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Category: Repression

The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act is a blot on the nation

The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act is a blot on the nation

The Telegraph / by Prabhat Patnaik

The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act is a blot on the nation. In no nation reputed to be civilized is there a law that allows the State to pick up literally anybody and keep the person in jail for years, without trial and without bail; and, if, at the end of the trial, whenever it occurs, the person is found innocent, then there is no question of the State being obliged to pay any compensation for the lost years in the person’s life. But this is exactly what the UAPA does.
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PUDR report: Framed to Die – The Case of Stan Swamy

PUDR report: Framed to Die – The Case of Stan Swamy

By Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR)

Marking a month since Stan Swamy passed away in judicial custody in a private hospital, a month in which no official inquiry, even the mandated magisterial inquest, has not been initiated, Framed to die: The case of Stan Swamy documents the manner in which Stan Swamy was framed, fettered, and finally forced towards a fatal illness under due process of law called Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Framed to Die argues that Stan’s experiences of persecution provide an understanding of many others, including the 15 accused in the Bhima Koregaon case. Beyond chronicling Stan’s persecution under law, Framed to Die documents why Comrade Stan was a dissenter and a true patriot and why the state feared and criminalized his dissent under the UAPA.

Download full report (45 pages) here

They say, ‘Truth will finally prevail’. But how long is it going to take? – Anthology of writings by the late Stan Swamy

They say, ‘Truth will finally prevail’. But how long is it going to take? – Anthology of writings by the late Stan Swamy

Article14 / by Stan Swamy

Exclusive excerpts from ‘I Am Not A Silent Spectator’, an anthology of writings by the late Father Stan Swamy, Jesuit sociologist and at 84 the oldest accused, when he died on 5 July 2021 after nine months in custody in the Bhima-Koregaon case. He writes about his life with Adivasis & their struggles against injustice, & the case against him and more.
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I am not a Silent Spectator – Why Truth has become so bitter, Dissent so intolarable, Justice so out of reach.

An Autobiographical Fragment, Memory and Reflection


Edition: Aug 2021
Publisher: Indian Social Institute, Bangalore
Language: English
Paperback: 149 pages

Access a free PDF copy of the book here

Report: LRS Webinar on the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA)

Report: LRS Webinar on the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA)

By Lok Raj Sangathan

Over a hundred and fifty people from all over India, and a few Indians abroad too, participated in an online event organised by Lok Raj Sangathan on the pressing issue of the draconian UAPA.
It began with a presentation explaining the history of the UAPA and other similar laws like TADA and POTA. It showed how authoritarian laws were made more repressive over the years; explained the provisions in the UAPA at present which render it totally brutal and violative of basic human rights.
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Maharashtra: Activists, Lawyers Added to ‘Union War Book’, Listed as ‘Enemies of the State’

Maharashtra: Activists, Lawyers Added to ‘Union War Book’, Listed as ‘Enemies of the State’

Maharashtra: Activists, Lawyers Added to ‘Union War Book’, Listed as ‘Enemies of the State’

31/07/2021

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

While the exercise is carried out on the Union home ministry’s directive, the discretion of adding names and profiling people is entirely that of the state.
Even as several human rights activists and lawyers in Maharashtra face harassment, arrests and police cases, the state police has made things worse by adding them to the list of “enemies” as mentioned under the Union home ministry’s “Union War Book”.
In a detailed district-wise operation, the state’s home department along with the intelligence department has identified many human rights activists, lawyers, and academics and has begun the work of profiling them, almost like criminals, adding them to the ‘Union War Book’.
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City lawyer representing Bhima Koregaon case accused allege breach of privacy, writes top Maha officials

28/07/2021

Nagpur Today / by Nagpur Today

A Nagpur-based lawyer Nihalsing B Rathod has sent a legal notice to high-ranking police officials of the state government and the Additional Chief Secretary alleging his profiling, surveillance and breach of privacy at the hands of the state police.
Rathod is representing some of the accused in the Bhima Koregaon case and was allegedly subject to surveillance last year by Pegasus spyware. He was informed by Whatsapp that his phone had been bugged using Pegasus.
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Maharashtra is adding activists to a secret list of the enemies of state

26/07/2021

Newslaundry / by Prateek Goyal

A lawyer, a college professor and the wife of an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case haven been added to the Union War Book suspect list.
On July 7, at around 11 am, Nihal Singh Rathod, a human rights lawyer, received a call from a constable at the Pratap Nagar police station in Nagpur, Maharashtra. She had been directed by the police’s Special Branch to collect information about Rathod, the constable told him. No problem, Rathod said.
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Reinvestigate Bhima Koregaon Case: Justice Denied To The 15 Facing Severe Charges

Reinvestigate Bhima Koregaon Case: Justice Denied To The 15 Facing Severe Charges

HW / by Neeta Kolhatkar

The arrests of these activists were made on the basis of a First Information Report filed by Tushar Damgude, a former RSS activist and protégé of Bhide.
A peaceful event, Elgar Parishad was held on December 31, 2017. Over 35,000 people had attended it, where free speeches were given and people were informed they needed to be alert, remember their rights as free voices were being muzzled and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government needed to be toppled.
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Also read:
India´s Hindu Nationalist Project Relies on Brutal Repression (Jacobinmag, April 2021)
Casting a Veil – What we miss by ignoring Maratha caste politics in the Bhima Koregaon case (The Caravan, Dec 2020)

How 5 Reliance Workers Fighting For A Better Deal Found Themselves In Jail On Terrorism Charges

How 5 Reliance Workers Fighting For A Better Deal Found Themselves In Jail On Terrorism Charges

Article 14 / by Jyoti Punwani

For 15 years, these Mumbai contract workers struggled to be treated on par with regular workers and went from success to success, despite arrests and dismissals. Then the State used a law meant to be used against terrorists to incarcerate them with scant evidence of such crimes.
… So, long before the June 2018 arrests of six Left activists in what has come to be known as the Bhima Koregaon case, the Maharashtra Government’s narrative that the violence on 1 January 2018 was planned by “urban Naxals” was set into motion by the arrests of these workers. 
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Also read:
Bail After 3 Years for the Incarcerated Mumbai Electric Employees Union Workers (groundxero, June 2021)
Statement on release of four Reliance workers – First to be falsely implicated in Bhima Koregaon case (Sanhati India, January 2019)

Political prisoners part of broader dissent against state excesses / The Future of Social Activism

Political prisoners part of broader dissent against state excesses / The Future of Social Activism


Poster, July 2020

Political prisoners part of broader dissent against state excesses

27/07/2021

The Leaflet / by Achintya Anita Gurumurthy

It has been over 500 days since Khalid Saifi’s incarceration and 300 for Umar Khalid in the northeast Delhi riots cases and almost three weeks since the custodial demise of Father Stan Swamy in the Bhima-Koregaon case – all arrested under the dreaded Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, (UAPA) 1967. The arrests have put the spotlight back on the category of ‘political prisoners’, who are imprisoned for opposing the government via their actions or beliefs.
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State and the Future of Social Activism

27/07/2021

EPW / by Gopal Guru

The death of Father Stan Swamy and several others as the tragic outcome of the arrest and detention without fair trial brings into critical focus the approach that the state has been adopting towards understanding social activism. In the ethics of democratic practice and constitutional morality, such an official approach would be evaluated as indiscrete, if not arbitrary, in comprehending the nature of social activism.
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161 Names Revealed On Snoop List So Far / Indian activists jailed on terrorism charges were on list

161 Names Revealed On Snoop List So Far / Indian activists jailed on terrorism charges were on list

161 Names Revealed By The Wire On Snoop List So Far

27/07/2021

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

Over the past few days, The Wire – in collaboration with 16 other media organisations – has been revealing the names of people who were either persons of interest or forensically identified as having been targeted by clients of the NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware.
Those on the list include heads of state, political figures, activists, students, lawyers and journalists, among others.
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Pegasus exposé raises unjust detention cry

20/07/2021

The Telegraph / by Pheroze L. Vincent

The leaked database showed that the mobile numbers of several accused were on a list of those selected for surveillance by an unidentified client of NSO.
The families of the Elgaar Parishad-Maoist links detainees and one of their lawyers have said the new revelations about targeted surveillance have vindicated their stand that the prolonged imprisonment of the 15 surviving accused is unjust.
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From Ambedkarites and Labour Activists to Umar Khalid and JNU Students, Snoop List Targets All

20/07/2021

The Wire / by Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta, Sukanya Shantha and Kabir Agarwal

Leaked list of potential surveillance targets indicates attempt to keep tabs on critics of government policy.
The telephone numbers of an anti-caste leader and several prominent activists are part of a leaked database accessed by the Pegasus Project which includes individuals confirmed to have been targeted with the Israel based NSO group’s spyware.
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Indian activists jailed on terrorism charges were on list with surveillance targets

20/07/2021

The Washington Post / by Joanna Slater and Niha Masih

The Bhima Koregaon activists were also victims of an unidentified hacker who planted evidence on their computers, recent reports found.
When the Indian authorities began arresting lawyers and human rights activists in 2018, Sudha Bharadwaj did what she had done for more than three decades wherever she saw injustice. She organized. She spoke out. She asked courts to uphold the law.
Later that year, the police arrested her, too.
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Cops used Pegasus in Koregaon Bhima case, says Digvijaya Singh

20/07/2021

Times of India / by Suchandana Gupta

Congress Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh on Monday told TOI TOI that Pegasus was used by police in the Koregaon Bhima case, and even his name had surfaced, but he couldn’t be implicated because he had stopped using the phone that was mentioned in the ‘Naxalite letter’.
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Phones of ministers, journalists, lawyers and activists tapped by Pegasus spyware. Indians should worry

19/07/2021

The Leaflet / by Ramesh Menon

In the days ahead, we will know more about the investigations as they will be released in parts. Clearly, there is going to be a stormy monsoon session in Parliament as opposition members will question the government’s role in the snooping scandal. These revelations, if true, bode dangerously for the health of our democracy, writes Ramesh Menon as he recaps what we know about the Pegasus hacking allegations so far.
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Presence of Over 60 Women in Leaked List Highlights ‘Bodily Violation’ Posed by Spyware

Presence of Over 60 Women in Leaked List Highlights ‘Bodily Violation’ Posed by Spyware

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

The telephone numbers of more than 60 women – homemakers, lawyers and school teachers, journalists, scientists, civil servants and even friends of politicians – figure in the leaked database of probable surveillance targets selected by an Indian agency that uses Pegasus spyware, a count by The Wire has established.
The names of some of these women have already been published in earlier stories; the identities of others have been withheld at their request.
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Also read: Leaked Data Shows Surveillance Net in Elgar Parishad Case May Have Crossed a Line (The Wire, July 18, 2021)