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VV Rao’s Bail: Leading Newspapers Urge Courts to Protect the Fundamental Right to Liberty

VV Rao’s Bail: Leading Newspapers Urge Courts to Protect the Fundamental Right to Liberty

Varavara Rao’s Bail: Leading Newspapers Urge Courts to Protect the Fundamental Right to Liberty

27/02/2021

The Leaflet / by Manya Saini

Poet-Activist Varavara Rao’s extended judicial custody amid severe medical concerns has brought into question the rights of accused persons awaiting trial. Leading newspapers have pressed upon the need for judicial reform and argued that courts must come forward to protect the fundamental rights of citizens that are threatened by draconian laws like sedition and UAPA.
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Justice lives: Rao and Ravi granted bail

25/02/2021

The Telegraph / by editorial board

The momentum generated by these verdicts needs to be taken forward to kindle an informed debate on judicial reform.
A fair investigation is one of the prerequisites of justice. The infirmities in two separate investigations that were exposed and castigated by the courts in two recent judgments merit attention. The Bombay High Court granted conditional bail to the poet, Varavara Rao, infirm and an accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, observing that the National Investigation Agency had kept him in custody without framing charges for an extended period of time.
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Bail as right: On bail to Varavara Rao

22/02/2021

The Hindu / editorial

Laws, however stringent, cannot be allowed to trump basic rights.
n granting bail for six months to poet Varavara Rao in the Bhima Koregaon case on medical grounds, the Bombay High Court has affirmed the principle that even the stringent provisions of an anti-terrorism law are not invincible before a prisoner’s constitutional rights.
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Statement by Pen International

23/02/2021

By Pen International


Sharper Fights Ahead – Statement in view of VV’s Interim Bail

22/02/2021

By Release the Poet Committee

People’s Poet Varavara Rao’s interim (medical) bail granted by Mumbai High Court is a small but vital breakthrough, which was long overdue, is indeed an outcome of people’s rejection of state atrocities – but leaves no space for any self-satisfaction for them, who are unceasingly fighting in defense of VV and other victims of Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case.
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Varavara Rao’s bail: Hope for other accused

22/02/2021

The Times of India / by Shruti Ganapatye

With the Bombay high court granting bail to ailing activist Varavara Rao in the Bhima-Koregaon case on Monday, there is a renewed hope among other accused about similar relief coming their way.
Top lawyers, some of them representing the accused in the case, said though bail is difficult to secure in Unlawful Activitities Prevention Act (UAPA) cases, Rao’s case, where bail was granted on health grounds, has set a precedent.
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Video: VV Rao – Poet, Activist, Political Prisoner

22/02/2021


en | 5:54 | 2021

By Karwan e Mohabbat

Varavara Rao is no stranger to being imprisoned, but the 82-year-old is also the conscience of our society-an intellectual we need to protect from the excesses of a state determined to destroy dissent.
Watch video

Bhima Koregaon case: planted evidence?

Bhima Koregaon case: planted evidence?

Frontline [print edition March 12] / by Anupama Katakam

Investigations by Arsenal Consulting, a global digital forensics consulting company, have revealed that evidence had been planted in the activist Rona Wilson’s computer, raising larger issues of unethical surveillance and motivated targeting of individuals.
Rona Wilson, the New Delhi-based activist who was arrested in June 2018 for his alleged connections with banned extreme Left organisations, has steadfastly maintained that the evidence against him is fabricated and the charges are false.
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Telugu, Wheelchair & Blanket: How Varavara Rao slipped into dementia during his time in prison

Telugu, Wheelchair & Blanket: How Varavara Rao slipped into dementia during his time in prison

The Quint / by Nikhila Henry

The octogenarian slipped into dementia during his time in prison, thereafter believing that his wife was dead.
Varavara Rao was incoherent on the phone. The president of Viplava Rachayitala Sagham (Revolutionary Writers’ Forum) spoke in Hindi instead of Telugu, his mother tongue, in which he has penned many poems.
“Her body was taken to the mortuary. Many people visited,” Rao said.
P Hemalatha, his wife, patiently listened to him during the five-minute-long phone call in June 2020 from Taloja Central Prison, Maharashtra, even as she was unsure of what he meant.
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Video: VV Rao – Poet, Activist, Political Prisoner

22/02/2021


en | 5:54 | 2021

By Karwan e Mohabbat

Varavara Rao is no stranger to being imprisoned, but the 82-year-old is also the conscience of our society-an intellectual we need to protect from the excesses of a state determined to destroy dissent.
Watch video

HC Allows Varavara Rao’s Counsel to Visit Him to Complete Bail Formalities

HC Allows Varavara Rao’s Counsel to Visit Him to Complete Bail Formalities

Bombay HC Allows Varavara Rao’s Counsel to Visit Him to Complete Bail Formalities

25/02/2021

The Wire / by pti

Rao, 82, was on Monday granted interim bail for six months by the high court on medical grounds.
The Bombay high court on Thursday permitted a counsel of poet-activist Varavara Rao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, to visit him in the Nanavati Hospital here to obtain his signatures for completion of his bail formalities.
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By Live Law (Feb 24):
Accused Varavara Rao approaches the Bombay High Court seeking a month to comply with his bail condition of submitting two solvent sureties to the Special NIA Court +++

By Bar & Bench (Feb 24):
Bombay High Court will hear Bhima Koregaon accused Varavara Rao’s application tomorrow seeking directions for making change in the formality of submitting surety to the Special NIA Court for releasing Rao on bail +++


Varavara Rao’s kin seek relief from ‘difficult’ bail conditions set by Bombay HC

23/02/2021

The News Minute / by TNM Staff

The 81-year-old poet has been ordered to stay within the jurisdiction of the Mumbai NIA court.
Relatives of ailing revolutionary poet and activist Varavara Rao welcomed the Bombay High Court’s order granting interim bail to him, but said the conditions put forth by the court were difficult to be met. On Monday, the Bombay HC granted bail on medical grounds to the Telugu poet jailed in connection with the Bhima Koregaon Elgar Parishad case for six months. At the end of the six-month period, the court said that Varavara Rao must report back to Navi Mumbai’s Taloja jail, where he can either surrender or seek an extension.
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Can’t afford Mumbai rent, says Varavara Rao’s family on court’s bail condition

22/02/2021

Hindustan Times / by Srinivasa Rao Apparasu

Varavara RAo’s brother-in-law said the poet has no relatives in Mumbai who could take care of him during the bail period.
The family of octogenarian Pendyala Varavara Rao, noted revolutionary poet, is relieved that the Bombay High Court on Monday granted medical bail to him in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, but it has another worry on its hands: where to house him in Mumbai. The court order said that the poet cannot go back to Hyderabad, his home.
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+++ Bombay HC grants bail on medical grounds to Varavara Rao for six month [read judgement] +++

+++ Bombay HC grants bail on medical grounds to Varavara Rao for six month [read judgement] +++


By Live Law (Feb 24):
Accused Varavara Rao approaches the Bombay High Court seeking a month to comply with his bail condition of submitting two solvent sureties to the Special NIA Court +++

By Bar & Bench (Feb 24):
Bombay High Court will hear Bhima Koregaon accused Varavara Rao’s application tomorrow seeking directions for making change in the formality of submitting surety to the Special NIA Court for releasing Rao on bail +++


Bombay HC Grants Varavara Rao Six Months’ Bail on Medical Grounds

22/02/2021

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

Within this period, the poet must remain within the jurisdiction of the special NIA court that is hearing the charges him against in the Elgar Parishad case.
New Delhi: The Bombay high court on Monday granted poet and rights activist Varavara Rao six months’ bail on medical grounds. Within this period, however, the poet must remain within the jurisdiction of the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court that is hearing the charges against him in the Elgar Parishad case, the court said.
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Bombay High Court Grants Varavara Rao Bail For 6 Months On Medical Grounds

22/02/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

The Bombay High Court on Monday granted bail on medical grounds to 81-year-old ailing Telugu Poet Dr Varavara Rao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case.
The High Court observed that it was a “genuine and fit” case for granting relief in view of the advanced age of the petitioner and inadequate facilities at Taloja jail hospital. The bench added that if it denies relief to Rao, it will be abdicating its constitutional duties as a protector of human rights and right to health covered under Article 21 of the Constitution.
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Bombay High Court grants bail to Bhima Koregaon accused Dr. Varavara Rao for six month [read judgement]

22/02/2021

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

“We feel that with the condition of the under trial, it would be inappropriate to send him back (to jail),” the Bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale ruled.
The Bombay High Court on Monday granted bail to 82-year-old Bhima Koregaon accused Dr. Varavara Rao on medical grounds.
The Court has granted the octogenarian bail for a period of six months.
The order was passed by a Bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale in two separate pleas – one by Rao praying for bail and the other by his wife Pendyala Hemlatha seeking the Court’s intervention in view of the alleged violation of his fundamental right to health.
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Varavara Rao granted six-month bail on medical grounds [read judgement]

22/02/2021

The Leaflet / by The Leaflet

The Bombay High Court Monday granted six months medical bail to 82-year-old Dr. PV Varavara Rao, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case. Dr. Rao is facing charges under the unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act’ (UAPA).
A division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Manish Pitale said it would have abdicated its duty in protecting his fundamental rights if it had denied bail to the ailing Telugu poet.
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Bombay High Court verdict on February 22 in bail plea by accused Varavara Rao

21/02/2021

Bar and Bench / by Neha Joshi

Rao is presently lodged in Nanavati Hospital after the State informed the Court their willingness to shift Rao to the private hospital as a special case. The verdict will be pronounced at 11 am tomorrow.
Besides Rao’s plea for bail, the Court will also pronounce its verdict on a plea filed by his wife Pendyala Hemlatha seeking the Court’s intervention in view of alleged violation of his “fundamental right to health”.
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Allegations of planted evidence raise questions about hacking ecosystem in India / Designs of India’s Surveillance State

Allegations of planted evidence raise questions about hacking ecosystem in India / Designs of India’s Surveillance State

Allegations of planted evidence raise questions about hacking ecosystem in India

19/02/2021

Cyber Scoop / by Shannon Vavra

Recent allegations that planted evidence may have been used to frame an activist in a terrorism case are raising new questions about the surveillance and hacking ecosystem in India.
The human rights activist in question, Rona Wilson, is one of several people accused of plotting to overthrow the Indian government in connection with a violent demonstration in Bhima Koregaon, India in 2017…
While it may be unclear who exactly is responsible for the reportedly manipulated evidence against Wilson at this time, the possible links between pro-India hacking operations and the global commercial sector of surveillance software have begun to emerge in recent research.
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Unprecedented Tampering In Bhima Koregaon Case: Forensic Firm Chief

19/02/2021

Outlook/ by Preetha Nair

Mark Spencer is the president of Arsenal Consulting, a forensic firm that recently released a report that concluded that incriminating evidence was planted on the computer of Bhima-Koregaon accused and activist Rona Wilson.
In an email interview with Outlook, Arsenal Consulting’s President Mark Spencer elaborates on the process involved in analyzing the data and larger issues with regard to the case. Spencer also contests the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) claim of no ‘planted evidence’.
Excerpts from the interview.
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Sinister Designs of India’s Surveillance State

19/02/2021

NewsClick / by Suhit K Sen

How the Bhima Koregaon case has progressed so far gives credence to the claim that malware was planted on activist Rona Wilson’s computer.
On 10 February, Rona Wilson, one of the first batch of activists arrested by the police in the Bhima Koregaon/Elgar Parishad case, filed a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking the dismissal of the case against him. In support, his lawyers provided a forensic report showing that evidence had been planted against him.
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Also read: Prison-rights activist Rona Wilson’s hard disk contained malware that allowed remote access (The Caravan, March 2020)

The Bhima Koregaon Forensic Report: FAQs answered by Prof. Jedidiah Crandall

The Bhima Koregaon Forensic Report: FAQs answered by Prof. Jedidiah Crandall

The Bhima Koregaon Forensic Report: FAQs answered by Prof. Jedidiah Crandall

17/02/2021

… In a statement to The Washington Post the NIA had stated that it had found no malware on Wilson’s computer and other government spokespersons have attempted to label the forensic report as a “distortion.” Media outlets close to the government have attempted to cast aspersions on the report by suggesting that the cloned hard drive was tampered with as it was being transported from India to Boston.
Prof. Jedadiah Crandall from Arizona State University, who is one of the technical experts who has reviewed the Arsenal report in detail has said “to call the forensic report a distortion is unfortunate”. Prof Crandall emphatically added “The Arsenal report conclusively establishes that NetWire was the malware used for incriminating document delivery. There is no room for interpretation or doubt about this.”
To demystify all the technical details, Prof. Jedadiah Crandall has answered the frequently asked questions to help us understand the Bhima Koregaon Forensic Report.
Read more


Surveillance on Rona Wilson Aggressive, Long Time Period Very Unusual: Forensics Firm Head

16/02/2021

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

Last week, a Massachusetts-based digital forensics firm, Arsenal Consulting, released a damning report which posed serious questions about the credibility of the letters that were allegedly found in the computer and other gadgets of arrested prisoners’ rights activist Rona Wilson.
Arsenal Consulting’s director Mark Spencer discussed the findings and his impression of the attack in detail in an interview with The Wire.
Read more

Chorus demanding release of activists grows / Stan Swamy told NIA about planting of fake evidence

Chorus demanding release of activists grows / Stan Swamy told NIA about planting of fake evidence

Family members of Bhima Koregaon accused, cyber experts raise questions on investigation following reports of ‘planted evidence’

17/02/2021

TwoCircles.net / by Suprakash Majumdar

Besides demanding the release of all the accused, the speakers pointed out that the Arsenal report has raised some serious questions such as, “Why couldn’t the government and the forensic lab find evidence of hacking and if they did, why did they ignore it? Why did NIA not verify the authenticity of the files as they were the primary evidence in the case?”
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Chorus demanding release of activists grows

17/02/2021

Sabrangindia / by Sabrangindia

Legal and tech experts shed light on future course of case in wake of Arsenal revelations of planted evidence.
Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy, a group of activists, organised a webinar to discuss the possible impact of the recent revelations made by Arsenal Consulting, an American digital forensics firm in the Bhima Koregaon case.
Read more


Stan Swamy told NIA about planting of fake evidence, says his colleague

17/02/2021

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The statement came in the wake of a forensics report that found key evidence against the accused in the case was planted using a malware.
A colleague of human rights activist Stan Swamy, who was arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case in October, said on Tuesday that the jailed activist had told the National Investigation Agency at least four times that fake evidence had been planted on his computer, reported PTI.
Solomon, the director of Ranchi’s Bagaicha Social Centre where Swamy worked, made the statement at a press briefing.
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Watch whole press briefing @YouTube: Decoding the Arsenal Report – Curious Case of Questionable Evidence in the Case (Feb 16, 2020)

Video: Decoding the Arsenal Report – Curious Case of Questionable Evidence in the Case / Press Release

Video: Decoding the Arsenal Report – Curious Case of Questionable Evidence in the Case / Press Release

Video: Decoding the Arsenal Report – Curious Case of Questionable Evidence in the Case

16/02/2021


en | 1h 36min | 2021

By Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy

PRESS CONFERENCE
Speakers
Jedidiah Crandall: Associate Professor, Biodesign Center for Biocomputing, Security and Society; Associate Professor, School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering, Arizona State University Sandeep Shukla: Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Kanpur
Adv. Mihir Desai: Senior Advocate Bombay High Court Lawyer, PUCL
Father Solomon: Director, Bagaicha, Ranchi, Fr Stan Swamy’s colleague
Sagar Abraham Gonsalves: Vernon Gonsalves’ son
Watch @ YouTube


The NIA’s ‘No Malware Found’ Response to New Forensic Report Points to Ineptitude
Bhima Koregaon Conspiracy Case Must be Quashed in Light of Explosive Forensic Evidence

16/02/2021

By Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy

PRESS RELEASE
On February 10, 2021 the Bhima Koregaon defense team filed a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking the release of Rona Wilson and the quashing of all charges against him. The petition was filed in light of startling new evidence of a forensic analysis that establishes that the top 10 files used to implicate Mr. Wilson with conspiracy to assassinate the Prime Minister and several other charges were fabricated and had been planted on Mr. Wilson’s hard drive by a cyber attacker using the NetWire malware. The forensic analysis was conducted by one of the world’s leading forensic analysis firms, Boston-based Arsenal Consulting and the story was first reported by The Washington Post on February 10.

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How UAPA curtails personal liberty, undermines fair trial

How UAPA curtails personal liberty, undermines fair trial

Hindustan Times / by Gautam Bhatia

To stop UAPA from continuing to be the tool of repression that it has become, it is vital that the courts either strike down — or substantially read down — this section, and ensure that years in jail do not become an automatic consequence of the police’s (read: the State’s) decision to charge inconvenient opponents under this law.
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