en | 1h 42min | 2022
The discussion examines the recent three judgements relating to
► The denial of bail of Jyoti Jagtap by the Bombay High Court in the Bhima Koregaon Conspiracy case.
► The stay on the Bombay High Court judgement of acquittal/discharge of Dr. GN Saibaba and others by the Supreme Court
► The denial of bail by the Delhi High Court of Umar Khalid in the Conspiracy case of the Delhi Riots of 2020. Watch video (PUCL fb page)
In “Before the Law,” Franz Kafka portrays a countryman who can only be forever “before the law,” but never entering. “It is possible” to gain entry, says the doorkeeper, “but not at the moment.” The man gets old and is about to die—and only now does he understand that the gate was meant for him! “No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it.“
… Bhima Koregaon is, in terms of its empirics, so loaded with historical memory and the legacy of caste oppression that the so-called progressive left would rather take cover in the past-erasing, rarefied realms of the futuristic non-world of the constitution and the rights and innate liberties it supposedly guarantees to all citizens. Before the law, any day! Read more
● Documentary: The battle of Bhima Koregaon – an unending journey
multiple Indian languages / en subtitles │ 50 min │ 2017
By pedestrian pictures
Direction and Camera – Somnath Waghmare
Editor – Deepu (Pradeep K P)
About the film
History speaks about great wars fought, brave warriors and clever kings and emperors. What history doesn’t do is justice to the wars, warriors and leaders of the oppressed. This documentary is about the 500 Mahar soldiers who offered to fight alongside their countrymen, against the colonisers. Rejected by the ruling class they joined forces with the colonisers and fought in the ‘Bhima Koregaon Battle’, defeating the Brahminical rule of the Peshwas. Just as history did, so do the media and ruling class today conveniently forget to acknowledge them. On the 1st of January, every year, 20 lakh (2 million) people gather at Bhima-Koregaon, Pune, Maharashtra to commemorate that battle. No national or local media covers the largest annual gathering in the region. The documentary captures the history of Bhima Koregaon and its relevance to contemporary Dalit issues and politics in the country. It tells the history of the Bahujans through the coverage of the events of this gathering. Watch video
A critical look at the three central agencies show how and why they were conceived and how they are being used today.
It has been over a decade since Supreme Court Justice R.M. Lodha described the Central Bureau of Investigation as a “caged parrot” that speaks in “its master’s voice” in 2013, highlighting disconcerting trends of the misuse of federal probe agencies.
… National Investigation Agency
The NIA’s political overreach was seen for the first time in June, 2020, when the Union Ministry of Home Affairs transferred the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case to it from the Maharashtra Police, which was conducting the investigation of the case from the inception. Human rights activists campaigning against the BJP’s Hindutva agenda congregated on December 31, 2017. Read more
● PUCL Report: UAPA – CRIMINALISING DISSENT AND STATE TERROR
Study of UAPA Abuse in India, 2009 – 2022
Published: Sep 28, 2022
PUCL’s study on the use and abuse of UAPA covering the period between 2009 and 2022, with special emphasis on the NIA. Download report
‘Disproportionate and Politically Motivated’: Diasporic Outfits Condemn Police Raids on ‘The Wire’
The Wire / by The Wire Staff
As many as 21 Indian diasporic organisations from across the globe saw the raids on ‘The Wire’ as part of an “ongoing deterioration of journalistic and press freedoms in India”.
We Stand with The Wire
We are writing as diasporic Indian organizations and allies to express our solidarity with The Wire. We strongly condemn the witch hunt to which they are being subjected by the state.
… Egregiously, the phones and laptops of the four Wire editors, the accountant, and the business officer were seized without being sealed and without provision of the hashtag value by the authorities for the seized devices at the time of the seizures. The hash value is the single most important forensic evidence that captures the total state of the electronic devices at the time of seizure. It allows for forensic experts to determine whether any tampering of the device took place after seizure. In short, the hashtag ensures the integrity of the stored data. Given the emerging evidence around electronic surveillance and the reports of planted and ‘fabricated’ evidence used to implicate political prisoners such as the Bhima Koregaon 16, we are highly concerned about any claims by authorities based on the data on the above devices. Read full statement
A Govt of India move to ‘force’ journos to join cacophony of state propaganda: CASR
Counterview / by CASR
The Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) condemns the raids carried out by Delhi Police at mid night on the house of the various editors of The Wire and its office based in Delhi, on the complaint of BJP Spokesperson Amit Malviya pertaining to series of articles about Amit Malviya enjoying special censorship on the contents being published on social media company named ‘Meta’.
… Be it in the arrest of academics, activists, lawyers, journalists and poets in the Elgaar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case or the incarceration of journalist Rupesh Kumar Singh, Siddiqui Kappan, Fahad Shah of ‘Kasmir Walla’, Asif Sultan and now several more, it is evident that the State is becoming more and more intolerant of any critical voice or dissent. At such times, it is imperative that democratic and progressive voices speak out, else risk being silenced forever. Read full statement
Police officer who probed case files affidavit before Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry
Senior police officer Shivaji Pawar, who is currently the deputy director (administration) of Maharashtra Police Academy, Nashik, is likely to be called before the commission to record his evidence.
Senior police officer Shivaji Pawar, who had investigated the Elgaar Parishad case in Maharashtra, submitted his affidavit before the Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry on Monday, advocate Shishir Hiray, who represents the state, said. Read more
India Trains Its Sights on Dissent in Chhattisgarh – Snooping on Civil Society
Voelkerrechtsblog / by Allison West
Development in the form of profit-driven resource exploitation ventures in India’s central state of Chhattisgarh, led by corporations and facilitated by the state, have wreaked havoc on the lives and livelihoods of the region’s indigenous Adivasi peoples. In the face of widespread dispossession, corporate land grabs, environmental degradation and militarized policing in Chhattisgarh, Adivasi activists and organized civil society play a vital role in monitoring, documenting and challenging ongoing human rights violations on the ground…
In 2020, Amnesty International and Citizen Lab uncovered a coordinated spyware campaign targeting nine human rights defenders in India, including several active in Chhattisgarh. Between January and October 2019, the targets received spearphishing emails with malicious links that, if opened, would have installed NetWire, a commercially manufactured Windows spyware that monitors a user’s actions and communications..
The common link between the human rights defenders targeted in the NetWire attack seemed to be a record of speaking out on behalf of those imprisoned in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon Case. Read more
Report Release: In the Name of Development – Indigenous Rights Violations and Shrinking Space in Chhattisgarh
By India Justice Project & ECCHR
The report presents insights into the ongoing assault by the Indian state and powerful corporations on the indigenous peoples of the country through a case study of Chhattisgarh. In particular, the report highlights the legal and institutional means through which powerful state, military and corporate actors appropriate land and shrink space for Adivasi rights and resistance in Chhattisgarh. Read full report (PDF, 72 pages)
India today, is enveloped in darkness! As the nation embroils itself from one issue to another, the burden is felt by the ordinary citizen, as never before and in more ways than one. Fascism throttles the country; at this juncture, one cannot help, but reminded of that immortal epigram composed by Bertolt Brecht in 1939. Brecht, a playwright and poet, who was vehemently anti-Nazi wrote, “In the dark times / will there also be singing? / Yes, there will also be singing. / About the dark times.”. In these dark times, the people of India cry out in one voice, from the depths of their being “Let there be Light”!
… At the same time, human rights defenders, those who have taken a visible and vocal stand for justice and peace, those who have taken up cudgels for the excluded and exploited, the marginalised and the minorities are at the receiving end of a brutal vengeful system. Many, as those in the Bhima Koregaon conspiracy case are still languishing in jail without trial. Read more
This draconian law is rarely invoked against the upper caste Hindus who are not communists or Ambedkarites or atheists, which is a commentary on the nature of the Indian state.
This column has featured, over the past five months, stories of those families whose members have been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act—and persistently denied bail. They continue to languish in jail. With the exception of Fahad Shah, editor of The Kashmir Walla, the column focussed on the accused in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence and the 2020 Delhi riot cases. Their tragedy is compounded as the charges against them are widely believed to be imaginary. Read more
Will rely on ‘historic’ verdict to secure release of Elgar Parishad case accused: Lawyer
The Times of India / by Vaibhav Ganjapure
After securing acquittal for Prof GN Saibaba and four others primarily based on absence of sanction under UAPA’s Section 45 (1), his lawyers now have plan to rely on the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court’s verdict for securing the release of several accused who are also behind bars in the Elgar Elgar Parishad case. Read more
As GN Saibaba gets bail in Maoist link case, let’s recall the Elgar Parishad–Bhima Koregaon case
Free Press Journal / by Urvi Mahajan
More than eight years after his arrest, the Bombay High Court on Friday acquitted former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba in an alleged Maoist links case for want of valid sanction for prosecution under the stringent anti-terror law UAPA…
With GN Saibaba getting acquitted by the Bombay High Court’s Nagpur bench on Friday, here’s a look at the other Maoist-link case which is the Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case.
In the Bhima-Koregaon case, the investigation was taken over by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2020, the initial probe being done by the Pune police. Most of the accused have spent years in custody, being arrested in August 2018. Read more
Bombay HC Frees Saibaba, Others in ‘Maoist Link’ Case
The Wire / by The Wire Staff
The Nagpur bench of the high court allowed the appeal of all six convicted persons, including Pandu Narote who died in August this year.
Former Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba and five others were acquitted in the Maoist links case by the Bombay high court, allowing their appeal against conviction and life sentence…
After Saibaba’s conviction, his lawyer in the lower court, Surendra Gadling; his colleague Hany Babu; and his close friend Rona Wilson were also arrested in years to come under the UAPA charges. While Gadling fought his case in court, Babu and Wilson had run a campaign for his release. All three are named as prime accused in the Elgar Parishad case of 2018. Read more
PUCL Report: UAPA – CRIMINALISING DISSENT AND STATE TERROR (#RepealUAPA campaign)
By V. Suresh, Madhura SB and Lekshmi Sujatha (PUCL)
Study of UAPA Abuse in India, 2009 – 2022
Published: Sep 28, 2022
PUCL’s study on the use and abuse of UAPA covering the period between 2009 and 2022, with special emphasis on the NIA. A first in the series of a larger collaborative work as part of #RepealUAPA campaign. Download report
PUCL report alleges abuse of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act
The Hindu / by The Hindu Bureau
Report by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties says ‘suo motu power’ by Centre to transfer investigation from the State police was a ‘serious threat to federalism’
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has released a report titled ‘UAPA: Criminalising Dissent and State Terror’ on the alleged abuse of the legislation during 2009-22, and demanding the law be repealed. Read more
97.2% of UAPA accused jailed for long periods and eventually acquitted, study finds
The News Minute / by Jahnavi Reddy
The PUCL study found that 8,371 persons were arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act between 2015 and 2020, while only 235 were convicted under the draconian anti-terror law in the same period.
A total of 8,371 persons were arrested in 5,924 cases under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) across India between 2015 and 2020, according to a report by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), which sheds light on the Union government’s alleged abuse of the anti-terror law and calls to repeal it. In the same period, however, only 235 persons were convicted under the UAPA. Read more