This panel, featuring Susan Abraham, Prabodhan Pol, Mihir Desai and Nihalsing Rathod, takes a closer look at the arrests of and cases against the 11 activists detained after Bhima Koregaon, and places the events within the context of caste, community and Maharashtra political dynamics. This is part 1 of a two-part series on UAPA and state suppression of dissent. Watch Video
Lockdown Used to Attack Dissenters Under UAPA: UK Diaspora Demands Immediate Release
The statement mentions the arrests of journalists Masrat Zahra and Peerzada Ashiq, student activists Safoora Zargar, Meeran Haider and Sharjeel Imam, civil rights activist Gautam Navlakha, Dalit Marxist scholar Anand Teltumbde, amongst others.
The Indian diaspora in the United Kingdom have released a statement condemning the Modi Government’s continuous attack against students, activists, journalists and all other dissenters of the government even as India reels under a ruthless lockdown to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more
Govts Deployed Pegasus Spyware on People: NSO Group Tells US Court
Israeli cyberweapons company, NSO Group, whose Pegasus spyware was used to hack into the phones of at least 121 Indian citizens in 2019, has told a California court that the attacks were carried out by its government clients.
Pegasus, a spyware built by the NSO Group, was found to have infiltrated the phones of 1,400 individuals globally, including human rights activists, lawyers and activists in India. Read more
Misuse of UAPA by Union Government During COVID-19 Pandemic
Newsclick / Press Release by Activists and Citizens of India
Condemning Misuse of UAPA by Union Government during COVID-19 Pandemic and Standing in Solidarity with Individuals & Civil Society Organisations Experiencing Targeted Crackdown
We, a group of activists and citizens of India, express our deep concern over the recent arrests on the false pretext that have been taking place using the regressive Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) by the Union government. Read full statement
Covid-19 Pandemic: Crackdown On Dissent Putting Lives At Immediate Risk In India
The Government of India’s ongoing crackdown on dissent and free speech is leading to the arrest of journalists, activists, lawyers and students under repressive laws and being sent to overcrowded prisons which are potential COVID-19 hotspots. This crackdown during the pandemic puts their lives at immediate risk, said Amnesty International India today. Read full statement
MORE THAN 300 ACTIVISTS CONDEMN ARRESTS, HARASSMENT OF ANTI-CAA PROTESTERS
The Wire / by The Wire Staff
‘We have reasons to believe that the investigation is being (mis)used to crackdown on political dissent,’ write the signatories. …
These arrests seem to mark the continuation of a disturbing trend: the BJP government’s practice of covering up the violence committed by Hindutva groups by blaming democratic activists and citizens for the same, and its general disregard for the lives of citizens. Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde have been arrested over the Bhima Koregaon violence of 2018, even as its real perpetrators such as Milind Ekbote (a leader of local Hindutva groups) roam free. Read more
WhatsApp Alleges NSO Group Involved in Spying on Indians
WhatsApp has alleged in new court filings in a California court that Israeli surveillance company The NSO Group had controlled United States servers to deploy its spyware, Pegasus, in mobile phones of 1,400 individuals across the world, including over 121 Indians, The Guardianreported. …
Several Dalit rights lawyers and activists, including Anand Teltumbde, Bhima-Koregaon case lawyer Nihal Singh Rathod, Bela Bhatia, Jagdalpur Legal Aid group member Shalini Gera were among those targeted. Read more
The probe by NIA also focuses on student leaders in various universities and non-government organizations that extended support to the activists.
… the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has started looking at whether the 11 activists arrested in the case were involved in raising funds (for anti-national activities), brainwashing educated youth in urban centres, made international visits to get support from different organizations abroad, launched misinformation campaigns against the government, and met with overground Maoist leaders, two officials familiar with development told HT. 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
Vernon Gonsalves has to spend his birthday once more in a prison cell
It is my father’s birthday today. He turns 63. Due to the brutality of our government and the failure of our judiciary he will be spending his birthday in a prison cell. At the time of a serious global pandemic when he falls in the category of people most vulnerable he will be spending his birthday in an overcrowded prison with no adequate health facilities.
Today I thought of sharing a about how he has been spending his time in the the past year and a half in Yerwada prison, Pune. Read more
Stop the witch-hunt of activists and journalists in Delhi and Kashmir and elsewhere
Groundxro.in / By Campaign Against State Repression
… it must be noted that the branding and targeting activists to demoralise and crush the movements they belong to is a tactic that the State is deploying with increasing frequency and intensity. Be it in the arrest of eleven academics, activists, lawyers, journalists and poets in the Elgaar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case or the incarceration of Akhil Gogoi, Chingiz Khan, Ishrat Jahan, Dr. Kafeel Khan, Khalid Saifi, Sharjeel Imam and now several more, it is evident that the State is becoming more and more intolerant of any dissent or opposition. Read full statement