Pune Police conduct raid at Delhi University Professor's house in Elgaar Parishad case

Updated: Sep 11, 2019, 10:57 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh

Dr. Babu, who teaches English in the University of Delhi, is a noted activist, being the coordinator of the 'Alliance of Social Justice' and a member of the 'Joint Action Front for Democratic Education'

Pune Police conduct raid at Delhi University Professor's house in Elgaar Parishad case
This picture has been used for representational purpose

A team of the Pune city Police on Tuesday conducted a search at the residence of Delhi University Professor and activist Dr. Hany Babu M.T. in Noida, in connection to the Elgaar Parishad case which is claimed to trigger the violence of Koregoan Bhima.

Dr. Babu, who teaches English in the University of Delhi, is a noted activist, being the coordinator of the ‘Alliance of Social Justice’ and a member of the ‘Joint Action Front for Democratic Education’.

The search was conducted as per the FIR registered at Vishrambaug police station under sections 153 (a) [Promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race etc], 505 1 (b) among others in connection with the 'Elgaar Parishad' case held at Pune's Shaniwarwada Fort on December 31, 2017, as part of the bicentenary celebrations of the Bhima-Koregaon battle."

On Tuesday, at around 6 am, the Pune police team comprising of Assistant Commissioner of Police (Swargate division) Shivaji Pawar, the investigating officer in the case along with Deputy Commissioner of Police (crime) Bachchan Singh and along with the Uttar Pradesh police and sector 49 police station officers raided the house.

ACP Pawar confirmed the raid and told Mid-Day, "Based on vital information gathered from the past seized articles and clues we have conducted this raid. We have not made any arrests and we have seized some electronic devices and sensitive material from the house. We have video recordings of the whole entire proceedings that were carried out. We also explained to him the reasons for the raid in English. A copy of seizure panchnama was also given with his due acknowledgement."

Dr. Babu’s wife, Jenny Rowena, who is a teacher, claimed that the police searched their house for nearly six hours, without any warrant. "They have taken my husband's laptop, mobile phone, books and pen drives along with other articles," she said.

A Facebook post by Rowena read: “Today, the Pune police entered our house at 6.30 in the morning. They said that Hany Babu (my husband) who teaches at Delhi University English Department, is involved in the Bhima Koregaon case and for this, they could search the house without a search warrant. They searched the house for up to six hours, took three books and his laptop, phone, hard disks and pen drives. They just left now. (Sic)”

He was a prominent member of the 'Committee for the Defence and Release of Dr. G.N. Saibaba' which had condemned the rejection of granting permanent bail to the disabled and incarcerated Delhi University academic accused of having Maoist links.

Advocate Surendra Gadling, who was the defence counsel for Prof. Saibaba, was arrested by the Pune police along with four others including Dalit publisher Sudhir Dhawale, Nagpur University professor Shoma Sen and activists Mahesh Raut and Rona Wilson for their alleged links with the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) and their roles in the 'Elgaar Parishad' and the Bhima-Koregaon clashes on June 6 last year.

In Pune in 2018, a First Information Report (FIR) was filed based on a complaint by Tushar Damgude. The Koregaon-Bhima clashes of January 1 last year, was initially lodged against six participants, including Dhawale. Those named in the FIR were members of the Kabir Kala Manch – a radical Dalit cultural troupe.

On August 28, 2018, the Pune City police had carried out a second countrywide crackdown by searching residences of seven other academics and activists.

The houses of activists Sudha Bharadwaj, P. Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Gautam Navlakha, Anand Teltumbde and Father Stan Swamy as part of the second crackdown by the Pune police on alleged Urban Maoist as part of their investigation into the Bhima-Koregaon clashes.

So far, nine of the twelve activists whose residences were searched have been arrested and are lodged in Pune’s Yerwada central prison.

In June this year, the Pune city police had also raided the octogenarian Fr. Swamy’s house in Ranchi’s Namkum area for the second time, seizing electronic devices and some literature.

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