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Category: Repression

Delhi Police files chargesheet in UAPA case against NewsClick founder Prabir Puryakayastha

Delhi Police files chargesheet in UAPA case against NewsClick founder Prabir Puryakayastha

NewsClick UAPA case: Delhi Police Special Cell files chargesheet against founder-editor Prabir Purkayastha, portal

30/03/2024

The Indian Express / by Nirbhay Thakur

Among allegations detailed by the Special Cell in its FIR against Prabir Purkayastha were attempts to show Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh as “not parts of India”.
… The Special Cell had registered an FIR in this regard in August under sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). In November, the two were sent to a month’s judicial custody. The FIR also mentioned Purkayastha’s “friendship since 1991” with rights activist Gautam Navlakha who is under house arrest in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case.
Read more


Delhi Police files chargesheet in UAPA case against NewsClick founder Prabir Puryakayastha

30/03/2024

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

Purkayastha and PPK NewsClick Studio were named as accused parties for allegedly taking Chinese funds to ‘undermine India’s sovereignty, territorial integrity’.
The Delhi Police Special Cell on Saturday filed an 8,000-page chargesheet in the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act case against NewsClick founder and editor Prabir Puryakayastha, who has been in judicial custody since November.
Read more


Newsclick Rejects Allegations Published in Media; Latest Claims No Different

Newsclick.in | Newsclick Team | March 29, 2024
Statement on allegations published in the media about the case under UAPA being investigated by the Special Cell of Delhi Police.
Read full statement


Also read:
‘NewsClick’ case: Gautam Navlakha questioned by Delhi Police (Scroll.in / Dec 2023)
This Is the Biggest Crackdown on the Indian Press by the Indian State (The Wire / Oct 2023)

Top Global Academics Flay Recent Pattern in India of Jailing Critics Without Trial

Top Global Academics Flay Recent Pattern in India of Jailing Critics Without Trial

Campaign poster, 2020

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has voiced his support for the statement – among whose authors is Amitav Ghosh – saying such imprisonment without trial was “certainly among the worst injustices that the country has made into a regular arrangement”.
Sixteen prominent academics released a statement expressing concern over the prolonged detention without trial of writers, journalists and activists who were critical of the Union government.
Read more / read the full text of the two statements

Kejriwal Arrest: This Coup Against Our Constitutional Setup is a Wake-Up Call

Kejriwal Arrest: This Coup Against Our Constitutional Setup is a Wake-Up Call

Campaign, 2020

The Wire / by Apoorvanand

One knows that the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal or Hemant Soren is to scare political leaders and the people and stun them into inaction. Is this how we want to live? Are we actors in this theatre of democracy or mere spectators?
… But in India and especially under the BJP government, investigation is used as a ruse to punish the critics and opponents of the government by jailing them. This is exactly what was done to P. Chidambaram and many others.
Recently, we heard the agencies informing the court that it did not need Shoma Sen’s custody for investigation. She is in jail for more than five years in the Bhima Koregaon conspiracy case.
Read more


Also read:
State-sponsored attacks of surveillance reveal an erosion on Indians’ right to privacy, especially journalists, political opposition (SabrangIndia / Nov 2023)
India: Weaponizing Counterterrorism: India’s exploitation of terrorism financing assessments to target the civil society (Amnesty International / Sep 2023)
The Uses (and Abuses) of Investigative Agencies (The Wire / Nov 2022)
AUTHORITIES HARASS AND SQUEEZE FUNDING OF NGOS WHILE ACTIVISTS, JOURNALISTS TARGETED IN INDIA (CIVICUS / Feb 2022)
Maharashtra is adding activists to a secret list of the enemies of state (Newslaundry / July 2021)
How Governments Avoid Due Process by Declaring Groups as ‘Front Organisations’ of Banned Entities (The Wire / Sep 2020)

Was the trial judge who convicted GN Saibaba biased? We will never know, and that is part of the injustice

Was the trial judge who convicted GN Saibaba biased? We will never know, and that is part of the injustice

Was the trial judge who convicted G.N. Saibaba biased? We will never know, and that is part of the injustice

24/03/2024

The Leaflet / by Nihalsing Rathod

The injustice of a trial judge filling the gaps in the prosecution’s case (which relied on ‘evidence’ in the form of bananas, umbrellas and newspaper cuttings) with judicial overreach to chop ten years off Professor G.N. Saibaba’s life.
The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court heard the appeal against the conviction of Prof. G.N. Saibaba and five others, twice. In both the judgments, it set aside the conviction.
Read more


Branded Maoist, ex-political prisoners narrate how they were wrongfully incarcerated

21/03/2023

Counterview.net / by Our Representative

Celebrating the International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners, which fell on March 18, the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a joint platform of 35+ organizations, held a public gathering in Delhi titled “Life in Anda Cell: Political Prisoners and Wrongful Incarcerations” at the Press Club of India, Delhi, in order to mark the acquittal and prison experience of cultural activist Hem Mishra and his family. 
… Hem Mishra added, “it is not about just the 6 of us in my case. It is about all political prisoners. As long as the fight for jal-jangal-jameen remains, as long as the fight of Dalits, Adivasis, workers, peasants, oppressed nationalities remains, as long as the question of creating a better world for all people and a better state for all people remains, the fight of all political prisoners will rage on. At the end of the day, I am a bard who sings the songs of the people and I will continue to echo their cries. I am out of prison, but as long as all other political prisoners like Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale are inside prison, I feel I am only out from a smaller cage into a bigger one.”
Read more


By Adv Surendra Gadling Defence Committee (Jan 2021):
With due credit to anonymous artist and to the jailed, to be jailed lawyers

IO Whose Role Bombay HC Questioned in Saibaba Case Was Also Part of Elgar Parishad Probe

13/03/2024

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

The Pune police, at multiple places in the Elgar Parishad chargesheet, claimed that some of those arrested in the Elgar Parishad case had a “direct association” with Saibaba.
At the end of 2018, when the Pune police first filed a chargesheet in the Elgar Parishad case, they claimed to be “heavily relying” on the investigation conducted in the case involving former Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba. By then, Saibaba and five others had already been convicted by the Gadchiroli sessions court.
Read more


Also watch:

▪ Video: INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MEETING

en | 1:07 min | 2024

By INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY FOR ACADEMIC FREEDOM IN INDIA (InSAF)
Celebrating the Second Acquittal of Professor GN Saibaba, Prashant Rahi, Mahesh Tirki, Hem Mishra and Vijay Tirki and the late Pandu Narote
Years in solitary confinement Years of shuttling from one bail plea to another Endless health ordeals, systematic discrimination The custodial death of 32-year old co-accused Pandu Narote The shocking overnight reversal of an acquittal order The life and trials of GN Saibaba and his co-accused remind us of the extent the repressive Indian state will go to in order to silence voices of dissent But on 7 March 2024, they finally walked free, after being acquitted for the second time on 5 March 2024, exonerated of all charges On 10 March 2024, we came together to celebrate this overdue step
We will not be silenced

Co-sponsored by
International Solidarity for Academic Freedom in India (InSAF India) South Asian Diaspora Action Collective (SADAC) Indian Workers Association (Great Britain) (IWA-GB) India Labour Solidarity (UK) Foundation The London Story The Humanism Project, Australia Hindus for Human Rights Free Saibaba Coalition (USA) Boston South Asian Coalition (BSAC) India Civil Watch International (ICWI) South Asia Solidarity Group, London

Watch video

IO Whose Role Bombay HC Questioned in Saibaba Case Was Also Part of Elgar Parishad Probe / Video

IO Whose Role Bombay HC Questioned in Saibaba Case Was Also Part of Elgar Parishad Probe / Video

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

The Pune police, at multiple places in the Elgar Parishad chargesheet, claimed that some of those arrested in the Elgar Parishad case had a “direct association” with Saibaba.
At the end of 2018, when the Pune police first filed a chargesheet in the Elgar Parishad case, they claimed to be “heavily relying” on the investigation conducted in the case involving former Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba. By then, Saibaba and five others had already been convicted by the Gadchiroli sessions court.
Read more


Also read/watch:
‘It Is Only by Chance That I Came Out of Prison Alive’: G.N. Saibaba (The Wire / March 2024)

▪ Video: INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MEETING

en | 1:07 min | 2024

By INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY FOR ACADEMIC FREEDOM IN INDIA (InSAF)
Celebrating the Second Acquittal of Professor GN Saibaba, Prashant Rahi, Mahesh Tirki, Hem Mishra and Vijay Tirki and the late Pandu Narote
Years in solitary confinement Years of shuttling from one bail plea to another Endless health ordeals, systematic discrimination The custodial death of 32-year old co-accused Pandu Narote The shocking overnight reversal of an acquittal order The life and trials of GN Saibaba and his co-accused remind us of the extent the repressive Indian state will go to in order to silence voices of dissent But on 7 March 2024, they finally walked free, after being acquitted for the second time on 5 March 2024, exonerated of all charges On 10 March 2024, we came together to celebrate this overdue step
We will not be silenced

Co-sponsored by
International Solidarity for Academic Freedom in India (InSAF India) South Asian Diaspora Action Collective (SADAC) Indian Workers Association (Great Britain) (IWA-GB) India Labour Solidarity (UK) Foundation The London Story The Humanism Project, Australia Hindus for Human Rights Free Saibaba Coalition (USA) Boston South Asian Coalition (BSAC) India Civil Watch International (ICWI) South Asia Solidarity Group, London

Watch video

‘It Is Only by Chance That I Came Out of Prison Alive’ / GN Saibaba’s long struggle for justice / Video

‘It Is Only by Chance That I Came Out of Prison Alive’ / GN Saibaba’s long struggle for justice / Video

by Nihalsing / @Nihalsingrathod (March 7, 2024):
#GNSaibaba and #prashantrahi released

#hemmishra also released from Kolhapur jail

#prashantrahi with his daughter @shikharahi

And finally #maheshtirki also walks out


Injustice And Impunity: How The Justice System Failed G.N. Saibaba

19/03/2024

Feminism India / by Hajara Najeeb

A professor of the Department of English at Ram Lal College in New Delhi, G.N. Saibaba was incarcerated under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967, accusing him of having Maoist links
On March 8th, a frail G.N. Saibaba made his first public statement in ten years after a decade of torture and a lifetime of injustice. A professor of the Department of English at Ram Lal College in New Delhi, he was incarcerated under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967, accusing him of having Maoist links.
Read more


“I Don’t Know How I Survived” Professor G. N. Saibaba says the reality of being free is yet to sink in

09/03/2024

The Citizen / by Nikita Jain

There was excitement and anticipation as former Delhi University Professor G. N. Saibaba entered the room in his wheelchair. Accompanied by his wife Vasantha Kumari, daughter, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja amongst others, Prof. Saibaba smiled and waved at a few friends he recognised in the audience.
… Speaking about one his lawyers, Surendra Gadling, who himself is in jail for another case related to Elgar Parishad, Prof. Saibaba said that it was because of him that his case became stronger and it breaks his heart to see him behind bars. “Surendra Gadling is languishing behind the bars only for one reason, he stood for me and he argued most effectively in the sessions court during the trial.
Read more


It’s by chance I came out of prison alive: G N Saibaba after release from Nagpur jail

08/03/2024

Indian Express / by Express News Service

Saibaba also said he was “sad” that Surendra Gadling, his lawyer during the trial in the case, was behind bars in the Elgaar Parishad case.
Former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, who had been sentenced to life imprisonment over his alleged Maoist links, was released from Nagpur Central Jail on Thursday morning, two days after his acquittal by the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court.
Read more


‘It Is Only by Chance That I Came Out of Prison Alive’: G.N. Saibaba

07/03/2024

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

“It is only by chance that I came out of prison alive,” 56-year-old former Delhi University professor S.N. Saibaba said in his first press briefing since his release from Nagpur Central jail on Thursday (March 7).
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court on March 5 acquitted him and five others on “terrorism” charges.

The trial in the lower court was handled by Nagpur-based human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling. Soon after the trial was completed in the Gadchiroli sessions court, Gadling was arrested in the Elgar Parishad case. Saibaba, on Thursday, said that his lawyer Gadling was targeted only for handling his case.
Read more


GN Saibaba’s long struggle for justice: Why the Bombay HC had to overturn his conviction – twice

09/03/2024

Scroll.in / by Vineet Bhalla

The former DU professor was arrested in 2014 and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2017. The High Court has now acquitted him, finding no evidence against him.
Human rights activist and former Delhi University professor GN Saibaba’s acquittal by the Bombay High Court for terror-related offences under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on Tuesday and release from the Nagpur Central Jail on Thursday was the culmination of an arduous legal struggle.
Read more


Saibaba Acquittal: From Lack of Sanction to Dodgy Evidence, HC Judgment Tears Into State’s Case

06/03/2024

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

‘The prosecution has failed to establish the seizure of incriminating material from the house search of G.N. Saibaba,” the judges said. “The prosecution has also failed to prove the electronic evidence in terms of the provisions of the Indian Evidence Act, and the Information Technology Act.”
In its detailed judgment acquitting former Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba and five others of ‘terrorism’ charges, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court has virtually shredded the state’s case against the six to pieces.

Saibaba’s lawyer jailed in Bhima Koregaon case
Incidentally, Saibaba’s defence in the trial court was handled by the Nagpur-based human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling, who, soon after the completion of trial, was himself arrested in the Elgar Parishad case.
Read more


Video: INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MEETING

en | 1:07 min | 2024

By INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY FOR ACADEMIC FREEDOM IN INDIA (InSAF)
Celebrating the Second Acquittal of Professor GN Saibaba, Prashant Rahi, Mahesh Tirki, Hem Mishra and Vijay Tirki and the late Pandu Narote
Years in solitary confinement Years of shuttling from one bail plea to another Endless health ordeals, systematic discrimination The custodial death of 32-year old co-accused Pandu Narote The shocking overnight reversal of an acquittal order The life and trials of GN Saibaba and his co-accused remind us of the extent the repressive Indian state will go to in order to silence voices of dissent But on 7 March 2024, they finally walked free, after being acquitted for the second time on 5 March 2024, exonerated of all charges On 10 March 2024, we came together to celebrate this overdue step
We will not be silenced

Co-sponsored by
International Solidarity for Academic Freedom in India (InSAF India) South Asian Diaspora Action Collective (SADAC) Indian Workers Association (Great Britain) (IWA-GB) India Labour Solidarity (UK) Foundation The London Story The Humanism Project, Australia Hindus for Human Rights Free Saibaba Coalition (USA) Boston South Asian Coalition (BSAC) India Civil Watch International (ICWI) South Asia Solidarity Group, London

Watch video


Also read/watch:
Wives of Khalid Saifi, Hany Babu, GN Saibaba demand release of ‘political prisoners’ (Maktoob / Jan 2023)

▪ Bombay High Court Refuses Bail To DU Professor Hany Babu

(Live Law / Sep 2022)
Delhi University Professor Hany Babu mobilising rallies and co-ordinating the defence of convicted professor GN Saibaba was not just helping a fellow academic, but prima facie following a leftist handbook, the Bombay High Court said in its order refusing him bail.
Read more

▪ 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)

▪ Rona Wilson’s iPhone Infected With Pegasus Spyware, Says New Forensic Report

(The Wire / Dec 2021)
Arsenal Consulting was engaged by Wilson’s defence lawyers to study the electronic evidence submitted against him in the Elgar Parishad case.
… Wilson, who was a core part of the 17- member Committee for Defence and Release of G. N. Saibaba, also received a message which said “Free Dr Saibaba and Oppose the suppression of Dissent in India. Please sign the petition here clicking [link]” on October 8, 2017.
Read more

Surendra Gadling’s Computer Was Attacked, Incriminating Documents Planted: Arsenal Consulting (The Wire / July 2021)

Prakash Ambedkar walks out of Bhima Koregaon Commission probe

Prakash Ambedkar walks out of Bhima Koregaon Commission probe

National Herald / Nadeem Inamdar

Alleging govt lawyers are diverting the probe, the VBA chief said the Commission is “helpless” without judicial powers
Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi chief Prakash Ambedkar on Monday, 13 February, walked out of the witness box of the Bhima Koregaon Commission, announcing that he quit the cross-examination.
Read more


Also read:
Bhima Koregaon Violence: Four Different Theories, but No Justice in Sight (The Wire / Jan 2022)

NIA raids residence of Varavara Rao’s nephew N Venugopal / A personal account of an NIA raid

NIA raids residence of Varavara Rao’s nephew N Venugopal / A personal account of an NIA raid

FIRST PERSON: A personal account of an NIA raid

16/02/2024

South First / by N Venugopal

Venugopal is a kin of Varavara Rao, a prominent Indian activist hailing from Telangana, also an accused in the Elgar Parishad case.
It was a morning when eight unknown persons, two of them holding ultra-modern lethal weapons like AK 47 and SLRs, invaded and kept my home hostage for four hours. It was a morning when I had to be a prisoner in my own house for four hours.
Read more


NIA Raids Residences of Veekshanam Editor Venugopal and Civil Liberties Leader Ravi Sarma

08/02/2024

Deccan Chronicle/ by DC Correspondent

The NIA conducts raids linked to Maoist connections, targeting editor Venugopal and civil liberties leader Ravi Sarma, seizing materials and issuing notices for questioning
The National Investigation Agency on Thursday raided the residences of N. Venugopal, Editor of ‘Veekshanam’ magazine and son-in-law of revolutionary poet Varavara Rao, and civil liberties association leader Ravi Sarma here.
Read more


NIA raids residence of Varavara Rao’s nephew and ‘Veekshanam’ editor N Venugopal

08/022024

The New Indian Express / by Express News Service

The raids were reportedly conducted based on information that he is connected with top CPI-Maoist leader Sanjoy Deepak Rao’s case.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted raids at the house of Varavara Rao’s nephew and ‘Veekshanam’ editor N Venugopal early Thursday morning in Himayatnagar.
Read more

What is Kabir Kala Manch, the cultural group accused of being a Maoist front?

What is Kabir Kala Manch, the cultural group accused of being a Maoist front?

The Indian Express / by Chandan Haygunde

The KKM was formed by a Pune activist, Amarnath Chandaliya, after the Gujarat riots in 2002 for promoting unity.
An alleged operative of the banned CPI-Maoist, Santosh Vasant Shelar alias Vishwa alias Painter, who went missing from Pune in November 2010, returned home over a week ago in bad health.
… The KKM was among the outfits that organised Elgaar Parishad at Shaniwar Wada in Pune on December 31, 2017, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle of Koregaon Bhima, fought between Peshwas and Britishers on January 1, 1818.
Read more


Also read/watch:
Kabir Kala Manch: A History of Revolutionary Singing and State Repression (ritimo / April 2022)
Video: Dafachya Talavar (Songs of Defiance) – A short documentary on Kabir Kala Manch | Hindi, Marthi (subtitles: English) | 24:01min | 2022
The Security Playbook Used To Erode Democracy In Modi’s India & How The Tide Might Turn (article 14 / March 2022)
Who are the three Kabir Kala Manch artistes arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case this week? (Scroll.in / Sep 2020)

UAPA should be scrapped as 97 percent accused are aquitted, says Prof. Haragopal

UAPA should be scrapped as 97 percent accused are aquitted, says Prof. Haragopal

The Hindu / by Rajulapudi Srinivas

Calling UAPA ‘undemocratic’, the human rights activist says the State is leaning towards implementing more oppressive and repressive laws
“A person suffers in jail for three to four years and then gets acquitted after the prosecution fails to prove his guilt. This is happening in many cases now. About 97 percent of the arrests were made without any evidence, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA) cases,” said G. Haragopal, human rights activists and retired professor from the University of Hyderabad.
Read more


Also read:
The Govt is out to silence Dissenters through Arrests: Justice Hosbet Suresh (Sabrangindia / Oct 2018)