All the people who are the focus of this blog have been accused of being associated with what has come to be known as the “Bhima-Koregaon” or “Elgar Parishad” case.
To mark the bi-centenary of the battle of Bhima Koregaon in 2018, more than 200 Dalit, Bahujan, Ambedkarite and other organisations came together. The coalition organised the hugely successful and massively attended event, ‘Elgar Parishad’ (loud declaration committee), on December 31, 2017 in Shaniwarwada in Pune, once the seat of Peshwai power. This event, as per the organisers, was organised to expose the Navi Peshwai — an era of increasing repression on movements, alienation of minorities, increasing caste atrocities, anti-poor development policies and more.
Charges against the Activists
● That they had made inflammatory speeches at the Elgar Parishad.
● That they are acting on behalf of, or are members of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoists).
● That they were plotting to assassinate the Prime Minister.
Lack of Evidence
As it turns out, most of those arrested were not even at the Elgar Parishad event, the charges about the links to Maoists entirely shown to be based on fabricated evidence and so far the charges about the assassination plot had not even a single piece of evidence produced.
While out on temporary bail in August, the rights activist sang a song written by Kabir Kala Manch’s Ramesh Gaichor for his friends and colleagues about the sordid conditions in prison.
Mumbai: Surendra Gadling, a human rights lawyer from Nagpur, has always considered courtrooms his stage. Between serious arguments, he would casually break into songs of cultural and political resistance. He would be commonly found invoking political theories and remembering shahirs from the Dalit community amid serious legal arguments. His court appearances usually attracted an eager audience from among his peers and junior lawyers. Read more
Video: The Prison Song of Surendra Gadling
hindi | 11min | 2021
51- year-old Gadling, a well-known criminal lawyer in Nagpur, was once a cultural activist, who sang songs of political resistance. The 11- minutes- long rendition tells you what it means to be incarcerated in Indian prisons. From food, water, to medical care, everything is a struggle, Gadling narrates. The song was recorded by one of Gadling’s colleagues and was made available to The Wire after obtaining his consent. Watch video
To understand the life struggle of Stan Swamy, it is necessary to understand the history and struggle of the Adivasi community in Jharkhand and the country. There is a need to understand the traditional rights that Adivasis have on natural resources such as water, forest, and land. It is only then that we can appreciate what Swamy stood for and fought for. Read more
Video: One Year Of Incarceration – Free Sagar Gorkhe, Jyoti Jagtap and Ramesh Gaichor
The crushing power of street performances from the margins:
A profile of Kabir Kala Manch’s Sagar Gorkhe, Jyoti Jagtap and Ramesh Gaichor
By The Polis Project and maraa
Kabir Kala Manch
Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) is an urban grass-roots performance group at the helm of a socio-political movement rooted in cultural struggles of the most marginalized communities in India. KKM was formed by working-class youth from low-income Dalit and Bahujan caste communities in Pune as a response to the 2002 pogrom in Gujarat. Read more
Newswire’s special issue dedicated to Father Stan Swamy / AILAJ’s August issue
Newswire – A special issue dedicated to Father Stan Swamy
By India Civil Watch
Here’s what you will find inside Newswire 9
1. Spotlight: South Asian Dalit Adivasi Network (SADAN), Canada
2. Vidya Bhushan Rawat, Interview with Rana Khan
3. The Compassionate Revolution of Saint Stan Swamy (1937 – 2021), Shaj Mohan and Divya Dwivedi
4. Under the Mango tree, Madhumita Dutta
5. Stan Swamy in the eyes of a Thirteen Year old, Ananya Mamatha Anil
6. This Month in History, Balmurli Natarajan
7. Poetry! Download here
AILAJ’s August issue
By All India Lawyers´Association for Justice (A)
AILAJ’s August issue is out! It has pieces on Pegasus, UAPA, Father Stan Swamy and the plight of prisoners in light of the pandemic. It also contains all the representations AILAJ has made to various judicial and state functionaries.
Father of Rona Wilson, activist jailed in Elgar Parishad case, passes away
The Indian Express / by Express News Service
Wilson had last met him in April 2018 when he had visited Kerala. His lawyers will be approaching the court seeking temporary bail so that he can travel to his home for the final rites.
Father of jailed activist Rona Wilson, who was arrested in 2018 over his alleged involvement in the Elgar Parishad case, passed away on Wednesday at his residence in Alappuzha. He was 84. Read more
Jailed activist Rona Wilson’s father passes away
Sabrang India / by Adeeti Singh
Jacob Wilson, father of Rona Wilson, breathed his last on August 18, in the absence of his son who is imprisoned in the Bhima Koregaon violence case since 2018. He was reportedly not keeping well, but refused hospitalisation.
Many other accused persons in the Bhima Koregaon case have experienced similar loss and grief. Read more
Although we received news by late evening on October 8, 2020, of Father Stan Swamy’s arrest, we were quite shocked to see him the next morning in the adjourning barrack conversing with inmates in his impeccable Hindi.
I was at that time lodged in a cell at the prison hospital with my co- accused Varavara Rao (or VV) and Vernon Gonsalves. It was part of our daily routine for VV and I to do a couple of rounds in his wheelchair before the morning breakfast. The three of us had assumed that the National Investigation Agency would want Stan’s custodial interrogation and hence it would not be until a couple of days before he would be sent to judicial custody i.e. Prison. Read more
Video: Justice for Mahesh Raut / New website launched: Justice for Mahesh
Our friend Mahesh, is spending his fourth year in jail. Without trial! Who is Mahesh though? Why is his story important? And why is he a threat to the powers that are?
Join us for an evening where we will discuss all this and more. Friends, family, colleagues and journalists will talk about Mahesh and why he is still in jail.
We will also be launching a website which documents much of Mahesh’s story through this event.
We miss our friend and we really hope we will see #JusticeForMahesh very soon! Watch video
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.