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Top Investigating Officer Admits Elgar Parishad Event ‘Had No Role’ in Bhima Koregaon Violence

Top Investigating Officer Admits Elgar Parishad Event ‘Had No Role’ in Bhima Koregaon Violence

Top Investigating Officer Admits Elgar Parishad Event ‘Had No Role’ in Bhima Koregaon Violence

27/12/2022

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

This is perhaps the first time any state representative has accepted that the Elgar Parishad event had no role to play in the violence. While three activists have been released on bail, and one died in custody, 12 continue to be jailed over this claim.
A senior police official investigating caste violence on members of the Dalit community at Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 2018, has, on oath, admitted that the Elgar Parishad event, organised 30-kilometres away in Pune city, had no role in the violence.
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No Link Between Elgar Parishad, Violence: Cop

22/12/2022

Rediff.com / by Jyoti Punwani

The foundation of the Bhima Koregaon case was blown to bits by a senior policeman on Tuesday, December 20, 2022.
… Retired police officer Ganesh More told the Commission which is holding its hearings in Pune that he had found no connection between the Elgar Parishad and the incidents of violence that took place around Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 2018.
Read more


Also Read:
Case Against Hindutva Leaders Ignored, No Justice in Sight for Bhima Koregaon Violence Victims (The Wire / Sep 2020)
Let’s Remember the Lesson of Bhima Koregaon: Down with the New Peshwai (Sanhati│ by Sudhir Dhawale │ March 2018)
Why peoples’ coalitions are uniting against Hindutva — the ‘new Peshwai’ (Dailyo.in │ by Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves │ Jan 30, 2018)

Free Elgar Parishad political prisoners, demands Maha CPI(M)

Free Elgar Parishad political prisoners, demands Maha CPI(M)

The Siasat Daily / by IANS

CPI(M) Secretary Dr Uday Narkar said that the then Investigating Officer of Pune Police Ganesh More had made a deposition to the effect before Justice J. N. Patel Commission which probed the events.
Mumbai: Against the backdrop of the revelations that there was no connection between the Elgar Parishad held in Pune on December 31, 2017 and the caste violence that erupted in Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 2018, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) demanded the immediate release of those arrested in connection with the incidents, here on Saturday.
Read more


by CPI (M) @cpimspeak (Dec 14, 2022):
CPI(M) demands that all the Bhima Koregaon accused be immediately released from jail; NIA should not deny their bail applications and or discharge appeals; an expert, fair re-examination taking into account the forensic evidence available should be made in a timebound framework.

Click to enlarge posters

Also read:
Cop: No Link Between Elgar Parishad and violence at Bhima Koregaon on Jan 1, 2018 (Rediff.com / Dec 22, 2022)

Number of Jailed Journalists at New Global Record, Seven Behind Bars in India

Number of Jailed Journalists at New Global Record, Seven Behind Bars in India

Number of Jailed Journalists at New Global Record, Seven Behind Bars in India

14/12/2022

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

Six out of the seven jailed journalists are being investigated under or charged under the anti-terrorism law Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
The number of journalists across the world who have been put behind bars for practising their profession has reached a record high this year, said the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), adding that seven Indian reporters remain behind bars – a record high for the country.
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As seven journalists remain jailed, India continues to draw criticism over treatment of media: CPJ

15/12/2022

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

In its annual report, the Committee to Protect Journalists said that across the world, a record number of 363 journalists were behind bars as of December 1.
As seven journalists remain imprisoned in India as of December 1, the country continues to draw criticism over its treatment of the media, the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Wednesday. The press body made the comment in its annual census of jailed journalist across the globe.
Read more

On Human Rights Day, a look at India’s surging human rights abuses / Personal liberty in India

On Human Rights Day, a look at India’s surging human rights abuses / Personal liberty in India

On Human Rights Day, a look at India’s surging human rights abuses

10/12/2022

National Herald / by NH Web Desk

The adoption of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is marked as Human Rights Day on December 10, and December 2023 will mark the 75th anniversary of its adoption by the United Nations General Assembly.
… According to the Human Rights Watch, Indian authorities brought politically motivated cases, including under draconian sedition and terrorism laws, against human rights defenders, student activists, academics, opposition leaders, and critics, blaming them for the communal violence in February in Delhi as well as caste-based violence in Bhima Koregaon in Maharashtra state in January 2018.
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Rights day: Call for release of Sikh political prisoners

11/12/2022

The Times of India / by TNN

Chandigarh/Jalandhar/Bathinda: Human rights activists, academicians and various religious activists on Saturday asked the Centre to release all political prisoners.
… In Faridkot, farmer body Kirti Kisan Union (KKU) along with Naujawan Bharat Sabha (NBS) and Punjab Students Union (PSU) took out a protest march and accused the BJP-led Centre of “not caring for the rights of protesting people and putting activists in jail on flimsy grounds”. They also accused the Centre of “mistreating activists” arrested for Bhima Koregaon and Delhi riots.
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The situation of personal liberty in India

11/12/2022

Indica News / by Justice Markandey Katju

Justice Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. 
In his Hamlyn Lecture, Lord Denning, the celebrated Judge of England, said, ” Whenever one of the King’s judges takes his seat in Court there is one application which by long tradition has priority over all others, and that is an application for a writ of habeas corpus. The counsel has only to say ‘My Lord, I have an application which concerns the liberty of a subject’, and forthwith the judge will put all other matters aside and hear it ”.
But what is the position in India?
Read more

Public meeting ‘Thoughts Criminalised’ in Delhi

Public meeting ‘Thoughts Criminalised’ in Delhi

By Campaign Against State Repression

Press Release

Click to enlarge

 


Also read/watch:
Supreme Court’s suspension of Dr. G.N. Saibaba’s acquittal: ‘Technical grounds are also substantive’, says senior advocate, Mihir Desai (The Leaflet / Oct 2022)
Inconsistencies in Bail Orders Mean Individual Liberty Is Now the Outcome of Judicial Lottery (The Wire / Oct 2022)
Pandu Narote’s Death: A Reminder of Stan Swamy’s Demise, GN Saibaba’s Struggles (The Quint / Sep 2022)

● Video: Personal Liberty and the Indian Courts

25/10/2022


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)

Bhima Koregaon – Before the Law

Bhima Koregaon – Before the Law

Monthly Review / by Saroj Giri

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


Also read/watch:
The Bhima Koregaon Arrests and the Resistance in India (Monthly Review / April 2022)
Let’s Remember the Lesson of Bhima Koregaon: Down with the New Peshwai (Sanhati, by Sudhir Dhawale │ March 2018)

● 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

The Uses (and Abuses) of Investigative Agencies

The Uses (and Abuses) of Investigative Agencies

The Wire / by Ajay K. Mehra

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


Also read:

● PUCL Report: UAPA – CRIMINALISING DISSENT AND STATE TERROR

Study of UAPA Abuse in India, 2009 – 2022
Published: Sep 28, 2022
41 pages
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

Struggling to find evidence in Bhima Koregaon case, NIA is now resorting to outright bullying (Scroll.in / Sep 2020)
Dubious decision: On NIA takeover of Bhima Koregaon case (The Hindu / Jan 2020)
Bhima-Koregaon case transferred to NIA to compromise independent probe: Front Line Defenders (Sabrangindia / Jan 2020)

A Govt of India move to ‘force’ journos to join cacophony of state propaganda: CASR

A Govt of India move to ‘force’ journos to join cacophony of state propaganda: CASR

‘Disproportionate and Politically Motivated’: Diasporic Outfits Condemn Police Raids on ‘The Wire’

05/11/2022

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

05/11/2022

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

Police officer who probed case files affidavit before Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry

The Indian Express / by Chandan Haygunde

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


Also read:
Report links Pune cop to hacking bid on Bhima Koregaon accused (Hindustan Times / June 2022)
Police Linked to Hacking Campaign to Frame Indian Activists (Wired.com / June 2022)
As Bhima Koregaon case completes its fourth anniversary, State reprisal is writ large in its twists and turns (The Leaflet / June 2022)

Report Release: In the Name of Development / Snooping on Civil Society

Report Release: In the Name of Development / Snooping on Civil Society

Poster by bakeryprasad

India Trains Its Sights on Dissent in Chhattisgarh – Snooping on Civil Society

28/10/2022

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

03/11/2022

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)


Also read:
DISINHERITING ADIVASIS – THE GADCHIROLI GAME PLAN (KAFILA / June 2018)
Mining In Gadchiroli – Building A Castle Of Injustices (Countercurrents / June 2017)