Maoist ideologue Varavara Rao held, police link him with plot to kill PM

Pic courtesy DD News

Hyderabad, Aug 28 (IANS) The Maharashtra Police on Tuesday arrested Maoist ideologue Varavara Rao here, with a family member quoting the detectives as saying that he was linked with an alleged plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A police team from Pune arrested the revolutionary writer after searching his house for nearly eight hours. He was produced before a court, which directed the police to produce him in a court in Pune by 5 p.m on Wednesday.

Earlier, the police conducted simultaneous searches at Rao's house and houses of his two daughters, other relatives and friends including two journalists.

Mild tension prevailed at Rao's house in Gandhinagar as his supporters gathered outside raising slogans against the police. The local police cordoned off the area.

The Maharashtra Police seized some documents from Rao's house, while a laptop, hard disk and other material were seized during searches at his relatives' residences.

Rao's wife Hemalatha told reporters that the police told him that he was being arrested in connection with a case relating to the plot to kill the Prime Minister. 

She said about 20 policemen reached the house early in the morning and began the search without any warrant.

"They searched every room and every corner. When he asked them to show the arrest warrant, they said no warrant is required," she said.

According to her, the revolutionary writer told the police that it was a fake case.

In June, the police in Pune had registered a case after a letter mentioning assassination plot was recovered from one of the five persons arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence.

The letter was written by a person identified only as 'R' reportedly mentions a plot to kill Modi on the lines of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

It also referred to the requirement of Rs 8 crore to purchase an M-4 rifle and four lakh rounds to execute the plot. The letter reportedly mentions Varavara Rao's name as the one who will arrange the funds.

The letter addressed to a Maoist leader Prakash was recovered from rights activist Rona Jacob Wilson, when he was arrested in Delhi.

Varavara Rao, who heads "Veerasam" - an association of revolutionary writers - had strongly denied the allegations. He had termed it as an attempt by the central government to check the falling popularity graph of Narendra Modi.

His wife said he was arrested in 20 to 30 cases since 1974 but was not convicted even in one. She said it was the first time that police entered their house and searched every room.

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