New Delhi: A day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi raised concerns over the arrests of five activists over the Bhima Koregaon violence; Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, on Wednesday asked the grand old party’s chief to keep national security interests above politics.
Taking to his Twitter handle, Rijiju said, “As Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had declared that Maoists are No.1 threat to India’s internal security. Now the Congress president openly supports the front organisations and sympathisers of the Maoists.”
“Keep national security above politics,” Rijiju added.
On Tuesday, Gandhi took a dig at the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and questioned the arrest of five activists by the Pune Police in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence case.
“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. #BhimaKoregaon,” the Gandhi scion tweeted.
Raids were carried out by the Pune Police in Mumbai, Ranchi, Hyderabad, Faridabad, Delhi and Thane, with informed sources telling ANI that Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Gautam Navlakha, Gonsalves and Sudha Bhardwaj were the five activists arrested in connection with the violence which broke out in January.
The police have booked all the accused under Sections 153 A, 505(1) B,117,120 B,13,16,18,20,38,39,40 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Apart from Gandhi, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury also condemned the arrests, saying that it was a “blatant attack on democratic rights in the country,” and that it was worse than the declaration of the Emergency in 1975.
The Bhima Koregaon violence erupted while observing the 200th anniversary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in January. A youth died and several others, including 10 policemen, were injured in the violence.