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Bhima Koregaon, COVID-19 and custodial apathy in jails / Video + Press Release

Bhima Koregaon, COVID-19 and custodial apathy in jails / Video + Press Release

Video: Press Conference demanding immediate release of BK16 prisoners

15/05/2021

By Insaf

en + hindi l 1h20min l 2021
Watch video here


Press Release: Covid-19 a virtual death sentence, new persecution tool against Bhima-Koregaon accused

15/05/2021

sabrang / by sabrangindia

Friends and families of undertrial prisoners narrate the worsening condition in Taloja and Byculla prisons, stressing a single fact – jail authorities must allow unconditional bail for all political prisoners!
Families and friends of the 15-accused in the Bhima Koregaon (hereafter called BK-15) case vehemently demanded the immediate release of undertrial prisoners from crowded jails, while talking about jail conditions during a press conference on May 15, 2021.
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Press Release: Bhima Koregaon, COVID-19 and custodial apathy in jails

15/05/2021

By Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy

Press Release
On May 15th, several family members of the 15 prisoners accused in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgaar Parishad case addressed the press via an online press conference. Some of the arrestees have spent three years behind bars and continue to await trial. Even as the COVID-19 pandemic rages with greater intensity, several among those incarcerated have contracted the virus. Most of the arrestees are over the age of 60 and most suffer severe comorbidities. Despite the rapidly deteriorating health of the incarcerated, particularly most recently in the case of Prof. Hany Babu basic medical attention has been denied to them. Demanding that those imprisoned be released on bail in light of the looming threat of the pandemic, Prof. Babu’s wife Jenny Rowena, Adv. Surendra Gadling’s wife Minal Gadling, Fr. Stan Swamy’s friend Fr. Joseph Xavier, Mahesh Raut’s sister Monali, activist Harshali Potdar of Republican Panthers Jatiya Antachi Chalwal and friend of Sudhir Dhawale, Adv. Sudha Bharadwaj’s friend Smita Gupta addressed the press.

Harshali told us of conditions within Taloja Jail from Sudhir Dhawale who informed her that majority of the staff including cleaners and cooks inside prison have tested positive for COVID-19. The hospital inside Taloja is currently treating 60-65 people for the virus. No testing facilities are available inside jail. Instead, the jail is testing people who are fit in order to show that there are no cases. Eight persons inside Sudhir Dhawale and Vernon Gonsalves’ barrack have tested positive. Yet the prison staff have refused to test them. Sudhir Dhawale despite being over the age of 45 has been denied the vaccine as he does not have an Aadhaar card. Despite the fact that his documents have been confiscated by the police, being denied the right to be vaccinated while in the custody of the state raises the question, “whose responsibility is it now?” The letters being sent by them are reaching the family with a delay of over a month and video calls are not available. Despite the Prison Act 1894 that ensures that prisoners are entitled to basic medical facilities. However, in Taloja, there are no doctors, nurses, lab technicians, etc. but only three ayurvedic practitioners. Right to proper food and water, right to intermingle with other prisoners, communication with family members and lawyers through letters and calls, speedy trials, etc. – all of these rights are being violated.

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Jailed Professor Hany Babu Hospitalised With Eye Infection, Tests Positive for COVID / Sign Petition

Jailed Professor Hany Babu Hospitalised With Eye Infection, Tests Positive for COVID / Sign Petition

Jailed Professor Hany Babu Hospitalised With Eye Infection, Tests Positive for COVID

14/05/2021

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

His family has alleged that they were not informed about Babu’s health condition.
Delhi University associate professor Hany Babu M.T., who was arrested last July in connection with the Elgar Parishad case, has tested positive for COVID-19. He was first admitted to the JJ Hospital in Mumbai and later moved to GT Hospital. Babu, 55, developed an acute eye infection on May 3, since when his family and lawyers have been struggling to ensure that he is given proper medical care.
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Hany Babu hospitalised after testing positive for Covid, contracting eye infection

14/05/2021

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The Delhi University professor’s family has demanded that he be shifted to a multi-specialty hospital.
Delhi University Professor Hany Babu, an undertrial prisoner in the Bhima Koregaon case, has tested positive for coronavirus and is admitted to JJ Hospital in Mumbai, his family said on Thursday.
Babu was earlier diagnosed with an acute eye infection, which his family said, could spread to his brain too. They have now demanded that he be shifted to a multi-specialty hospital where he can be treated for Covid-19 as well his eye.
Read more


Sign Petition: Hany Babu needs urgent medical treatment, release him now: CJP’s plea to Maharashtra CM

12/05/2021

By Citizens for Justice and Peace

The professor, who is an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, is suffering from acute eye infection that could cost him his vision! But prison authorities appear apathetic to his medical emergency.

Read more/ sign petition

Video: CJP Urges Maharashtra To Release Professor Hany Babu


en | 1:30 min | 2021
Watch video


Also read: Plea for release of the Bhima Koregaon (BK) detainees during COVID-19 pandemic (May 11, 2021)

Sudha Bharadwaj’s 3 Co-Prisoners Tested COVID Positive: Daughter Moves HC Seeking Release

Sudha Bharadwaj’s 3 Co-Prisoners Tested COVID Positive: Daughter Moves HC Seeking Release

Sudha Bharadwaj’s 3 Co-Prisoners Tested COVID Positive: Daughter Moves Bombay HC Seeking Release On Medical Grounds

14/05/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

It is said that Sudha Bharadwaj is kept in a barrack with 50-60 prisoners, sharing only 3 bathrooms, with no possibility of social distancing and sanitary co-existence.
The Bombay High Court on Thursday sought lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj’s latest medical report from the Maharashtra Government on a plea seeking her interim release on medical bail from Byculla women’s prison.
The petition filed by her daughter Maaysha Singh, invoking Article 226 of the Constitution, states that the sixty-year-old Bharadwaj, who has diabetes and a history of pulmonary tuberculosis, is very unwell.
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Bombay High Court calls for medical report of Bhima Koregaon accused Sudha Bharadwah in plea seeking bail on medical grounds

13/05/2021

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

The vacation bench directed the Maharashtra government to produce Bharadwaj’s latest medical report by Monday. Bharadwaj is presently lodged at the Byculla women’s prison.
The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra government to submit by May 17, the latest medical report of Bhima Koregaon accused, advocate Sudha Bharadwaj in a plea seeking her release from prison on medical grounds (Maaysha Singh v. State of Maharashtra & Anr).
Read more


HC asks Maharashtra to submit Bhima Koregaon accused Sudha Bharadwaj’s medical report

13/05/2021

The Print / by pti

According to her counsel, Sudha Bharadwaj was kept in a ward of the prison with 50 other women under extremely unsanitary conditions, and with just three toilets for all of them.
The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra government to produce the latest medical report of lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj, an accused in the Elgar-Parishad Maoists links case, who is is currently lodged at the Byculla women’s prison here.
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Hany Babu Tested COVID Positive – Press Release by family members of Hany Babu

Hany Babu Tested COVID Positive – Press Release by family members of Hany Babu

Countercurrents.org / by Jenny Rowena (wife), Fathima (mother), Dr Harish M Tharayil (brother), Dr Ansari M T (brother)

Press Release
May 13, 2021

Hany Babu, an undertrial prisoner in the Bhima Koregaon case, who has been in custody since July 2020 without trial has now been diagnosed as COVID Positive.
Hany had developed an acute eye infection in Taloja Jail. He has little or no vision in his left eye due to the swelling, which has spread to the cheek, ear and forehead compromising other vital organs as well, and posing a significant risk to his life if it spreads to the brain. Due to an acute water shortage in the prison, he does not have access to enough water to even bathe his eye and is forced to dress his eye with soiled towels.
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Supreme Court Dismisses Gautam Navlakha’s Plea For Default Bail [read order]

Supreme Court Dismisses Gautam Navlakha’s Plea For Default Bail [read order]

Navlakha Loses Bail Plea, But SC Approves House Arrest As Alternative to Jail

13/05/2021

The Wire / by V. Venkatesan

Though the activist’s right to default bail on the basis of his 34-days house arrest in 2018 was turned down by the top court, the judges found merit in treating house arrests as an alternative form of detention.
Well-known human rights activist Gautam Navlakha lost his legal battle for default bail in the Supreme Court on Wednesday. But his case has ironically persuaded the top court to make a huge advance on human rights so that other activists like him are not similarly disadvantaged in future.
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No default bail for Gautam Navlakha, rules SC [read order]

13/05/2021

The Leaflet / by The Leaflet

The Supreme Court Wednesday refused default bail to Gautam Navlakha, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, on the grounds that the 35 days he spent under house arrest in 2018 did not constitute custody in order to compute the 90 day period within which a charge-sheet must be filed under criminal law, to entitle him to to the same. Navlakha is facing charges under the anti-terrorism UAPA.
Read more / read order


Supreme Court Dismisses Gautam Navlakha’s Plea For Default Bail [read order]

12/05/2021

Live Law / by Live Law News Network

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by jailed activist Gautam Navlakha seeking default bail in the Bhima Koregaon case.
Navlkaha wanted to include the 34-day period of his unlawful custody in 2018 while computing the period for filing chargesheet under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
A bench comprising Justices UU Lalit and KM Joseph dismissed Navlakha’s petition, affirming the Bombay High Court judgment. The bench had reserved judgment on March 26.
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Plea by families of all accused for release of the detainees during COVID-19 pandemic

Plea by families of all accused for release of the detainees during COVID-19 pandemic

By family members of the 15 human rights activists who are currently undertrial detainees

Date: 11/05/21

To,

The Honorable CM, Maharshtra
Mr. Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray,
CM Office, Mantralaya,
154, Madame Cama Road,
Churchgate, Mumbai,
Maharashtra – 400020

Subject: Plea for release of the Bhima Koregaon (BK) detainees during COVID-19 pandemic

Dear Sir,

We represent the family members of the 15 human rights activists who are currently undertrial detainees lodged at Byculla District Mumbai Prison and Taloja Jail, in the NIA case: RC-01/2020/NIA/MUM.

At a time when the entire country is faced with unparalleled devastation due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic it is particularly distressing times for us knowing that our loved ones are in jail with us having minimal knowledge of their health and wellbeing. Our anxieties have been further intensified recently learning about the death of a Taloja jail inmate due to COVID-19 due to delay in provision of medical attention. Another news report in recent times indicated that eight staff members at the Taloja Prisons have tested positive for COVID-19 and 40 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Byculla Prison.

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Petition: Hany Babu needs urgent medical treatment, release him now / Statement by his family

Petition: Hany Babu needs urgent medical treatment, release him now / Statement by his family

By Sukanya Shantha (May 13):
Update: Prof. @hanybabu was hospitalized last night at JJ hospital. His swab sample was collected once again on admission. JJ Dean Dr. Ranjit Mankeshwar has confirmed that Hany Babu has tested positive for COVID-19 this time. He will be shifted either to St. George or GTB hosp +++


Sign Petition: Hany Babu needs urgent medical treatment, release him now: CJP’s plea to Maharashtra CM

12/05/2021

By Citizens for Justice and Peace

The professor, who is an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, is suffering from acute eye infection that could cost him his vision! But prison authorities appear apathetic to his medical emergency.

Read more/ sign petition

Video: CJP Urges Maharashtra To Release Professor Hany Babu


en | 1:30 min | 2021
Watch video


Begging for something as essential as health services is heart wrenching: Hany Babu’s family

11/05/2021

The Caravan / by Jenny Rowena

Jenny Rowena, Babu’s wife, has released a press statement detailing how Hany Babu’s health has deteriorated after he did not receive proper medical assistance in Taloja Jail. Rowena has requested immediate access to medical assistance for Babu and more transparency from jail authorities. The statement is reproduced below.
Read statement


DU Professor Hany Babu Denied Medical Care After Developing Eye Infection

11/05/2021

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

Babu, 55, was arrested on July 28 last year by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and has since been in Taloja central prison.
Delhi University associate professor of English, Hany Babu M.T, arrested in connection with the Elgar Parishad case has been complaining of an acute eye infection, pain, and gradual loss of vision since May 3. His family and lawyers have accused the prison authorities of denying immediate medical treatment to him.
… This is not the first time that frantic appeals have been made to the Maharashtra state government for urgent medical help. Other arrested activists and academics like Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Father Stan Swamy, Shoma Sen, Anand Teltumbde, and Varavara Rao have had to make several representations before the government and courts for basic medical treatments.
Read more

Video: Prisoners in a Pandemic – Viral hate and a raging contagion

Video: Prisoners in a Pandemic – Viral hate and a raging contagion

Video: Prisoners in a Pandemic – Viral hate and a raging contagion

11/05/2021

By United Against Hate

hindi + en | 1h40min | 2021

Watch video at United Against Hate fb page here

In the light of Covid-19 outbreak and deteriorating health of civil and human rights defenders in prisons, United Against Hate is organising a conversation addressing the issue, demanding immediate release of political prisoners. The dreadful conditions in overcrowded jails, which lack proper sanitation, hygiene and medical facilities, are conducive to spread of a virus like COVID-19 and have contributed immensely to their deteriorating health condition. Umar Khalid, GN Saibaba, Siddique Kappan, Akhil Gogoi, Jyoti Jagtap, Varvara Rao have already contracted COVID-19 behind bars. Khalid Saifi and Sudha Bhardwaj have also been unwell, as was reported by their families. It must be noted that many of them have comorbidities and have been on medications even before their arrests. It has been long since the arrests of these voices of dissent who fought for democracy, for rights of the people and for freedom from the repressive state. Their only crime is fearlessly speaking the bitter truth to power.


Sign Petition: Covid-19 is a virtual death sentence for political prisoners! Release them now! (CJP, May 2021)


Also read: In India and Around the World, Prisoners’ Rights Violated During Pandemic: Report (The Wire, March 2021)

Petition: Covid-19 is a virtual death sentence for political prisoners! / Covid-19 in Taloja & Byculla jails

Petition: Covid-19 is a virtual death sentence for political prisoners! / Covid-19 in Taloja & Byculla jails

Petition: Covid-19 is a virtual death sentence for political prisoners! Release them now!

06/05/2021

By Citizens for Justice and Peace

Political prisoners lodged in prisons across the country need to be released temporarily in the wake of the massive surge in COVID-19 cases. It is known that prison conditions are conducive to spread of a virus like COVID-19 and these political prisoners deserve to be released on bail.
Read more/sign petition


Kin Allege Negligence as Prisoner in Taloja Jail Dies of COVID-19

07/05/2021

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

Activist Varavara Rao had also previously complained about the healthcare facilities in Taloja jail in an an affidavit submitted to a court.
A 22-year-old undertrial prisoner lodged in Navi Mumbai’s Taloja jail has died of COVID-19 at a hospital, even as his family members alleged that the negligence of prison authorities led to his death.
The prisoner, identified as Vishal Anand Dasari, died at St George Hospital in Mumbai on Wednesday morning, a jail official said.
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Maharashtra’s Prisons Are Feeling the Brunt of a Crisis That Could Have Been Averted

02/05/2021

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

Despite several directions from the Supreme Court and high court to decongest its overcrowded prisons in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state government has neglected the issue.
Read more

An Innocent Hany Babu Has Spent Nine Months in Jail: An Appeal From His Family

An Innocent Hany Babu Has Spent Nine Months in Jail: An Appeal From His Family

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

“Any further delay in commencing the trial would take his personal, academic and intellectual life further away from Hany Babu.”
Hany Babu’s family has issued an appeal for his release from prison, saying that the National Investigation Agency has arrested an innocent man. Even though forensic examinations have found that evidence against the accused persons in the Elgar Parishad case was planted, Babu’s family says, the courts and investigative agencies are not taking corrective steps.
Read more