Heavy security outside Navlakha’s home in Delhi

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21:36 HRS IST

(Eds: Adding updates, details, quotes)

New Delhi, Aug 29 (PTI)
Heavy security was deployed at the residence of Gautam Navlakha at Nehru Enclave in Delhi after the Supreme Court directed that the human rights activist along with four other activists would be kept under house arrest till September 6.

The entrance gate is being guarded by personnel from Kalkaji police station while two special cell sleuths are inside Navlakha's house accompanied by a woman constable.

The Nehru Enclave residence of the activist has been heavily barricaded with no outsider being allowed inside the premises.

Sources said Pune Police personnel in plainclothes have also been stationed outside his residence while the Delhi Police is involved in providing security to him.

All through the day, passersby were curious to know what was happening inside the residence as they saw media vans parked in the area.

Security personnel were posed all through the day as the drama unfolded even as a heavy media presence was seen outside Navlakha's residence.

Six police personnel, including a woman constable of the Delhi Police, were inside his residence during the day time.

Five human rights activists Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonzalves, Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha who were arrested after the pan India crackdown yesterday.

The Delhi High Court today questioned the legality of the Maharashtra Police's decision to arrest Navlakha and the transit remand order to take him to a Pune court in connection with a case relating to the Bhima-Koregaon violence of last year.

However, after the Supreme Court directed that Navlakha and four other activists would be kept under house arrest till September 6, the high court said it would now pass direction only after going through the top court's order tomorrow.

Meanwhile after the Supreme Court direction, the female partner of Navlakha said it was a "tight slap" on the face of the Modi government.

"It's ridiculous. The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Centre and the state questioning the legality of the arrest. This is a tight slap on the face of the Modi government," Sabha Husain told PTI.

Husain said not just Navlakha but many others are under house arrest, and believed that this case will show the way.

"There are policemen inside and outside my house. There's a woman constable as well. They have been cordial" said Husain.

Husain recalled that around 6:30 am on Tuesday, the Maharashtra Police went to Navlakha's official residence in Greater Kaliash, but when they got to know he stays in Nehru Enclave, they reached there at 7:25 am.

"I did not open the door since they did not have a search warrant. There was not a single women constable," she said.

Husain opened the door around 10 am when a police team along with the women officers knocked the door.

"I cooperated. The documents were in Marathi, so I insisted on verbal translation of the order. When I questioned them on the charges, they were not able to justify it. They seemed in a hurry," said Husain.

All electronic items, including laptop computer, mobile phone, hard drives and pen drives, were seized by the police yesterday.

They scanned through files but did not get anything substantial, said Husain.

The arrest has triggered a nation-wide outrage with activists saying the raids were a brazen attack on democratic rights and reminiscent of the infamous Emergency.

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