In the morning on 28 August, the Pune Police conducted raids at the houses of several activists, lawyers, and writers across the country, in Mumbai, Delhi, Ranchi, Hyderabad and Goa. Those whose houses were raided include the trade unionist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, the writer and activist Gautam Navlakha, the activist and lawyer Vernon Gonsalvez, the human-rights activist Arun Ferreira, the advocate Susan Abraham, the Marxist intellectual and writer Varavara Rao, the writer Anand Teltumbde, the journalist Kranthi Tekula, and the Jesuit priest and activist Stan Swamy, several of whom were also arrested through the course of the day. Some of the arrests have been made under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and the police action is reportedly related to the arrests made in June this year, in connection to the violence in Bhima Koregaon in January.
Arun Ferreira, a human-rights activist based in Thane, reportedly saidthat he had been “arrested in the same case as Dhawale and Gadling”—Sudhir Dhawale and Surendra Gadling were among the five arrested in June. Ferreira was earlier arrested in 2007, on allegations of being a “Naxalite” and subsequently spent over four years in jail before being acquitted in 2012. In his recent book Republic of Caste, the activist and writer Anand Teltumbde—whose residence in Goa was among those listed for raids by the Pune Police—discusses how the Indian government’s approach to Maoist rebels is marked by a fear of the “grass-roots level dissent” that it represents. Teltumbde looks at Ferreira’s arrest as an example of the state's attempt to curtail such dissent. He writes, “The state has exerted all its might to discredit and eliminate individuals it deems a threat to its apparatus.”
In the film A Huey P. Newton Story (2001) on the life of Huey Newton who along with Bobby Seale founded the left-wing Black Panther Party for Self Defense in October 1966, Newton, played by Roger Guenveur Smith, makes a perceptive observation: