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Category: Background

Exception becomes the norm as special laws are misused

Exception becomes the norm as special laws are misused

Times of India Blogs / by Pankaj Butalia

Delhi Police’s framing and subsequent reframing of charges, using UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act), against the young women of Pinjra Tod a few months ago is an example of the gross misuse of special laws enacted by the state for circumstances which lie outside the purview of ordinary laws. By definition such laws are meant to be temporary and exceptions but end up being permanent and the norm.
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Ominipotent state and impotent people: system weighed in favour of the ‘state’

20/09/2020

National Herald / by Aakar Patel

Indefinite ‘detention without trial’ is now the norm. The state is acquiring more power to crush the individual.
The criminal justice system everywhere is deliberately designed to protect the rights of the individual accused. And this is the correct way of seeing it although in our country it is the other way round.
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The Only Institution Capable of Stopping the Death of Democracy Is Aiding it

The Only Institution Capable of Stopping the Death of Democracy Is Aiding it

The Wire / by A.P. Shah

The Supreme Court seems to have lost its way.
I speak here today of what I believe is one of the most troubling developments of our time: the decline of the Indian Supreme Court. As a former judge, at the very least I believe it is my duty to ring some warning bells…
This abuse of the UAPA and constant rejection of bail applications of accused as a means of silencing opposing voices can be seen most in the Bhima Koregaon cases, where mere thought has been elevated to a crime.
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Statement by Culture Workers Support Trust: Attempt to quell voices who speak out through art

Statement by Culture Workers Support Trust: Attempt to quell voices who speak out through art

Kabir Kala Manch performance, 2019

The Caravan / by Culture Workers Trust

The Culture Workers’ Support Trust (CWST) condemns the harassment of members of the creative community.
Statement Against State Repression of Culture Workers:
In Solidarity with Rahul Roy, Saba Dewan, Kabir Kala Manch, and Art Students facing harassment and false charges by the state, who are being targeted for exercising their democratic right to raise their voice against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019, the National Register of Citizens, the National Population Register and state-sponsored brutality during the anti-CAA protests.
Read more / Full statement

Maharashtra: Families of Prison Inmates Worried / Lockdown for some, lockup for others

Maharashtra: Families of Prison Inmates Worried / Lockdown for some, lockup for others


Read PUCL Report: Imprisoned and Unsave

Lockdown for some, lockup for others

Deccan Chronicle / by Bela Bhatia

More humane provisions are needed for prisoners, including political prisoners and those charged under special laws.
It is obvious that the threat of the coronavirus, a communicable disease, is worst in places of high population density. The prison is one such place. About half a million persons are incarcerated in more than 1,300 jails scattered all over India. More than two thirds are undertrials… It is only high-profile cases like those of Binayak Sen, Varavara Rao and others incarcerated in the Bhima Koregaon case that attract national or even international attention. While this attention is justified, most people do not realise that thousands of powerless, impoverished people face similar or worse injustice.
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Maharashtra: Families of Prison Inmates with Co-morbidities and Age Issues Worried

News Click / by Varsha Torgalkar

Activists have been demanding the release of prisoners on health grounds. So far, six inmates have died of COVID-19 in prisons across state and 1,772 prisoners have tested positive out of total 11,267 tests conducted as per the Prison Department data.
Pune: On July 12, poet and activist Varavara Rao’s daughter addressed a press conference saying, “My father, Varavara Rao, an 81 years old poet, blabbered about his father’s funeral which was held 75 years ago. Whatever he talked was incoherent during the weekly call from prison to family. His co-prisoner, Vernon Gonsalves, told us that he is in no condition to walk and carry out his daily works,” The family had panicked after the call and held the press conference the next day.
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Arrests Politically Motivated – Sedition, Counterterrorism Laws Used to Silence Dissent

Arrests Politically Motivated – Sedition, Counterterrorism Laws Used to Silence Dissent

By Human Rights Watch

(New York) The Indian authorities are increasingly bringing politically motivated cases, including under severe sedition and terrorism laws, against critics of the government, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately drop baseless charges against activists, academics, student leaders, and others, and unconditionally release those in custody.
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Umar Khalid arrest: Erosion of democracy hasn’t been as blatant, ‘save Emergency rule’

Counteverview / by Counterview Desk/ Campaign Against State Repression (CASR)

In a statement, CASR said, “Following the model of the Bhima Koregaon-Elgaar Parishad case, the Delhi Police appears to be determined to target those who have spoken out against the communal discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Registry of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR) instead of those who incited the violence in North East Delhi leading to the death of over 50 persons, injuries to several hundred, loss of livelihood and displacement of thousands, particularly Muslim residents of the area.”
Read full statement


Stop crying wolf over democracy, enjoy the quality of sheep’s clothing

Economic Times / by T K Arun

… In the cases registered by the Delhi police, the focus is solely on those who protested against CAA. BJP leaders who held rallies, threatening to take the law into their own hands if the anti-CAA protests were not lifted, are off the police radar.
This playbook looks as if it has been copied from the police action in the wake of the Bhima-Koregaon violence, which saw a Dalit activist killed and several injured during an attack on Dalit celebration of the 200 th anniversary of the victory of Mahar troops of the British East India Company over the Peshwa’s army, ending Peshwa rule once and for all.
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UAPA – Governments Avoid Due Process by Declaring Groups as ‘Front Organisations’

UAPA – Governments Avoid Due Process by Declaring Groups as ‘Front Organisations’


Jharkhand, Sep 5, 2020

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

Legal experts say loopholes in UAPA allow enforcement agencies to misuse the law to target dissenters by branding them as ‘fronts’ for banned organisations.
KKM – a 20-year-old cultural troupe with an anti-caste legacy – was first named in a criminal case in 2011, when the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested several individuals for their alleged link with the banned Maoist group… In the nine years since KKM was first criminalised, neither the state government nor the Centre have made any efforts to notify the organisation as either a banned organisation or an unlawful association, a process laid down in the UAPA.
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Maharashtra Govt Considers Setting Up an SIT in Bhima Koregaon Case

Maharashtra Govt Considers Setting Up an SIT in Bhima Koregaon Case

Maharashtra Govt Ponders SIT in Bhima Koregaon Case: What Message Is It Sending?

13/09/2020

Newsclick / by Amey Tirodkar

JV Pawar, senior author, activist and one of the founders of the Dalit Panthers movement, however, questioned the timing of this move.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief and kingmaker of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, Sharad Pawar, on Thursday held a high-level meeting with ministers from NCP, Congress, and senior officers from the home department. Pawar took stock of progress of the probe in the Bhima Koregaon case.
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Bhima Koregaon violence: Pawar wants bigger picture

12/09/2020

Rediff.com / by Prasanna D Zore

Dr Raut, who was at the meeting called by Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar to consider formation of a special investigation team to probe the Bhima Koregaon violence, reveals to Prasanna D Zore/Rediff.com what was discussed at the meeting.
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Sharad Pawar Once Again Considers Setting Up an SIT in the Elgar Parishad Case

11/09/2020

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

The Nationalist Congress Party chief had convened an urgent meeting on the matter in Mumbai on September 10.
Mumbai: The Maharashtra state government is once again mulling over the possibility of setting up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe into the violence that broke at Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 2018.
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NIA Court Extends Police Custody Of 3 Kabir Kala Manch Members Till Sep 19

NIA Court Extends Police Custody Of 3 Kabir Kala Manch Members Till Sep 19

Live Law / by Live Law News Network

A special court in Mumbai on Friday extended till September 19 the NIA remand of three members of Kabir Kala Manch arrested in connection with the Koregaon Bhima – Elgar Parishad case.
Sagar Tatyaram Gorkhe (32), Ramesh Murlidhar Gaichor (36) and Jyoti Raghoba Jagtap (33), who were arrested earlier this week, were produced before special NIA Judge D E Kothalikar on Friday after their first remand period of four days ended.
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KKM arrests raise a question on democracy, says Sagar Gorkhe’s partner Rupali Jadhav

11/09/2020

Free Press Journal / by Bhavna Uchil

In a video recorded just before they were arrested by the National Investigation Agency on Monday, Sagar Gorkhe can be heard saying that the agency had asked him and fellow Kabir Kala Manch member Ramesh Gaichor to give confessions that they are linked with Maoists and if they do so, they will be spared arrests. They said they refused it.
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Struggling to find evidence in Bhima Koregaon case, NIA is now resorting to outright bullying

Struggling to find evidence in Bhima Koregaon case, NIA is now resorting to outright bullying

Scroll.in / by Sruthisagar Yamunan

If the courts do not intervene to pull up the agency, its strategy of intimidation will continue unabated, vitiating the entire trial.
On September 7, the National Investigation Agency arrested two members of the Kabir Kala Manch cultural group, Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor, in connection with its inquiry into the violence at Bhima Koregaon in Maharashtra on December 31, 2017. A day later, Jyoti Jagtap, another member of the group, had been arrested.
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Varavara Rao’s sons-in-law appear before NIA in Mumbai

Varavara Rao’s sons-in-law appear before NIA in Mumbai

Varavara Rao’s sons-in-law appear before NIA in Mumbai

Telegana Today / by Telangana Today

The Mumbai unit of the NIA had summoned them a few days ago asking them to appear before it as a witness under Sections 160 and 91 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPc).
Hyderabad: Revolutionary writer P Varavara Rao’s sons-in-law K. Satyanarayana and KV Kurmanath appeared before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case this morning.
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‘Not Sure Whether My Husband Will Return Home After NIA Questioning’, Says VV Rao’s Daughter Pavana

08/09/2020

Outlook / by Preetha Nair

The NIA has summoned K Satyanarayana and KV Kumarnath for questioning in connection with the Elgar Parishad case.
The National Investigating Agency (NIA) is set to question two sons-in-law of revolutionary poet-writer Varavara Rao, the family says that the harassment at the hands of the state continues despite the deteriorating health condition of the incarcerated poet.
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EFLU Teachers’ Association stands in Solidarity with Prof. K. Satyanarayana

Statement by The English and Foreign Lanuages University Teachers´ Association

Click to enlarge