Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh deploring over uproar being created by a section of people in the country against the arrest of five popular activists, in connection with the January 1 violence in Bhima Koregaon near Pune where members of the Maratha and Dalit communities clashed, has justified those arrests.
Seaking at ‘Hindustan Shikhar Samagam’.in Lucknow, he recalled that such arrests have been made before and same criticism surfaced. He said that the charges are serious, like conspiracy to destabilise the government, ideology to promote violence. But now the matter is before the Supreme Court and it will take a decision on it, he said.
Asking people to see the record of those arrested, he said in 2012 some of them were also arrested and at that time also similar allegations were raised.
Rajnath SIngh said that outlawed Maoists and their supporters, who have hitherto operated from rural and remote areas, have entered the cities because of a crackdown by the central government and are now trying to influence public opinion and spread their ideology in urban India.
According to him, from 126 districts earlier, Naxalite activities have now been restricted to just 10-12 districts because of the action taken by his government. But now, he cautioned that they are adopting a new strategy. They have come to the cities and are trying to influence people, he added.
However, the Union Home Minister allayed fears on any curb on democratic rights in the wake of the recent arrest of human rights activists, assuring “there will not be any effort to compress the pressure cooker”.
“I want to clarify that there will never be any effort to compress the pressure cooker. All have the right to speak, do whatever they want in democracy but no one will be allowed to destabilise the country or create violence,” he added.
“Any effort to destabilise any government, taking refuge in one’s ideology for promoting violence, conspiring to destabilise and break the country, I feel there cannot be a bigger crime than this,” he stressed.