Hyderabad: National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday carried out searches at the residences of civil rights activists including top high court advocate in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The searches were in connection with the alleged links with the outlawed Maoist party.

In Hyderabad, searches were carried out at seven locations including the residence of noted high court advocate and vice president of Civil Rights Committee V Raghunath.

In Andhra Pradesh, the searches were carried out at the residence of Varalaxmi, former secretary of VIRASAM, (Revolutionary Writers' Association) in Kadapa district. Searches were also carried out at Kurnool and Guntur districts also.

Condemning the move, Civil Rights Activists said the raids are aimed to silence the voices of the people.

The searches are related to a case the NIA registered in March 2021. In November 2020, Andhra Pradesh police had registered a case against 64 people at Munchingput police station of Visakhapatnam district and arrested Pangi Naganna, a journalist cum alleged Maoist supporter.

Police also seized Maoist literature, press notes, medicines, wire bundles, and other incriminating material from him. Further, police named 63 others as accused in the case.

Later NIA registered a case and launched an investigation. As a part of the investigation, the NIA carried out searches. The searches began at 6 pm on Wednesday and continued till late night.

It may be noted that Raghunath had in the past appeared for several activists in the court, including OU Professor C Khasim, Maddileti, his associates and others, who were arrested for their alleged links with Maoist organizations and secured them bail.

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