On Tuesday, as many as five activists across five states were arrested by the police over their alleged links to Maoists.
These activists are being called ‘urban naxals’ as the government believes that Maoists are trying to gain a foothold in the urban centres via overground sympathisers.
It is all connected with the Bhima Koregaon violence that occurred in Pune in January this year.
This was followed by caste-based clashes in several parts of Maharashtra, and the police allegedly recovered a letter containing an assassination plot for Prime Minister Modi.
The lawyers, journalists, and activists, who have been detained till now include Gautam Navlakha, Varavara Rao, Sudha Bhardwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, and Arun Ferriera.
These countrywide raids and arrests led to social media outrage, with many referring to the move as a ‘witch hunt’ to put an end to dissent.
Filmmaker and author Vivek Agnihotri, made a call make a list of people who were defending ‘Urban Naxals’.
I want some bright young people to make a list of all those who are defending #UrbanNaxals Let’s see where it leads. If you want to volunteer with commitment, pl DM me. @squintneon would you like to take the lead?— Vivek Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) August 28, 2018
And that’s when AltNews founder, Pratik Sinha began #MeTooUrbanNaxal.
Within a few hours, netizens started nominating themselves as ‘Urban Naxals’, using the hashtag #MeTooUrbanNaxal.
Hey @vivekagnihotri, I volunteer to be on your list. Let’s tag @vivekagnihotri with the hashtag #MeTooUrbanNaxal and help him build his list. We should all help this man in his noble endeavour. https://t.co/zY1Azarv8l— Pratik Sinha (@free_thinker) August 29, 2018
I love my country.Will fight for it till my last breath #MeTooUrbanNaxal— Rana Safvi رعنا राना (@iamrana) August 29, 2018
I think. I debate. I read. I question. I dissent. I criticise. I emphatise. I protest. I probe. I exist. #MeTooUrbanNaxal— amrita madhukalya (@visually_kei) August 29, 2018
All love and respect for those who are saying #MeTooUrbanNaxal but there are many out there who don’t really have the privilege of caste, religion, money or class, to even say this. They know if the hit list is *real*, they will be the ones picked first.— Ashwaq Masoodi (@ashwaqM) August 29, 2018