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NIA raids multiple locations in 4 states in order to create 'imagined' red scare

By Harsh Thakor* 

On 8th February morning the National Investigation Agency (NIA) randomly conducted raids on multiple locations across four states -- Telangana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It was an expression of the BJP-RSS government emulating the past British colonial rulers by using tactics to place a lid on the voices against exploitation and oppression of the people, or those vocal in condemning loot of the country’s resources by foreign and domestic corporates.
The state is clearly banging every nail in the wall to crush dissent.
The civil rights network Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) denounced this action as a fascistic ploy. It asserted that this act is to mask democratic rights and people’s issues as “red scare” by branding those who protest injustice as Maoists.
In Hyderabad the houses of renowned writer and journalist N Venugopal and N Ravi Sharma were raided. In the last six months in Telangana, NIA has raided he houses of various social and political activists numerous times and tried to implicate them in stage managed FIRs.
N Ravi Sharma was also arrested in 2019 but got bail reprieve because the state had no concrete evidence to testify this activist is member of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) or involved in violent activities. He has worked in the Forum Against Hinduthva Fascist Offensive (FAHFO) to combat the ascendancy of what is being called Brahmanical Hindutva fascism and expose its “anti-people” nature
FAHFO was banned by the Telangana government in 2021 along with other 15 organizations. Later, after three months, the ban was lifted by the government since it was challenged in the High Court of Telangana.
On the same day, NIA raided the houses of rights activists Ismail and Rashid in Mallpuram and Palakkad in Kerala. It is reported that two more raids were conducted in Thane and Chennai on the same day.
N Venugopal is editor of the vernacular Telugu monthly “Veekshanam” and nephew of Varavara Rao, revolutionary poet, who was sought to be implicated in the infamous Bhima Koregoan case. N Venugopal was targeted by the Telangana police frequently because of his political rebellion against injustice.
In its press release, the NIA alleged that “frontline members of CPI (Maoist) were operating in the urban areas of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala to promote the activities of the outfit” – a move to brand the urban democratic rights movement as a cover activity of Maoists and suppress all dissenting voices.
This manifests the nature of Indian state and is part of agenda of Indian state’s propaganda to criminalise all democratic voices exposing exploitation and oppression of the people of the country.
Telangana has a history of merciless state repression in crushing democratic rights. In the past, the police along with intelligence agencies is known to have killed many democratic rights activists in fake encounters. In past six months, Telangana has unfolded various FIRs in which more than 140 civil society and mass organization leaders were implicated under the anti-terror UAPA law. Ironically, FIR was registered even against those who died two years back.
It is a routine method of NIA to foster a narrative through media: before the raid, they arrest some leader calling him or her Maoist, and then discover a diary containing names of other activists.
Engulfing many regions of India, various lawyers, students, journalists, professors and democratic rights activists’ houses are thus randomly raided.
*Freelance journalist



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