Questioning the intentions of the BJP-led central government behind the controversial arrests of five Left-leaning activists, the Opposition Congress on Friday asked that why India’s top investigative agency, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), was not involved in probing the alleged plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a “Rajiv Gandhi-type event”.
"Does common sense tell that there is a possible assassination plot against the prime minister, which he condemned, but asked why the country's top probe agencies were not involved and it was left to the Pune Police to carry out investigations," PTI quoted Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi as saying.
Singhvi said that he was “gravely concerned” about the security of the prime minister if such a matter was left to Pune police.
"Nobody in the right mind should be supported who is trying to attack the Prime Minister of India. Do you think that an illusion of grandeur that the Pune Police is in-charge of investigation and the NIA is nowhere to be seen, CBI is nowhere to be seen?” the Congress leader said, raising doubts about the police’s claims.
The Maharashtra Police ADG Param Bir Singh on Friday claimed that the accused activists were helping Maoist organisations to take their “goals” forward and a terrorist organisation was also involved in this.
Singh said that the police have recovered a letter, between Rona Wilson and a CPI-Maoist leader, mentioning the end of “Modi-raj” with a "Rajiv Gandhi-type incident".
“Investigation revealed that a big controversy was being plotted by Maoist organisations. The accused were helping them to take their goals forward. A terrorist outfit was also involved,” he said.
On Tuesday, the Maharashtra Police had carried out multiple raids at the residences of five Left-leaning activists across the country and arrested them for their alleged Maoist links. The raids were carried out as part of a probe into a conclave—Elgar Parishad—held in Pune on December 31 last year, which had allegedly triggered violence at Bhima Koregaon in the district the next day.
Those who were arrested included revolutionary writer Varavara Rao in Hyderabad, activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, trade unionist and lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj in Haryana’s Faridabad, and journalist Gautam Navlakha in Delhi.
The arrests triggered a massive outrage across the country with some prominent activists approaching the Supreme Court to challenge the police action. The apex court on Wednesday ordered that all the five activists should be kept under house arrest till September 6.
(With inputs from agencies)