Moderator: Apoorvanand, Teacher and Writer
Special Address: Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders
Speakers: Mihir Desai, Xavier Dias, Dayamani Barla, Aloka Kujur, Virginius Xaxa, Dorothy Fernandes
Performances: Mallika Sarabhai, “I Shall Rise” (Maya Angelou’s poem) Santhali Dance by Shikari Pada Santhal Pargana and other cultural expressions from Jharkhand Performance video of arrested artists from Kabir Kala Manch
• Jan 20, 2021: Repeal UAPA, the draconian legal tool to indefinitely put dissenters behind bars, using the bogey of national security and extremism.
• Jan 24, 2021: “Why does the Indian State fear Sudha Bharadwaj”. The Release of a PUCL published book on Advocate, activist, trade unionist, lawyer and mother Sudha Bharadwaj. Read more
Online events: The incarceration of Stan Swamy – Repeal UAPA – Release BK16 arrestees – Book Release
• On 15 January: HUNDRED DAYS of the incarceration of Father Stan Swamy and the brutal face of the Indian State
• On 20, 21, 22 January: Repeal UAPA, the draconian legal tool to indefinitely put dissenters behind bars, using the bogey of national security and extremism.
• On 24 January: “Why does the Indian State fear Sudha Bharadwaj”. The Release of a PUCL published book on Advocate, activist, trade unionist, lawyer and mother Sudha Bharadwaj.
Dear Friends, SALAAM!
During the last 20 months since the 2019 elections, we have all witnessed the depths to which the present ruling party can descend to crush, subvert, deny, undermine and weaken the institutions, structure and processes of rule of law and constitutional democracy. Brazenly and with impunity, the government has used the law and the police agencies to stifle and silence democratic voices of dissent through false prosecutions and persecution of rights defenders and undemocratic measures to curb the lawful activities of organisations. What is most distressing is the near-total abdication of their constitutional duties to safeguard constitutionally mandated fundamental rights and crushing of dissent by constitutional institutions, including the Supreme and High courts.
As happened in the emergency period and other times in our history as an independent nation, citizens are now standing up to say “Enough is enough” and are fighting to safeguard the Indian Constitution, rule of law and democracy. …
Human rights defender Stan Swamy, has been harassed since 2018: OHCR
Sabrang / by Sabrang India
Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Special Rapporteur on minority issues; write to Indian Govt over Fr Stan Swamy’s prolonged detention.
The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; the and Special Rapporteur on minority issues, have made public a letter they had written to the Indian Government expressing their concern over the “alleged arbitrary detention of human rights defender Stan Swamy”. Read more
Endorse: International appeal to United Nations regarding Fr. Stan Swamy, S.J
By Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat – Society of Jesus
Fr. Stan Swamy, SJ is a 83 years old Indian Jesuit priest incarcerated for alleged anti-national activities. He was arrested on October 8, 2020. The antecedents of this case can be traced back to 1 January 2018 violence against the Dalits across the state of Maharashtra. One Dalit youth was killed and countless of number of Dalits injured. Even though all evidence pointed to the role of right-wing leaders in the violence that erupted after the annual celebration at Bhima Koregaon, the state thought it convenient to foist false cases against human rights defenders who are known to stand up for the poor. Read more / read & sign appeal
India: Call to UN for release of Fr Stan Swamy
Independent Catholic News / by ICN
The Jesuits of India, together with an international network of civil society organizations, have appealed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to obtain the immediate release of Jesuit Father Stan Swamy, 83, who has been imprisoned since 8 October on charges of sedition with 15 other human rights defenders in India. The appeal is a joint initiative of the Jesuits, Claretians and other congregations and organizations present at the United Nations. Read more
Organisers of the Elgaar Parishad say the event will be held on Jan 30 / COVID-19 Dampens Celebration
Organisers of the Elgaar Parishad say the event will be held on January 30
Frontline / by Anupama Katakam
After the Pune Police refused permission for the Elgaar Parishad this year, retired judge B.G. Kolse-Patil, who is one of the main organisers, said they would go ahead and hold the event. Until 2017, the Elgaar Parishad was an annual gathering of primarily Dalit rights activists in Pune. The event was not held for two years since then because of a relentless witch-hunt and subsequent arrest of activists who are reportedly connected to the event. Read more
COVID-19 Dampens Jan 1 Celebration at Bhima Koregaon, Few Hundreds Attend with Limited Passes
Newsclick / by Varsha Torgalkar
The Pune Police had also closed all the roads going towards Bhima Koregoan, with only those with passes being allowed to proceed. However, many who had travelled from other cities complained that they were not aware of the concept of passes. Read more
Denied permission, ex-judge Kolse-Patil says he will hold ‘Elgaar Parishad’ on Jan 30
The Hindu / by Shoumojit Banerjee
He accuses govt. of directing police to keep a watch on him.
With the Pune police denying permission to hold another ‘Elgaar Parishad’ on December 31, retired Bombay High Court judge B. G. Kolse-Patil — who was among the chief organisers of the original and controversial ‘Elgaar Parishad’ held in December 2017 — has announced his resolve to hold the event on January 30, 2021, on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary. Read more
Denied December 31 nod, Elgaar Parishad organisers say will hold event on Jan 30
The Indian Express / by Express News Service
Justice (retd) Kolse Patil said, “We will now hold it on January 30, at the Ganesh Kala Krida Manch in Pune. And if not there, we will hold it on the streets. If not allowed to do that, we will fill the jails.”
Organisers of Elgaar Parishad, who were denied permission by Pune City Police to hold the conference on December 31, have said they will hold it in Pune on January 30. They also said that if police deny permission for the conference again, they will hold the conference “on the streets”. Read more
Elgar Parishad organisers ask Sharad Pawar to ensure SIT probe
Free Press Journal / by pti
Organizers of the Elgar Parishad demanded on Thursday that NCP chief Sharad Pawar should fulfil his `assurance’ of an SIT probe into the case related to the 2017 conclave.
The Pune district administration denied permission for the annual Elgar Parishad – which is held on December 31 – this year citing the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more
Police issue notices to 530 social media groups ahead of Bhima Koregaon anniversary
Hindustan Times/ by Nadeem Inamdar
The Pune rural police have served notices to as many as 530 social media group administrators, warning them not to allow posts pertaining to inflammatory messages in the wake of January 1 anniversary of the battle of Bhima Koregaon. Read more
Sign Petition: Land Rights Activist Mahesh Raut Needs to be Free
On 6th June 2018, Mahesh Raut, a land and adivasi rights activist, was arrested in relation to the Elgar Parishad case through the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The police charged Mahesh just as he was filing a petition to protect citizens whose lands are mined against their will. Members of Socialist Party (India) recently released a petition seeking signatories in support of Mahesh in the name of freedom of speech. Read more
Representatives of Christian and rights organisations hint at urgent need for the convergence against the current ‘fascist’ forces.
Christian organisations and human right groups have called for Dalits, tribal and minorities to join hands with other concerned citizens and protest attempts by the central government to silence voices of dissent by misusing the anti-terror law UAPA. Read more
Bhima Koregaon Case: A Critical Appraisal: Our Call – Free them All
Countercurrents / by Dr Prakash Louis
Background to Bhima Koregaon Event
The 1818 Battle of Koregaon is of importance for Dalits. On 1st January, 1818, 800 troops of the British Army, with large number of Mahars, Dalit Community of Maharashtra predominant among them, defeated a numerically superior force of the Peshwa Baji Rao II …
On 1st January, 2018, like every year, lakhs of Dalits poured into Bhima Koregaon. The commemoration has a record of being conducted peacefully and the village’s residents have a history of social harmony. But this year, tensions had begun to build in a neighbouring village over the question of which community had conducted the last rites of Maratha ruler Sambhaji – the Mahars or the Marathas. Read more
Webinar report: Stand With Stan
Countercurrents / by Indian Christians for Democracy
A webinar was organised with major initiative of Indian Christians for Democracy on 25th October, Sunday, 2020 from 11.00 to 1.00 pm …
The objectives of the webinar were 1) Keep pressure on for the release of all falsely accused and arrested; 2) False accusation, detention and arrest becomes a debating point and the government gives up this practice; 3) Nation-wide demand for the repeal of UAPA. Read more
Call to sign: Solidarity Statements with Prof PK Vijayan & Prof Rakesh Ranjan
We, the students and alumni of SRCC, stand in complete solidarity with Prof. Rakesh Ranjan. He has been summoned by the NIA for a hearing on 14th August, in relation with the nefarious Bhima Koregaon case. This is part of the on-going witch hunt of intellectuals and activists by forces attempting to stamp out every progressive and dissenting voice. Read/sign statement
Solidarity Statement against NIA Intimidation of Prof. PK Vijayan
By Hindu College Coordination Committee (HCCC)
Please sign statement in solidarity with Prof. Vijayan HANDS OFF OUR TEACHERS! Rise in rage against NIA intimidation of Prof. PK Vijayan of English Department, Hindu College, DU.
We, the students, teachers and members of the academic community are alarmed by the summons issued to Prof. Prem Kumar Vijayan of Hindu College, Delhi University by the NIA to join the ongoing investigation into the Bhima Koregaon case on Friday, 14th August. Recently, Prof. Hany Babu of English Department, Delhi University had also been summoned similarly by the NIA and arrested under draconian UAPA charges in the expanding Bhima Koregaon witch hunt of progressive teachers, journalists, lawyers, cultural and social activists. Read/sign statement
Global Campaign #StandAsMyWitness: Free Sudha Bharadwaj
Nearly 200 human rights organisations including CIVICUS have signed a letter to world leaders urging them to release human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience in honour of Nelson Mandela Day 18 July … It calls on governments to end the imprisonment and harassment of human rights defenders … Resilient human rights defenders from across the globe feature in the #StandAsMyWitness campaign. The ‘faces’ of the campaign are these defenders currently behind bars, like Sudha Bharadwaj – a human rights lawyer who defends Indigenous people’s rights in India. Read more
Do sign this open appeal to @PMOIndia & @CMOMaharashtra to #FreeVaravaraRao & ensure proper medical treatment. Click on link below to sign. Add ur name, organizational/professional affiliation and city/location. Read and sign petition
This is the background note for signatures sought by July 15 10:00 p.m. for an online petition to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.
The Hon. Chief Minister of Maharashtra
Respected Chief Minister,
We, the citizens of a democratic republic appeal to you regarding the eleven persons- Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj, Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha, Varavara Rao, Mahesh Raut and Rona Wilson accused in the Bhima Koregaon case. Read and sign petition
BACKGROUND NOTE: INDIA’S 11 ACTIVISTS FACE ‘MALAFIDE’ INTENTIONS, POLITICAL VENDETTA, EXTRANEOUS CONSIDERATION
The Constitution of India, Article 21, guarantees protection of life and personal liberty to every individual. Yet, the rights of activists and lawyers incarcerated under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) since 2018 in Maharashtra jails are at grave risk due to the delay and dragging of cases since the last 24 months. Read more