Plot to kill PM should be nipped in the bud, but the arrest of five activists raises questions

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The Maharashtra police are known for their honest hard work, but its probe into the Koregaon-Bhima violence on December 31 last year was stretched to the extent where the law and order machinery on August 28 arrested five social activists including the revolutionary writer  Varavara Rao on the charge of plotting to kill the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The other activists are Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves. The five activists are leading left-wing leaders who find fault with the present social order. However, the police alleged that they were linked to the Naxal activities. The police charges can get strong with concrete proof of a link of the five activists with the Naxalites group. In Koregaon-Bhima the Dalits were celebrating Algar Parishad when they clashed with the local Maratha people on the argument that the festival was started during the British era and that it should not be continued after Independence. The police alleged that Naxalites were involved in the violence and they arrested the activists now after raiding their houses in different cities of the country.

The rightist organizations protested against the arrest of the revolutionary writer and police had to take more than 90 protestors into custody. The National Human Rights Commission suo motu issued notice to the Maharashtra police saying that standard operating procedure was not followed while taking the activists into detention. A petition was also filed in the Supreme Court that was heard early in the morning. The court ordered house arrest, instead of police custody, of the activists till Sept 6.

Now the police have to prove that there was a conspiracy to kill the Prime Minister by the Naxalities and the activists were involved in it. If there is any such conspiracy it should be nipped in the bud and police should be appreciated for this feat. If the action of the police is based more on suspicion rather than concrete evidence, they should be ready to face the flak from the court.

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