Bollywood actor Swara Bhaskar, who vocally speaks on social and political issues, on Saturday targetted the ruling NDA government over the arrest of alleged Maoist sympathisers by the Pune Police in a multi-city raid. Addressing a press at an event organised by the Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC) on Saturday Swara wondered how can the police arrest the human rights activists while most of them were not present at the scene of protest (Bhima-Koregaon violence).

Swara also stated that as a citizen of this country she finds it strange that on one hand we have cases of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, who have run away with thousands of crores of taxpayers’ money, on the other hand, five people who have been speaking up for the poorest of the poor are being unfairly targeted by putting serious charges against them.

Extending her support to beleaguered human rights activists she said, “Is desh mein Mahatma Gandhi jaise mahaan insaan ki hatya hui, us waqt bhi kuch aise log the jo celebrate kar rahe the unki hatya ko, aaj wo satta mein hain, un sabko daal dena chahiye jail mein?” (Those who celebrated the assassination of the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, are in power at present. They should be put behind bars).

The actor also said that people can be punished for their deeds, and not for their thought.

In a major crackdown, the Pune Police on Tuesday arrested human rights activists Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Pereira, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha for their alleged association with the Elgaar Parishad held in Pune ahead of the January 1, 2018 Bhima-Koregaon riots and their alleged links with Maoists. The raids were carried out in Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Haryana.

Later, the police claimed to have seized items like computers, laptops, CDs, documents and books from them and claimed that they functioned like an ‘urban think tank’ for Maoists.

However, the apex court, on Wednesday, directed that the five Left-wing activists arrested by the Pune Police should be kept under house arrest until the next date of hearing on September 6.

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