what was done by the law enforcers? So targeting RSS or BJP for this is like barking up the wrong tree. Casting aspersions over police action against those who need to be questioned for such a serious plot is unfortunate and is an act which is tantamount to undermining the national security.
Kiran Rijiju has a point when he says that Rahul Gandhi was “openly” supporting “front organisations and sympathisers” of the Maoists. How can Congress selectively forget that Manmohan Singh had called Maoists India’s “number 1” internal security threat in 2009 and 2010 when he was prime minister?
Those who will now be under house arrest after Supreme Court order include Left-wing Telugu poet Varavara Rao in Hyderabad, activist-lawyers Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, trade union activist Sudha Bhardwaj in Faridabad and activist-journalist Gautam Navlakha from Delhi. They were charged under various sections of the IPC, including 153 (A) for promoting enmity on grounds of religion, race, place or birth, residence, language and committing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony, besides Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for their “alleged Naxal activities”.
What the Left parties, Congress and select members of civil society or authors are saying in the defence of activists is nothing but lame excuses. It is not motivated hounding by any stretch of imagination. Politics should not be seen in what is being done by police and law enforcement agencies, as by doing so one will not be serving any purpose in the national interest.