Sixty-two-year old Asha Jawahar Raut was woken up Wednesday morning by the door bell ringing incessantly.
Outside her home in south Delhi’s Munirka village stood a heavy posse of policemen from Pune Police and Special Cell of Delhi Police in civil clothes. “I looked at them and said oh, it’s you again,” Asha said.
The policemen earlier came to her house in April, looking for Rona Wilson (45), her tenant who stayed in a one-room set on the terrace. After a search, during which police seized Wilson’s laptop and some documents but did not arrest him, Asha was told he was in trouble over a protest in Bhima Koregaon.
On Wednesday, however, police arrested Wilson. “Everybody is asking questions. They are saying he is a terrorist. All I know is that he gave coaching classes and kept to himself,” said Asha.
Pune Police have so far arrested five persons for alleged Maoist links from Mumbai, Nagpur and Delhi in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence on January 1.
Wilson, public relations secretary of the Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP), has been staying at the one-room set since 2009. Saroj Giri, an Assistant Professor at DU who was Wilson’s batchmate, said Wilson completed MA from Pondicherry University and went on to complete MPhil from JNU in 1998. He had also started pursuing a PhD from JNU but did not complete it, he said. “I met Wilson a month ago. He was busy applying to foreign universities. One of the universities had accepted his research proposal,” said Hany Babu, Associate Professor, DU, who met Wilson at a seminar and has known him for six years.
Asha said Wilson paid a rent of Rs 7,000, but they never carried out a tenant verification. Wilson hails from Kerala and has been associated with CRPP for the past six years, said advocate Balla Ravindranath, legal secretary of CRPP. “Wilson was in charge of coordinating seminars pertaining to political prisoners. He was actively campaigning for release of Professor G N Saibaba, political prisoners in J&K, Northeast and for rights of Adivasi communities,” he said.
As Wilson was being taken away, he gave keys to his room to Asha. “I will not let him inside again. We are old and cannot deal with such things,” Asha said.
A Delhi Police officer said, “After the initial complaint was registered on January 8, investigators from Pune Police found that Wilson was a fund provider. Searches were conducted at his house on April 17 and we seized documents and a laptop.” Police claimed that analysis of data from the laptop had shown that he had links with Maoists.