Debashish Roy Chowdhury and John Keane’s ‘To Kill a Democracy’ deals with the question how democracies get killed and dismisses the commonplace perspective of the “breakdowns”.
“Democracy in India is only a top-dressing on an Indian soil, which is essentially undemocratic…” ∼ B.R. Ambedkar
The title of Debashish Roy Chowdhury and John Keane’s book, To Kill a Democracy: India’s Passage to Despotism, implies that India was a democracy which has been killed and transformed into despotism under Narendra Modi. Not quite; it rather argues that the current state of degeneration, though representing a kink in the slow-paced rhetorical liberalism of plutarchy, is not entirely brought about by the Hindutva dispensation. Read more
Bhima Koregaon Case: An Analysis Of The Legal Framework, Evidence, And Implication for Civil Liberties
Journal of Legal Research and Juridical Sciences / by Olivia Hati, Yuvraj Singh
The Bhima Koregaon case refers to the arrests of several human rights activists and lawyers in India in 2018 for their alleged involvement in inciting violence during the Bhima Koregaon incident 2018. The Bhima Koregaon incident was a violent clash between Dalits (a historically marginalized community in India) and upper-caste groups in Maharashtra. The activists were accused of having links with Maoist organizations and were charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA), which allows for prolonged detention without bail and has been criticized for its potential for misuse. The case has been controversial, with many civil society groups and human rights organizations alleging that the arrests were politically motivated and an attempt to silence dissenting voices. The case has also drawn international attention, with several UN experts expressing concern about the treatment of the activists and the potential for human rights violations in the case. Read more
Koregaon Bhima commission to call Prakash Ambedkar to appear / The Strange Answers Of Shivaji Pawar
For four days, the officer avoided giving any straight answers, becoming the first witness in the 48 witnesses that have appeared so far, to have achieved this feat.
For four days last week, Deputy Commissioner of Police Shivaji Pawar, the investigating officer in charge of the Elgar Parishad case till it was taken over by the National Investigation Agency, was cross-examined before the Bhima Koregaon Commission. Read more
Koregaon Bhima inquiry commission to call Prakash Ambedkar to appear before it on March 27
The Indian Express / by Chandan Haygunde
The two-member commission was formed by the Maharashtra government to investigate the cause of violence in the Koregaon Bhima area on January 1, 2018. One person died and several others were injured in the violence.
The Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry has passed an order to issue a ‘letter of request’ to prominent Maharashtra Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar, asking him to appear before it during a hearing in Pune on March 27.
The order was passed on Thursday following an application filed by advocate Aashish Satpute, the lawyer representing the commission. Read more
CCG OPEN LETTER TO THE HON’BLE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA – HARASSMENT OF THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji,
… We write to you today because we are deeply perturbed by the continued harassment, through speech and criminal action, of minority groups in the country by persons associated with your government, your party, organisations connected to it, and by mischief makers from amongst the public.
… Jesuit priest, Father Stan Swamy, for no fault of his except that he was closely working with the Adivasis, Dalits and other underprivileged people of Jharkhand, was virtually driven to his death by no less than the State. Read full statement
The book exposes a sinister modus operandi of the police of charging innocent Muslims for terror acts, which is structurally made easier in India. “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”
– Milan Kundera, ‘The Book of Laughter and Forgetting’.
What if the state that is supposed to have been created by the people, the real sovereign as the constitution proclaims, turns into a monster that devours them? What if the police, vested with the responsibility of protecting people with law and order, turns into an organised gang of criminals supported by the state, conspire against innocent people, arrest them, torture them, and kill them with impunity? Read more
Cop who received village ‘bandh’ letter deposes before Koregaon Bhima panel
Dattatraya Hole is being examined before the commission in connection with the Koregaon Bhima village “bandh” letter he had received from a gram panchayat staffer while performing his duty at the Shikrapur police station on December 31, 2017.
Head constable Dattatraya Hole of the Pune rural police deposed as a witness before the Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry on Friday.
The two-member commission, headed by retired judge Justice J N Patel, is probing into the causes of violence in Koregaon Bhima area on January 1, 2018, causing the death of one person and injuries to several others. Read more
In November 2021, the Bombay High Court allowed Father (Dr) Frazer Mascarenhas, SJ, to approach the court to clear the name of Father Stan Swamy, the oldest of the 16 Bhima Koregaon accused, who died in hospital in July 2021 …
Known to speak freely and stand by his principles, Father Frazer, who is now the parish priest at a Mumbai church, tells Rediff.com Senior Contributor Neeta Kolhatkar, “It seems to be a culture now. Anybody dissenting will be treated in this manner. No human rights… It is not limited to any one political party. The evidence shows that a group of political parties seem to be using this in an extensive and deliberate manner.”
Not just Indian, but Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka too appear to be well within an era of media incitement, orchestrated attacks on minority religious institutions, and identity politics. The volume Politics Of Hate: Religious Majoritarianism in South Asia presents the research of noted scholars on the role of the media and political leaders in deploying hatred for political advantage.
… In July 2021, jailed tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy died in a prison in Mumbai, at the age of eighty-four. A Jesuit priest, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, was arrested in October 2020 after being accused of terrorism along with sixteen other activists, academics and lawyers. Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, had referred to this detention as ‘inexcusable’. Read more
Officer who probed Elgaar Parishad questioned on FIR against Bhide, Ekbote / The strange deposition of Pawar
Officer who probed Elgaar Parishad questioned on FIR against Bhide, Ekbote
The Indian Express / by Chandan Haygunde
The two-member commission, headed by retired judge Justice J N Patel, is probing the causes of violence in Koregaon Bhima area on January 1, 2018, in which one person was killed and several others were left injured.
Police officer Shivaji Pawar, who had investigated the Elgaar Parishad case, was on Monday cross examined by the Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry, by senior lawyer B A Desai, representing Harshali Potdar, an accused in the same case. Read more
The Strange Deposition Of Shivaji Pawar
Rediff.com / by Jyoti Punwani
Shivaji Pawar made a startling revelation: Though the subject matter of his investigation was the January 1 violence, he had not examined any of the witnesses to that violence.
“I am not aware of the complaint filed by Mrs Anita Sawale.”
This was the statement of Assistant Commissioner of Police Shivaji Pawar, the officer in charge of the Elgar Parishad case in which 16 intellectuals stand charged under UAPA, with most of them having spent almost five years behind bars. Read more
The UAPA Law – Curbing Terrorism or Stifling Dissent?
By Hindus for Human Rights
(DESH-VIDESH CONVERSATION SERIES – SPEAKING ACROSS THE DIVIDE) Digital Evidence Planting: New Age Threat to Rights Defenders
Presented by Safa Ahmed of the Indian American Muslim Council on behalf of a broad coalition working to secure the release of all the Bhima Koregaon prisoners
WHY ARE MOST OF THE BHIMA KOREGAON DEFENDANTS STILL IN JAIL DESPITE FORENSIC FINDINGS THAT INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE HAD BEEN PLANTED ON SOME OF THEIR COMPUTERS?
Good evening. Digital forensics is a dry, technical field, but the consequences of digital attacks play out like a vivid, terrifying, and painful movie. With the help of technical experts, journalists, and activists, I have prepared for you this narrative of what was revealed in the forensic analysis of the hard drives of three of the BK-16 – Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, and Father Stan Swamy. Read more
Invite: India’s UAPA law: Curbing Terrorism or Stifling Democratic Dissent?
The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and India’s Prisoners of Conscience (POCs): Targeting terrorism or stifling democratic dissent?
Saturday, January 21, 2023
6 pm PST,
7:30 am IST
The conversation will cover the history and the draconian provisions of the UAPA; how it compares to anti-terror laws in other democracies; the views of the State Department and USCIRF; what are some of the typical charges being made being under UAPA. Do they look unlawful to you? Some statistics: How many people arrested since the amended UAPA; Average time spent w/o trial or bail hearing; How many have gone to trial, etc.
Moderator: Govind Acharya, Amnesty International
Banojyotsna Lahiri, Activist, on Umar Khalid’s story and struggle
Yug Mohit Chaudhry, Author and Criminal Lawyer, on legal strategies on behalf of POCs and hurdles faced
Mihir Desai, Human Rights Lawyer, on the story and struggle of Bhima Koregaon 16 and what’s happening to lesser known detainees
Followed by a Q&A moderated by Govind Acharya Register here