The National Investigation Agency inquiring into the Bhima Koregaon case in Maharashtra has arrested Delhi University professor Hany Babu on Tuesday.
He was being questioned at the NIA’s Mumbai office since Thursday, 23 July.
Despite the surging cases of COVID-19 in both Delhi and Mumbai, Babu was summoned as a witness on 12 July and forced by the NIA to travel to Mumbai after being denied the option of video conferencing.
According to NIA press statement, “During further investigation, it was revealed that accused Hany Babu Musaliyarveettil Tharayil was propagating Naxal activities and Maoist ideology and was a co-conspirator with other arrested accused.”
According to the sources with Babu, NIA said that they have found a ‘hidden folder’ in his computer (that was seized in 2019 September in the raid at his residence) which has letters that Maoists had exchanged. Babu denied that NIA wanted him to name someone else who might have put it there. Babu refused to accept this fabrication all these days. Jenny Rowena, Babu’s wife, and a faculty at Delhi University got a call from NIA hours ago saying that Babu has been arrested and that the ‘hidden folder’ in his computer made him a ‘Maoist’.
Before the arrest, Babu told his wife Jenny Rowena about how NIA questioned him on the above-said folder.
Babu will be produced before NIA Special Court at Mumbai on Wednesday and his police custody will be sought for custodial interrogation.
In 2019 September, 20 officers of the Pune Police conducted searches at the residence of Hany Babu in Noida, in connection with the same case and seized his laptop and mobile phone.
Babu is the 12th person to be arrested in the Elgar Parishad case. Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Arun Ferreira, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Vernon Gonsalves, Varavara Rao, Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha were arrested earlier in the same case and all are in jail now.
Professor Hany Babu who teaches in the English department of the university is a noted anti-caste activist and a staunch proponent of social justice.
Being the coordinator of the ‘Alliance of Social Justice’ and a member of the ‘Joint Action Front for Democratic Education’, he has extensively worked to ensure justice and democracy in higher educational institutions.