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Urban naxals: Maha cops on right track says union minister


Hyderabad, Sep 29: Union Minister Hansraj Ahir Friday said the Supreme Court verdict in the Koregaon-Bhima case has vindicated the action of Pune police and the investigation against the five rights activists was on the right track.

Union Minister Hansraj Ahir

The Minister of State for Home said the action of the Maharashtra police was right and he had said so in the past also after their arrest.

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"This (the arrest) was done not to take revenge against anybody or keeping in mind what happened in Bhima Koregaon", he told PTI.

"Investigation went on upto six months. After that some evidence surfaced that these people, while staying in cities, were instigating people...there was also proof and action was taken", the Minister said.

This was proved by the Supreme Court verdict Friday and it was clear that the police investigation was on the right track, Ahir said.

"The Court has accepted the position of the Maharashtra police", he said.

The Minister also said that naxalism was "coming to an end" in rural areas.

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But naxals had infiltrated the tribal population, and with the help of some people in cities, may have been attempting to spread Maoist ideology in urban areas. Their designs had not succeeded.

"Naxalism is a threat to democracy. We have to save democracy and the country. Maharashtra police has done the right thing, has not done it (the arrests) with a feeling of revenge", he said.

"It's the government's responsibility to protect democracy, in addition to national security", he said.

The Supreme Court Friday refused to interfere with the arrest of five rights activists by the Maharashtra Police in connection with the Koregaon-Bhima violence case and declined to appoint a SIT to probe their arrest.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in a 2:1 verdict, refused the plea seeking the immediate release of the activists.

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The bench extended by four weeks the house arrest of the activists.

The five activists -- Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha -- are under arrest at their homes since August 29.

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