Hyderabad: A regular Tuesday morning for Hemalatha, wife of writer and activist Varavara Rao, turned dramatic when a team of five police personnel including a female officer knocked on the door of their house at about 6 am. Hemalatha and Varavara Rao were living in a flat of Siddamsetty’s Himasai Heights in Jawaharnagar under Gandhinagar police station. Their second daughter Anala and her husband, journalist K.V. Kurmanath, were living in an adjacent apartment.
His younger daughter Pavana and her husband, an assistant professor Satyanarayana live in the official quarters at EFLU (English and Foreign Languages University) campus in Tarnaka area. As soon as the Pune police informed the Hyderabad police, they started simultaneous searches on the houses of Rao, Kurmanath, Satyanarayana and also another journalist T. Purushotham Reddy alias Kranthi. Kranthi, who is also the editor of Virasam website, was living in Jayapuri Colony at Nagole in LB Nagar.
After the Pune police arrested her husband, Hemalatha said “About five persons in civil clothes entered the house claiming to be a police team from Pune and asked my name and my husband’s name. They locked the door from inside and told us that they wanted to search the house, as my husband’s name surfaced during their investigation in a case registered at Vishrambaug police station located in Pune.”
She said that they checked the entire house and threw the papers and books used by Rao on a bed in his room. “During afternoon, they informed that my husband would be placed under arrest and made me sign on a five-page note which was written in Marathi,” she said.
Several activists rushed to the house of Varavara immediately on knowing about the searches. They condemned the arrest of Rao and called the police claims as false implications to supress the voice of the poor. Telangana United Front leader Vimalakka said “Whatever the police are claiming about the letters in which Rao’s name was mentioned, are all concocted. The governments at both the state and centre are unable to even bear the democratic movements held by the activists. It is a wake-up call for all the activists to unite to condemn the arrest, as similar incidents may happen to them. The police are just trying to suppress the voice of the poor people and tribals, for whom Rao always stood for.”
“Rao has been fighting for the rights of the deprived people for the last 50 years. Several times, false cases were filed against him, but none were proven in the courts. This time, the police created a fake letter including his name and targetted him. Just based on that false letter, Rao has been arrested,” said the Virasam members in the press note....