Romila Thapar Condemns Arrest of Anti-Establishment Activists

Professor Romila Thapar

Historian Romila Thapar has asked the government whether it really understands the meaning of the term “urban naxal” and challenges the arrest of five eminent left-leaning activists in this regard. 

The historian took on the arrests of activists Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bhardwaj and Gautam Navlakha and said that they were all fighting against social injustice and were the proponents of a good cause. 

It is in opposition to the government’s move to keep these activists under house arrest that Romila Thapar questioned the very meaning of the term “urban naxal” and said that either the government does not understand what it means or people like her don’t understand the meaning of the term. 

Romila Thapar spoke her concerns at a press conference that was being held by the petitioners after the Supreme Court judgement on September 28 had refused to intervene in the arrest of the five activists and declined to appoint a Special Team to investigate the arrests. 

The five activists have been put under house arrest since August 29. 

Thapar asserted that the  use of the term “urban naxal” by the present regime was an effort to malign those who took an ‘anti-establishment’ stand. 

The petitioners who filed a case in the Supreme Court against the arrest of the five activists were Romila Thapar, Prabhat Patnaik, Devaki Jain, Satish Deshpane and Maja Daruwala. The five activists were arrested on August 28 under the Unlawful Activities(Prevention)Act. 

 

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