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Release India’s Political Prisoners / Video: 10 Political prisoners of the Modi era

Release India’s Political Prisoners / Video: 10 Political prisoners of the Modi era

Jacobin.com / by Safa Ahmed

Since reaching power, Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party has jailed political critics using bogus terrorism and incitement charges. But an electoral setback for his party offers hope of change in India and a crack in his authoritarian Hindutva order.
… There are those who do make it out of prison. But in one harrowing case, imprisonment under the UAPA became a death sentence. In 2018, violent clashes broke out between Dalits and Hindu militant groups in Bhima Koregaon, a village in Maharashtra state. Instead of arresting any militants, police in the state arrested sixteen eminent activists, academics, and lawyers over the next two years — all of whom were involved in civil rights work supporting marginalized Dalits and tribal Adivasi communities.
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Video: Meet 10 ‘political prisoners’ of the Narendra Modi regime in jail without trial

By The Telegraph

en | 4:45 | 2024
From Kashmir to Pune, from the barrage of detainees from the CAA-NRC protests to the Delhi riots case accused to the infamous Bhima Koregaon arrests, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s time in office has been marked by a number of ‘political prisoners’ who remain indefinitely behind bars, with their trials still pending.
Watch video

Read more: Meet 10 ‘political prisoners’ of the Narendra Modi regime in jail without trial (The Telegraph / June 2024)


Also Read:
How The Indian Prison System Denies Basic Freedoms, Rights And Dignity To Political Prisoners (The Polis Project / June 2024)
The Opposition Must Demand the Release of all Political Prisoners (The Wire / June 2024)
Punished without trial: How India’s political prisoners are being denied basic rights in jail (Scroll.in / Aug 2022)
India’s Hindu Nationalist Project Relies on Brutal Repression (Jacobinmag / April 2021)

Jesuit Missions repeats call to clear Stan Swamy’s name

Jesuit Missions repeats call to clear Stan Swamy’s name

Jesuit Missions repeats call to clear Indian priest’s name

03/07/2024

Indcatholicnews.com / by ICN

Jesuit Missions has once again written to the Indian High Commission as part of its campaign to clear the name of the late human rights’ advocate and Jesuit priest Fr Stan Swamy.
Br Stephen Power SJ, Chairman of Jesuit Missions’ Management Board, sent a letter to Vikram Doraiswami, High Commissioner of India to the UK, yesterday (July 2) requesting a meeting to discuss the subject of Fr Stan’s imprisonment and death.
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The Search for Democracy in India

Mon, 8 Jul 2024 18:45 BST
London Jesuit Centre, Mount Street, London, UK

Join us for a talk by anthropologist and author Professor Alpa Shah, exploring the state of democracy in India.
Read more


Let’s start Father Stan Swamy’s beatification process

01/07/2024

UCA News / by John Dayal

The Jesuit martyr who was falsely targeted by Indian probe agencies is already a saint to the tribal people he served
… Modi’s government has also not taken any step to exonerate Jesuit priest and social activist Stanislaus Lourduswamy — Father Stan Swamy for short — who it had arrested on charges of being a part of a conspiracy to assassinate him.
Read more


Also read:

▪ How the system broke Stan Swamy: A cell mate recalls the activist’s last days in prison (Scroll.in / Aug 12, 2021 / by Arun Ferreira)

Illustration by #bakeryprasad
The 84-year-old Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist, who had been arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case in October, died on July 5.

Although we received news by late evening on October 8, 2020, of Father Stan Swamy’s arrest, we were quite shocked to see him the next morning in the adjourning barrack conversing with inmates in his impeccable Hindi.
I was at that time lodged in a cell at the prison hospital with my co- accused Varavara Rao (or VV) and Vernon Gonsalves.

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India: Authorities must immediately repeal repressive new criminal laws

India: Authorities must immediately repeal repressive new criminal laws

Amensty.org / by Amnesty International

As three new criminal laws, Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhinayam (BSA), come into effect today replacing three British-era laws in India, Aakar Patel, chair of board at Amnesty International India said:
“The provisions of the amendments to and overhaul of the criminal laws in India would have debilitating consequences on the effective realization of the rights to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and fair trial.”
Read full statement


Also read/watch:
▪ India: Arrests, Raids Target Critics of Government (Amnesty International / Oct 2023)
▪ AI Report: India’s exploitation of terrorism financing assessments to target the civil society (Amnesty.org / Sep 2023)
Incriminating document found in Fr. Stan Swamy’s computer ‘planted’; similar tampering found in other Bhima Koregaon accused: Reports American forensic firm (The Leaflet / Dec 2022)
Fabricating Evidence Against Life and Liberty: Tampering with Fr. Stan Swamy’s computer and its implications for Bhima Koregaon case (Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy / Dec 2022)
Leaked Data Shows Surveillance Net in Elgar Parishad Case May Have Crossed a Line (The Wire / July 2021)

PCI Conversations │ Ajaz Ashraf and Jenny Rowena discussing Bhima Koregaon

PCI Conversations │ Ajaz Ashraf and Jenny Rowena discussing Bhima Koregaon

by Press Club of India / @PCITweets (June 28):
As part of our #PCIConversation, a discussion on Ajaz Ashraf’s book “Bhima Koregaon: Challenging Caste” will be discussed
The guests are author himself and Miranda House College’s Jenny Rowena
29 June 2024 (Saturday), 5:30 PM onwards at Conference Hall, Press Club of India


Also read:
Book Excerpt | How Bhima Koregaon Became a Trope for Dalit Pride and Assertion (The Wire │ by Ajaz Ashraf │ June 2024)
▪Bhima Koregaon: Challenging Caste. Brahminism’s wrath against dreamers of equality

Author: Ajaz Ashraf  
Publisher: AuthorsUpFront
Publishing Date: June 2024
Binding: Paperback
Language: English
Pages: 496
Read more/order

Book Review | Those who refuse to be caged

Book Review | Those who refuse to be caged

The Telegraph / by Lalit Panda

In The Incarcerations, Alpa Shah provides a survey of these men and women that allows us to understand what truly connects them
For many who have followed the news regarding the Bhima Koregaon case, the saga of arrests, press conferences, cyber-forensic reports, bail hearings, statements of condemnation, and protests has gone on long enough and been spread out so thinly that fatigue and forgetfulness are real threats.
Naturally, the opposite has been the case for the 16 individuals arraigned by investigative agencies in the matter. For these persons, the case has illuminated the state of our democracy, the nature of threats against it, and the identity of its most strident defenders.
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The Incarcerations: Bhima Koregaon And The Search For Democracy In India

Author: Alpa Shah
Publishing Date: March 2024
Publisher: Harper Collins Publisher
Pages: 672
Read more / order


Also read:

Bhima Koregaon: Challenging Caste. Brahminism’s wrath against dreamers of equality
Author: Ajaz Ashraf  
Publisher: AuthorsUpFront
Publishing Date: June 2024
Binding: Paperback
Language: English
Pages: 496
Read more/order

Book Excerpt The story of an ‘Urban Naxal’ (Deccan Herald | by Alpa Shah | April 2024 )
A new book recounts how 16 activists were imprisoned as terrorists, without trial (Scroll.in | by Alpa Shah | March 2024)

How The Indian Prison System Denies Basic Freedoms, Rights And Dignity To Political Prisoners

How The Indian Prison System Denies Basic Freedoms, Rights And Dignity To Political Prisoners

poster by @/bakeryprasad

The Polis Project / by Bhavya Dore and Sukhada Tatke

In the summer of May 2022, relegated to his oblong-shaped high-security anda cell, GN Saibaba was frequently thirsty. The Delhi University professor, lodged in Nagpur Central Jail at the time, has post-polio paralysis in both legs. He had also lost the use of his left hand after a nerve injury he said he sustained during his arrest. As temperatures reached 45 degrees outside, Saibaba needed help every time he wanted a drink—his wheelchair did not reach the corner of the cell where the pot of water was kept.
… In September 2022, Anand Teltumbde, a human-rights activist and writer, approached the National Investigation Agency court with a plea for mosquito nets. “Taloja central jail is infested with mosquitoes and the mosquito repellent ointments and incense sticks are hardly of any use,” he wrote in his application
Read more


Also read:
INTRODUCING THE BK-16 PRISON DIARIES SERIES (THE POLIS PROJECT / JUNE 2024)
Relatives of BK16 Flag Prison Authorities’ ‘Criminal Negligence’ and Deteriorating Health of Undertrials (Newsclick / Sep 2022)
Punished without trial: How India’s political prisoners are being denied basic rights in jail (Scroll.in / Aug 2022)
Hunger Strike unto death against the harassment from Taloja Central Jail’s apathetic administration (By Sagar Gorkhe / May 2022)

Book Review | Ajaz Ashraf’s Account Is A ‘Museum Of Memories’ For The Dispossessed

Book Review | Ajaz Ashraf’s Account Is A ‘Museum Of Memories’ For The Dispossessed

Poster by #bakeryprasad

Kashmir Times / by Gowhar Geelani

“A powerful account that reminds us that all-powerful States possess the power to silence dissenters, normalise fear in society, and criminalise opinions of free-thinking individuals and dreamers of equality, and rely on institutional memory to settle scores with dissenters at the time of its choosing.“
While reading journalist-author Ajaz Ashraf’s latest book “Bhima Koregaon Challenging Caste”, I was instantaneously reminded of Lavrentiy Beria, the longest-serving secret police chief in Joseph Stalin’s reign of oppression in Russia and Eastern Europe.
Read more


Bhima Koregaon: Challenging Caste. Brahminism’s wrath against dreamers of equality

Author: Ajaz Ashraf  
Publisher: AuthorsUpFront
Publishing Date: June 2024
Binding: Paperback
Language: English
Pages: 496
Read more/order


Also read:
Book Excerpt | How Bhima Koregaon Became a Trope for Dalit Pride and Assertion (The Wire │ by Ajaz Ashraf │ June 2024)

The Incarcerations: Bhima Koregaon And The Search For Democracy In India

Author: Alpa Shah
Publishing Date: March 2024
Publisher: Harper Collins Publisher
Pages: 672
Read more / order

“Salaakhon Mein Qaid Avaazein”

By Family Members and friends of BK16
Edition: June 2021
Language: Hindi
Pages: 69
Access a PDF copy of the book here (15MB)

BK-16 PRISON DIARIES: RUPALI JADHAV TRAVELS TEN HOURS FOR FLEETING EXCHANGES WITH JYOTI JAGTAP

BK-16 PRISON DIARIES: RUPALI JADHAV TRAVELS TEN HOURS FOR FLEETING EXCHANGES WITH JYOTI JAGTAP

To mark six years of the arbitrary arrests and imprisonment of political dissidents in the Bhima Koregaon case, The Polis Project is publishing a series of writings by the BK-16, and their families, friends and partners. By describing various aspects of the past six years, the series offers a glimpse into the BK-16’s lives inside prison, as well as the struggles of their loved ones outside. Each piece in the series is complemented by Arun Ferreira’s striking and evocative artwork.

THE POLIS PROJECT / BY RUPALI JADHAV

This is the story of that day, when Jyoti was supposed to meet us, but did not show up. Two other members of Kabir Kala Manch, Ramesh and Sagar, had already been arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case, and the NIA had summoned Jyoti to Mumbai for questioning for the third time. The next day, on 8 September 2020, Jyoti was supposed to meet me and some of our sathis, or friends, at Sarasbaug in Pune. We waited for her for a long time. Her phone was unreachable. I became anxious because she is usually very punctual and disciplined, and I told the others that she never takes this long. Only after I started searching for her did I receive the call. “We are calling from Pune ATS. Jyoti Jagtap has been arrested. You can come here to collect her keys and belongings.”
Read more


Also read:
BK-16 PRISON DIARIES: JENNY ROWENA ON THE FEAR OF PRISONS AND THE BRAHMINICAL SYSTEM BEHIND IT (THE POLIS PROJECT / JUNE 2024)
BK-16 PRISON DIARIES: ANAND TELTUMBDE REFLECTS ON HIS ARREST AND INCARCERATION (THE POLIS PROJECT / JUNE 2024)
BK-16 PRISON DIARIES: STORIES OF LOVE, MURDER AND CHILD MARRIAGE FROM SHOMA SEN’S YEARS IN PRISONS (THE POLIS PROJECT / JUNE 2024)
BK-16 PRISON DIARIES: ARUN FERREIRA ON THE FARCE AND TRAGEDY OF THE PANDEMIC IN PRISON (THE POLIS PROJECT / JUNE 2024)
BK-16 PRISON DIARIES: VERNON GONSALVES ON THE STRUGGLE TO READ AND WRITE BEHIND BARS (THE POLIS PROJECT / JUNE 2024)
INTRODUCING THE BK-16 PRISON DIARIES SERIES (THE POLIS PROJECT / JUNE 2024)

The Opposition Must Demand the Release of all Political Prisoners

The Opposition Must Demand the Release of all Political Prisoners

The Opposition Must Demand the Release of all Political Prisoners

23/06/2024

The Wire / by Partho Sarothi Ray

It is the duty of a revitalised opposition to prevent the continuation of the darkness that has descended over India in the last 10 years.
The results of the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, although quite unexpected and surprising for many, has brought a fresh breath of life to the sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic Republic of India. Nay, it might have brought it back from the brink of the precipice into which it would have tumbled with another outright victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Read more


Also read:
To Think of Modi 3.0 as Less Dangerous Would Be a Misreading (The Wire | Anand Teltumbde | June 12, 2024)
Who Does June 4 Belong to? (The Wire / June 5, 2024)

BK-16 PRISON DIARIES: JENNY ROWENA ON THE FEAR OF PRISONS AND THE BRAHMINICAL SYSTEM BEHIND IT

BK-16 PRISON DIARIES: JENNY ROWENA ON THE FEAR OF PRISONS AND THE BRAHMINICAL SYSTEM BEHIND IT

To mark six years of the arbitrary arrests and imprisonment of political dissidents in the Bhima Koregaon case, The Polis Project is publishing a series of writings by the BK-16, and their families, friends and partners. By describing various aspects of the past six years, the series offers a glimpse into the BK-16’s lives inside prison, as well as the struggles of their loved ones outside. Each piece in the series is complemented by Arun Ferreira’s striking and evocative artwork.

The Polis Project / by Jenny Rowena

As a space that takes away our liberties, marked by deep deprivation and suffering, the prison often gets framed as the point at which the liveable modern life ends. The fear of prisons, then, becomes all-pervading, with language itself constantly pointing to it as a dead end. Thus, for the ordinary person, the police and the prison system evoke extreme anxiety, and they design their lives to evade any encounters with it. Yet, those who come face to face with this system observe not an end, but the continuing flow of life inside, behind massive, impenetrable walls, even as their family and friends navigate a completely new reality outside. For academics like Hany Babu, the twelfth person incarcerated in the Bhima Koregaon case, who was active in social justice projects in the university space, the prison also offers a glimpse into the stark structural inequalities of Indian society and the many resistances against them.
Read more


Also read:
BK-16 PRISON DIARIES: ANAND TELTUMBDE REFLECTS ON HIS ARREST AND INCARCERATION (THE POLIS PROJECT / JUNE 2024)
BK-16 PRISON DIARIES: STORIES OF LOVE, MURDER AND CHILD MARRIAGE FROM SHOMA SEN’S YEARS IN PRISONS (THE POLIS PROJECT / JUNE 2024)
BK-16 PRISON DIARIES: ARUN FERREIRA ON THE FARCE AND TRAGEDY OF THE PANDEMIC IN PRISON (THE POLIS PROJECT / JUNE 2024)
BK-16 PRISON DIARIES: VERNON GONSALVES ON THE STRUGGLE TO READ AND WRITE BEHIND BARS (THE POLIS PROJECT / JUNE 2024)
INTRODUCING THE BK-16 PRISON DIARIES SERIES (THE POLIS PROJECT / JUNE 2024)