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Telangana: 14 More Student Leaders, Activists ‘Unlawfully’ Arrested for Links with Maoists

Reportedly, at least 65 activists and student leaders have been booked under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in October and November.
Telangana students protest against UAPA arrests.

Osmania University student organisations protesting for the release of the arrested TVV, TPF, Virasam and CMS activists.

Demanding the immediate release of Telangana Vidyarthi Vedika (TVV) student leaders and other activists who were recently arrested under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) by the Telangana Police, a number of student organisations held a protest demonstration in Osmania University on December 20.

On December 18, the state police arrested two activists belonging to the Chaitanya Mahila Sangam (CMS), Devendra and Swapna, and TVV leader Menchu Sandeep in Hyderabad from their residences and were taken to a jail in Kothagudem. A day before CMS state secretary Shilpa and Telangana Praja Front (TPF) member Menchu Ramesh were also arrested.

All the five activists arrested were earlier booked under UAPA for alleged links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Student organisations including TVV, Progressive Democratic Students’ Union (PDSU) and Students’ Federation of India and other civil society organisations have condemned the arrests and called for a round table discussion on December 21 at Sundarayya Vignana Kendram in Hyderabad.

Also read: Telangana Police Frame Civil Society as Maoist to Suppress People’s Struggles, Say Activists

“Student leaders and activists organising for the rights of people are being targeted by both the BJP-led central government and TRS (Telangana Rashtra Samithi) led state government. The government should realise its authoritarianism and immediately release the activists,” read a statement released by PDSU.

On December 7, Shilpa had told NewsClick that the state police have been harassing civil society activists on a daily basis while warning them against joining people’s movements. She claimed that the state government has been baselessly framing activists as Maoists. 

NewsClick had earlier reported that at least 65 activists and student leaders have been booked under UAPA in October and November. On October 19, Cherla Police station in Bhadradri district booked 45 people under UAPA and other sections, which was condemned as ‘baseless’ by civil society organisations.

Virasam (Revolutionary Writers' Association) in a statement has called the arrests as unlawful and termed the situation as ‘silent Emergency’ in Telangana. “For the last few months, with increased attacks on the houses of activists, student leaders, arrests like “kidnapping”, booking activists in bogus cases, Telangana is witnessing a silent emergency,” said Pani of Virasam. 

Earlier in the of Gadwal Conspiracy case, between October 4 to October 15, state police had arrested Nagaraju, Balaram and B Maddileti, all three associated with TVV; Nalamasa Krishna, vice president of TPF; and Dr. Jagan, Economics lecturer in Osmania University, member of Virasam and editor of Student March magazine. All of them are booked under UAPA and are kept in Mahaboobnagar jail. Following this, lawyer Anil associated with Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners and Suresh were taken into custody. A few days later, another two progressive writers, Anuradha and Ravi were arrested.

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