Professor Hany Babu, whose apartment was searched without a search warrant on 10 September by Pune police talked to Dalit Camera and explained the whole incident to them.
About twenty people, some dressed in police uniform and some in plain clothes barged into Professor Hany Babu’s house on the morning of September 10 at 6:30 in the morning. They told him that they were a Pune Police team and the Investigating Officer (IO) needed to search his home in connection with a case. He was told that this investigation was in connection with the Bhima Koregaon, also known as the Elgar Parishad case.
When Professor Hany Babu asked them for a search warrant, they said that they did not need one. When enquired if it is allowed to ask some friend or acquaintance come over, they refused. Even their child was not allowed to go to school that morning despite repeated insistence. Babu was confident as he did not have anything to hide, so he cooperated and let the police begin the search.
The assistant commissioner of police Shivaji Pawar, who led the search, confirmed the search and seizure at Babu’s home in Noida’s Sector 78 as part of the investigation into Elgaar Parishad case under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and several sections of the Indian Penal Code.
Professor Babu said the main three things the questions were raised on were: 1) his work on the defence committee under G N Saibaba, which is where he worked a long time back.
2) Two books under his possession called From Jaati To Varna, and Understanding Maoists,
3) A boarding pass of his they found of a recent flight to Mumbai where he had accompanied his daughter for a concert. They also asked if he had visited any foreign country. Nothing else was asked nor did they tell him what they were looking for.
Prof Hany Babu was then handed a panchnama (seizure memo) in Marathi alongwith a copy in English after the search.
All of his reading material was taken away, his laptop, hard disks, mobile phone, and other electronics with their passwords changed to provide access to the Police.
He also said that when the police officials were chatting among themselves, his wife Jenny Rowena heard something very communal in nature and judgmental towards their Kerala culture. He felt like they had already made up their minds to frame him in the case somehow.
See the video thread on Twitter in which Professor Babu is talking about his harrowing experience: