Human rights lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, one of the five activists arrested today over allegations of Maoist links, was lauded by her supporters for her "ability to smile under trying circumstances". Nine activists were raided in six cities in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence in January, in which Dalit activists had clashed with upper-caste Marathas.
Ms Bharadwaj was arrested from her home in Faridabad and taken to Surajkhand police station. Her laptop and several documents were seized.
"A team of 10 people came in the morning. They checked our mobile phones and laptops and took all our passwords," Sudha Bharadwaj's daughter Maaysha said.
The arrests have been described by many as "absolutely chilling" and a "virtual declaration of emergency".
Advocate @Sudhabharadwaj in custody with constable.Her ability to smile under such trying circumstances gives us all hope & strength - "Kya zulmaton ke daur mein bhi geet gaye jayenge?- Arjun Sheoran (@arjunsheoran) August 28, 2018
Haan, zulmaton ke daur ke hee geet gayenge jayenge" #BhimaKoregaon#DefendTheDefenderspic.twitter.com/0VSOId0CMY
This is "absolutely chilling", said historian and author Ramachandra Guha. "The Supreme Court must intervene to stop this persecution and harassment of independent voices. Sudha Bharadwaj is as far from violence and illegality as Amit Shah is close to those things."
As a biographer of Gandhi, I have no doubt that if the Mahatma was alive today, he would don his lawyer's robes and defend Sudha Bharadwaj in court; that is assuming the Modi Sarkar hadn't yet detained and arrested him too- Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) August 28, 2018
Under the Modi regime's undeclared Emergency, rights activists and dissenters are either shot at, killed, or raided, arrested and jailed. The arrests of Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves, Varavara Rao follow on the heels of the murderous attack on Umar Khalid.— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) August 28, 2018
CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat demanded the release of the activists and said, "This is a brazen attack on democratic rights. We are demanding that all the cases against these people be withdrawn and they be released forthwith."
Sudha Bhardwaj & many other rights activists raided / arrested today for talking to power.- Arun Shourie (@FeignShourie) August 28, 2018
Is it democracy? It is nothing but undeclared emergency under elected dictator.
Getting news that Pune police have raided/arrested among the finest Human rights activists&dissenting voices, such as Sudha Bharadwaj (a human rights lawyer), Gautam Navlakha (Former Pres of PUDR), Fr Stan Swamy (a human rights activist) & Ors. Fascist fangs are now openly bared- Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) August 28, 2018
A trade unionist-turned-lawyer at the Chhattisgarh High Court, Ms Bharadwaj was nominated by the High Court to be a member of the Chhattisgarh State Legal Services Authority. She is a visiting professor at National Law University in Delhi.
Get Breaking news, live coverage, and Latest News from India and around the world on NDTV.com. Catch all the Live TV action on NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.