High drama followed the arrest of civil rights activist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj with the Faridabad Chief Judicial Magistrate granting transit remand for her only to change it four hours later and asking her to be kept under house arrest.
She will be under house arrest till August 30.
NDTV reported that Bharadwaj’s lawyers raised an alarm saying despite the court order she was not kept under house arrest. It was at 1 am on Wednesday that Bharadwaj was taken to the magistrate’s home where he said that the police must follow the court order.
This came after the Punjab and Haryana High Court had stayed the transit remand of the activist.
The Hindu quoted Bharadwaj saying earlier in the day, “Everybody knows about my credentials. I am a public figure working for 30 years. I have nothing to do with the incident in the FIR.”
She said that her phone, laptop and mobile phones had been seized by the police.
Apart from her, activists were raided across the country with writer Anand Teltumbde, revolutionary poet Varavara Rao and lawyer and author Arun Ferreira, and former secretary of People’s Union for Democratic Rights Gautam Navlakha being arrested as well.
The series of incidents yesterday drew harsh criticism from civil society and even politicians with some calling the arrests politically motivated.
Under the Modi regime’s undeclared Emergency, rights activists and dissenters are either shot at, killed, or raided, arrested and jailed. The arrests of Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves, Varavara Rao follow on the heels of the murderous attack on Umar Khalid.
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) August 28, 2018
Most shocking : fter passing four prohibitory orders against me for participating in any rally in Rajasthan, Vasundhara’s police calls one of the organizers of on going event at Chaumoo (rajsthan) that since u have invited Jignesh mevani we are sending force to arrest u.
— Jignesh Mevani (@jigneshmevani80) August 28, 2018
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
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 28, 2018
Getting news that Pune police have raided/arrested among the finest Human rights activists&dissenting voices, such as Sudha Bharadwaj (a human rights lawyer), Gautam Navlakha (Former Pres of PUDR), Fr Stan Swamy (a human rights activist) & Ors. Fascist fangs are now openly bared
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) August 28, 2018
As a biographer of Gandhi, I have no doubt that if the Mahatma was alive today, he would don his lawyer’s robes and defend Sudha Bharadwaj in court; that is assuming the Modi Sarkar hadn’t yet detained and arrested him too
— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) August 28, 2018