Telangana Govt to 'Drop' UAPA Case Against Prof Haragopal, Sudha Bharadwaj, 150 Others

Chief minister of Telangana, K. Chandrashekar Rao, is said to have inquired about the case with the state police chief and asked him if it can be diluted.

New Delhi: The Telangana government is said to have decided not to pursue the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) case filed against Prof Haragopal, Sudha Bharadwaj, and 150 others after chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao directed the state police chief to “drop” the case, The Hindu reported.

Sources quoted in the Hindu report said the chief minister inquired about the history of the case with the director general of police (DGP) Anjani Kumar and commented on the need to slap such a “draconian law” in the case. The state police is now looking into the case to see if it can be diluted.

A top police official in the know of things mentioned that in all likelihood when the charge sheet in the case is ready, the names of Prof Haragopal and others will not be mentioned. However, it is to be noted that it is not easy to withdraw a UAPA case, and due process needs to be followed even to dilute it.

On Friday, June 17, news emerged that the Tadwai police in Telangana’s Mulugu district had registered a case against Prof Haragopal and others in August last year under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including under UAPA. The FIR mentioned that the accused had tried to “take over the power of the democratically elected government at gunpoint”. The accused said they were not aware of the case until Friday, June 17, despite the fact that the case was filed on August 19, 2022. The inclusion of their names came to light when the police were forced to furnish the FIRs filed against Chandramouli, president of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), based on the direction of the Ranga Reddy district court.

Prominent among those named in the FIR, apart from Prof Haragopal, Prof Padmaja Shaw of Osmania University (OU), Telangana Civil Liberties Committee President Prof Gaddam Laxman, Indian Association of People’s Lawyers’ Justice (Retd) H Suresh, activist Sudha Bharadwaj, human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling, and activist Arun Ferreira.