This statement by our group of former civil servants arises from our deep concern at the assault on the Rule of Law in India and on its citizens’ rights to free speech and dissent, basic elements of any democracy. Read full statement
Marking 45 years since the Emergency, Resolve to Strengthen the Struggle Against State Repression
45 years prior to today, on June 26th 1975, the country awoke to a declaration of Internal Emergency. Arguably one of the darkest days in the country’s history post 1947, Emergency Rule imposed by the then central government led by Indira Gandhi’s faction of the Indian National Congress (INC) was characterised by a near complete suspension of basic democratic rights and targeted attacks on all progressive and democratic forces and organisations. Read more
A Call to the Conscience of Citizens! Rise up against a `Situation Worse than the Emergency’!
Mr Ravi Kiran Jain – President
Dr V. Suresh – Nat. Gen Secretary
25th June 2020 marks the 45th year of the Declaration of the infamous Emergency Declaration of Indira Gandhi. It is a day remembered as the day in 1975, when the Indian Government waged a war on its own people, suspending the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution and turning India into an authoritarian country. …
Judges withhold bail; several prison reforms recommended over the years have fallen through the cracks.
On May 5, two months after the Arthur Road jail superintendent warned that an outbreak of COVID-19 could not be contained in the jail due to overcrowding, his worst fears came true: the first positive case was discovered in the precincts. Read more
COVID-19: AT LEAST THREE DIE IN MAHARASHTRA PRISONS
The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha
In an affidavit submitted to the Bombay high court in response to a PIL, the state government said that a prisoner each has died in the central prisons of Taloja and Yerwada, and in Dhule district prison. Maharashtra is the first state to have reported deaths in prisons so far. Read more
Maharashtra Prisoner Released on Parole Says Jails Unprepared to Handle COVID-19 Pandemic
The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha
No transport has been arranged for those who are released, while inmates still in prison fear for their health. Read more
BJP rulers’ standard mode of operation amidst Covid-19: Turning ‘victims’ into accused
Counterview/ by Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey, Shreekumar
At a time when there can be no mass mobilisations or street protests, and when so many people are distressed, anxious and distracted by the unprecedented challenges our country is facing due to the Covid-19 crisis, the government’s actions against activists, journalists, intellectuals and Muslims appear to be calculated and insidious. Read more
VINDICTIVE GOVT FINDS SEDITION UNDER EVERY STONE
National Herald / by Ashlin Mathew
Even as the Government claims to be waging a desperate war against the coronavirus and the lockdown has crippled the economy, draconian laws are being invoked to punish protestors and stifle dissent. Read more
UN raises concerns over exploitative provisions of UAPA [full communique]
Sites labelling of people as terrorists, reversal of burden of proof, and prolonged pre-trial detention as inconsistent with international Human Rights and legal standards.
In a special communication dated May 6, four United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteurs have written to the government of India about their serious concerns with respect to violation of human rights that are made possible by several provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 and amendments made to it in 2019. Read more
Maharashtra Women Prisons Hit Hard, Safety of Children a Prime Concern
With a woman inmate testing positive for coronavirus at Byculla prison, a look at the rise in cases in Maharashtra’s overcrowded state prisons.
Mumbai: Contrary to the claims made by the Maharashtra home and prisons department that utmost care has been taken to save prisons from COVID-19 outbreak, cases of infection have been on the rise in state prisons. Read more
BYCULLA JAIL INMATE TESTS POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS
Indiatoday / by Saurabh Vaktania
A woman has tested positive for novel coronavirus in Byculla women’s jail in Mumbai. The patient, a 54-year-old inmate, tested positive on Saturday.
A 54-year-old inmate of the Byculla women’s jail tested positive for novel coronavirus, officials said on Sunday. The new case of coronavirus from the central Mumbai jail comes two days after a doctor attached to it tested positive for Covid-19. Read more
PUDR expresses apprehensions over the health status of Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha …
Both Prof. Anand Teltumbde and Mr. Gautam Navlakha were interrogated by the NIA and have been sent to judicial custody. It has come to light that one of the officers of the NIA, Mumbai has tested positive for Covid-19 in this period. Anand Teltumbde was subsequently tested for suspected exposure and his report is negative for Covid-19. Read full statement
IN PARALLEL WITH THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC, WE NOW HAVE A PANDEMIC OF ARRESTS
The Wire/ by Pamela Philipose
Lockdown – the word that best describes our present physical and mental state – has now acquired a vicious new meaning. As if in parallel to the COVID-19 pandemic, we now have a pandemic of arrests, with prison gates clanging shut on those marked by the state as anti-nationals. Read more
Anand Teltumbde’s pursuit of Ambedkar’s radical civility
On 14 April 2020, the 129th anniversary of Dr B.R. Ambedkar, Prof Anand Teltumbde handed himself over to the custody of the National Investigation Agency as ordered by the Supreme Court in the Bhima Koregaon case. Drawing on Teltumbde’s writings, V. Geetha argues that it is the real, radical Ambedkar that he looks up to, not the toned-down version of Ambedkar that the civil order and the State is comfortable with. Read more
Why is India targeting writers during the coronavirus pandemic?
The Guardian / by Priyamvada Gopal and Salil Tripathi
Journalists, intellectuals and dissidents are being threatened by Modi’s government.
As a lethal virus scorches its way across continents, the leftwing Indian rights campaigner Gautam Navlakha has been reminding us of the words of Leonard Cohen, urging people to speak up for the right things: “There is a crack/a crack in everything, that’s how light gets in.” While many of us experience lockdown in varying degrees of constraint, Navlakha – who cited Cohen’s lyrics in a recent statement – faces actual incarceration as does another high-profile Indian, the eminent academic and Dalit intellectual Prof Anand Teltumbde. Read more