Arrested accused Mahesh Raut is alumnus.
MUMBAI: Over 200 students, alumni, faculty, staff and other members of the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) have condemned the arrest of Mahesh Raut, an alumnus of TISS.
The Pune police arrested Raut on June 6 along with four other activists who are allegedly suspected to be related to the Bhima-Koregaon caste violence, which occurred in the state in January.
On June 6, the Pune police carried out raids at different locations across the country to arrest the five suspects in the case. Apart from Raut, the other accused are advocate Surendra Gadling, Sudhur Dhawale, Rona Wilson and Shoma Sen.
Raut pursued a Masters degree in Social Work from TISS’s Mumbai campus during the academic session 2009-11.
A release issued by the students and other members read, “Mahesh and the others were working relentlessly with the marginalized communities for their rights and we strongly feel that they are being persecuted for the same. We condemn the Central and state government and the Maharashtra police for their undemocratic actions.”
According to their allegations, the FIR that was registered against these activists along with Raut, had been turned ‘into a conspiracy case in March 2018’.
“The FIR originally registered under section 153(A), 505(1)(b), 117 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was turned into a conspiracy case and now has sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) is added to it,” it said. It further said, “The arrests have been made under UAPA which has several draconian provisions that ensure detention of up to six months without any evidence required and make it difficult to obtain bail.”