Maharashtra police arrest a freelance journalist over alleged Naxal link

Maharashtra police arrest a freelance journalist over alleged Naxal link

But his family and lawyer claim he is being framed


Pavan Dahat, Sep 4, The HIndu

The Maharashtra police have arrested Prashant Rahi, a freelance journalist and human rights activist from Uttarakhand, for having alleged links with Naxals. His family members and lawyer, however, claimed that he is being “framed.”

According to some reports, Mr. Rahi alias Prashant Sanglikar, a resident of Haldvani in Uttarakhand, was arrested on Monday by the Gadchiroli police from Deori town in Gondia district of Maharashtra. But the police made no official announcement of the arrest.
No response from SP

Gadchiroli Superintendent of Police Mohammad Suvez Haque did not respond to messages sent by The Hindu.

Police PRO Dharmendra Joshi said, “All I know is that there are some arrests and the accused have been sent to police custody remand [PCR].”

But Mr. Rahi’s lawyer, Jagdish Meshram, told The Hindu that the activist was picked up by the Maharashtra police from Raipur in Chhattisgarh. “He was implicated in a case few years ago. After spending three years in jail and coming out on bail, he decided to fight for the cause of political prisoners. He was in Raipur to meet a lawyer and take some documents for a special leave petition he was planning to file in the Supreme Court when the Maharashtra police arrested him,” he said.

The police had slapped Sections 10, 19 and 30 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and 120 B of the Indian Penal Code on Mr. Rahi and a court sent him to 13-day PCR, he added. Chandrakala, wife of Mr. Rahi, said: “He is a socio-political activist. He was a freelance journalist and earlier he worked with The Statesman. He knew the pain of jail life so he was helping other political prisoners with legal aspects. For this, he would travel to many parts of India.”

Some reports in a section of the media on Tuesday said Mr. Rahi was arrested “on the inputs given by a JNU student, Hem Mishra,” who was held by the Gadchiroli police last week on charges of being a Naxal courier.

Mr. Meshram, who is also representing Mr. Mishra, said, “This is a police theory. According to the police, Mr. Mishra, during his 10-day PCR, told them that a senior Naxal leader will be entering from Gondia district to meet some senior Naxal leaders in the Abujhmadh division of Dandakaranya.”

The police also claimed to have arrested Prasad alias Vijay Tirki, a resident of Kanker district in Chhattisgarh, along with Mr. Rahi.

Police sources said Mr. Tirki was given the responsibility to take Mr. Rahi to Abujhmadh.

Mr. Meshram denied it. He said Mr. Tirki was also arrested from Raipur.



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