HYDERABAD: Though over a dozen academics, student and civil rights activists were allegedly branded as ‘urban naxals’, hauled up in jails and booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), most of them are now free as state police failed to filecharge sheets
in the stipulated timeframe.
The latest to join the list is Telangana Praja Front (TPF) general secretary M Ramesh who walked out of Khammam jail.
Twelve of them have already come out on bail in the past few months.
Most accused got bail in multiple cases
Telangana police had launched a crackdown in October 2019 and arrested at least 15 persons accusing them of being ‘urban naxals’ with links to the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).
Telangana Vidhyarthi Vedika (TVV) members P Naganna, Balaram, Osmania University (OU) professor Kasim, OU assistant professor Jagan, TPF member M Ramesh, Chaitanya Mahila Sangam’s Shilpa, Devendar, Ravi Sharma and his wife Anuradha have secured bail. However, three others — TVV president Bandari Maddileti, TPF vice-presidentN Krishna
, TVV general secretaryM Sandeep
, facing aNational Investigation Agency
(NIA) investigation — are still in judicial custody.
Though these accused were booked under the UAPA apart from other IPC sections, most of them could obtain bail as the investigators failed to file charge sheet during the stipulated 90-day period as prescribed in the Act. Most of them obtained bails in multiple cases, registered by police against them, before they could come out of jail.
TPF’s N Krishna had obtained bail in seven cases, but was arrested by the NIA in the eighth case registered against him. Similarly, Ramesh had obtained bail in four other cases before coming out of Khammam jail on Thursday.
Some accused, requesting anonymity, said Telangana police should file charge sheet without any delay if they have evidence. So far, 99 persons were named accused in different FIRs for allegedly being Maoist sympathisers.
“A charge sheet in a UAPA case has to be filed within 90 days. If police have evidence, as claimed by them after arresting the accused, why are they not filing charge sheets? As a result, the accused are forced to go from one police station to another since the court had granted condition bails. It is a deliberate delaying tactic by police to harass them,’’ a family member of an accused said on condition of anonymity to TOI. But Telangana police officers claim cases were under different stages of investigation and charge sheets would be filed. Even while opposing bail petitions of the accused, the investigators had cited before courts that the “nature of the offence was serious and investigation was still being done”.