By Campaign Against Repression on People’s Movements
Over 200 people gathered in Raipur, Chhattisgarh today under the banner of Campaign Against Repression on People’s Movements to mark one year of the arrest of Comrade and advocate Sudha Bharadwaj and other human rights activists arrested under false charges in the Bhima Koregaon case – Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale, Mahesh Raut, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson, and Varavara Rao.
Panels were held on measures taken to dismantle democracy by the current government – the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir, the proposed changes in the National Intelligence Act (NIA) and UAPA, the dangers of the National Citizens Register and the proposed Citizenship Amendment Act. There was also a panel held on the assault on the rights on people to land life and labour through proposed changes in labour laws and the forest rights act, the attempts to dilute the NcST Prevention of Atrocities Act and the blatant assault on minority and marginalised communities such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis.
Together they demanded that all those arrested under false charges in the Bhima Koregaon case be released unconditionally, that those actually responsible – Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Eekbote be arrested and they also demanded an end to all unconstitutional, undemocratic measures taken by the government in power – from the abrogation of article 370 in Kashmir to the proposed changes in numerous laws that threaten to kill the spirit of democracy and cement a Brahminical Hindutva notion of nationhood. They firmly resolved to strengthen their fight and campaign against the repression against peoples movements in the country.