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On way to jail, Lalu takes swipe at PM Modi over arrest of activists

Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad said prime minister Narendra Modi has become vary of intellectuals and activists, who, he feels, are up to killing him.

Updated: Aug 30, 2018 08:29:24

By HT Correspondent

File photo of Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad. (PTI photo)

 Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad, who is heading back to jail after medical treatment, on Wednesday condemned the arrest of five rights activists for their alleged Maoist links, claiming that India was heading towards becoming an autocracy and the way was being cleared to declare a state of emergency in the country.

Making a political remark for the first time after he was granted provisional bail for the treatment, the wheelchair-bound Prasad told media at the Patna Airport that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become wary of intellectuals and activists, who, he feels, are up to killing him.

“It is strange that the Prime Minister of a country is insecure of intellectuals. People of the country have not liked it,” said the former Bihar chief minister, who will appear in a Ranchi court on Thursday as the Jharkhand high court did not further extend his provisional bail.

Pune police had on Tuesday arrested lawyer and trade union activist Sudha Bhardhwaj, poet P Varavara Rao, activist Gautam Navlakha and lawyers Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves, charging them under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including criminal conspiracy, creating fear and enmity between various groups, and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Speaking to media persons though a condition of his provisional bail was that he would not take part in any political activity, including issuing statements, Prasad, who has been convicted in multiple fodder scam cases, maintained that he trusts the judiciary and is hopeful of getting justice sooner or later. “I have no interest in resting in hospitals. The court has been benevolent to me and ensured I get proper medical aid whenever I fell sick while in custody,” he said.

“Elections are around the corner. I am the national president of a political party. The government is wary of us and hence the cases and legal actions against my family and me are continuing. There is a deep-rooted political conspiracy behind it. They (the government) wants to keep us engaged in legal wrangles and under pressure. No matter how hard they try, justice will prevail at the end,” said an emotional Prasad.

On what the opposition alleges is the worsening law and order in Bihar, he said that the state has plunged into deep anarchy under chief minister Nitish Kumar’s rule. “Every day women are being raped. There is no day in Bihar when people are not being killed. Rome was burning and Nero was fiddling,” he said, apparently referring to the chief minister allegedly turning a blind eyes to growing crime.

First Published: Aug 29, 2018 17:22:11


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