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Category: Persecuted

Raising the bar from behind bars: Mahesh Raut and Sagar Gorkhe pass law entrance test

Raising the bar from behind bars: Mahesh Raut and Sagar Gorkhe pass law entrance test

Maharashtra: Raising the bar from behind bars

08/05/2024

Midday.com / by Eshan Kalyanikar

Bhima-Koregaon accused Mahesh Raut and Sagar Gorkhe clear law exam even as their own controversial case drags on
Two of the 16 activists charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in the Bhima-Koregaon case cleared their Common Entrance Test (CET) for law college admission while in jail, clinging to hope for bail and an eventual declaration of innocence by the court. For the past six years, Mahesh Raut and Sagar Gorkhe, both 36, have spent their days in Taloja jail surrounded by undertrials. Their families and friends said this experience motivated them to become lawyers, providing legal aid to those in need.
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Bhima Koregaon case: Two prisoners pass law entrance test

08/05/2024

Hindustan Times / by Sabah Virani

Mahesh Raut and Sagar Gorkhe hold master’s degrees from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and the Yashawantrao Chavhan Maharashtra Open University
With only the aid of old books from the Taloja Central Prison’s library, Mahesh Raut, arrested in connection with the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence case, scored 99.79% in the state common entrance test (CET) for law. Sagar Gorkhe, a fellow accused, also passed the test, scoring 57.7%. The results were declared on May 3.
Read more


Also read:
Mahesh Raut’s bail gets entangled in tagging of similar matters (The Leaflet / Jan 2024)
What is Kabir Kala Manch, the cultural group accused of being a Maoist front? (The Indian Express / Jan 2024)
Bhima Koregaon Case: Mahesh Raut, youngest accused, granted bail by the Bombay HC! (SabrangIndia / Sep 2023)

The story of the ‘Urban Naxal’ Sudha Bharadwaj (book excerpt)

The story of the ‘Urban Naxal’ Sudha Bharadwaj (book excerpt)

Deccan Herald / Alpa Shah (edited by DHNS)

The following is an edited excerpt from the recently released book ‘The Incarcerations – Bhima Koregaon and the Search for Democracy in India’ by Alpa Shah. It is the story of Sudha Bharadwaj, who was one of the ‘BK-16’ – lawyers, professors, journalists, artists, and activists – who were arrested and held in jail for years without trial under the UAPA law in the infamous Bhima-Koregaon case.
In July 2012, a seven-minute bone-chilling video appeared on Sudha’s WhatsApp. It was shot on a mobile phone in the remote forested village of Sarkeguda in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region.
Read more


Also read:
Fourth Drone Bomb Attack on Indigenous People in Bastar, Chhattisgarh. Stop This State Terror Now! (India Matters UK / April 2023)
Sudha Bharadwaj speaks – A Life in Law and Activism

Publisher: Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)
Edition: January 2021
Language: English
Paperback: 316 pages
Access a free PDF copy of the book here (2,1 MB)

▪ Condemn the State Sponsored Massacre Scripted as ‘Encounter’ in Gadchiroli and Bijapur in Central India (wssnet.wordpress.com / May 2018)
How corporate land grab is sought to be legitimized in Chhattisgarh by misusing legal framework (Kractivism │ by Sudha Bharadwaj │ Feb 2018)

Why the Life and Times of Fr Stan Swami Matter Even More Today

Why the Life and Times of Fr Stan Swami Matter Even More Today

Indian Catholic Matters / by Verghese V Joseph

Fr Stan Swamy, a Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist, dedicated his life to fighting for the rights of the marginalised and oppressed in India. His unwavering commitment to social justice and human rights earned him the title of the country’s oldest prisoner charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for his alleged role in a Maoist conspiracy. Swamy’s death on July 5, 2021, while still in custody, has sparked outrage and calls for justice from human rights organisations and individuals around the world.
Read more


Also read:
Jharkhand police to probe into Maoist links with Stan Swamy’s ‘Bagaicha’, 63 other frontal organisations (The New Indian Express / Sep 2023)
Can Father Stan Swamy’s PIL be the blueprint for justice to thousands of undertrials lodged under UAPA? (The Leaflet / Aug 2023)

▪ An Autobiographical Fragment, Memory and Reflection


Indian Social Institute, Bangalore | by Stan Swamy | August 2021
Edition: Aug 2021
Publisher: Indian Social Institute, Bangalore
Language: English
Paperback: 149 pages
Access a free PDF copy of the book here

▪ Framed to Die – The Case of Stan Swamy

By Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR)
Edition: Aug 2021
Publisher: Peoples Union for Democratic Rights, Delhi
Language: English
Paperback: 45 pages
Access a free PDF copy of the book here

Koel Sen: Why Are We Being Made To Suffer?

Koel Sen: Why Are We Being Made To Suffer?

Koel & Shoma (pic credits: Free Shoma Sen)

Rediff.com / by Jyoti Punwani

It’s been five days since Professor Shoma Sen, accused in the Elgar Parishad case, got bail from the Supreme Court, but she hasn’t managed to step out of Byculla Jail in central Mumbai. Nor has her daughter or husband been able to speak to her even on the phone, since they had finished their phone-call quota for last week before her bail order came.
Waiting to meet her mother, Koel Sen recalled the many frustrations she has experienced in the six years since her mother was suddenly arrested in June 2018. The 36-year-old independent film-maker spoke to Jyoti Punwani about how these years changed her.
Read more


Also read:
‘Shoma Sen should have been released in October 2018’ (Rediff.com / Apr 2024)
And he waits for Shoma Sen (Midday.com / May 2022)
Part 1: ‘It is very difficult to see my mother like this’ (Rediff.com / May 2022)
Part 2: When Your Mother Is In Prison… (Rediff.com / May 2022)

‘From Phansi Yard’ by Sudha Bharadwaj wins Best Author in Non-Fiction @AutHER Awards

‘From Phansi Yard’ by Sudha Bharadwaj wins Best Author in Non-Fiction @AutHER Awards

by Jayati Ghosh @Jayati1609 (March 18):

Absolutely delighted to learn that Sudha Bharadwaj has deservedly won the best author award for non fiction with her sensitive, insightful and illuminating book on the lives of women in an Indian prison.

Here’s a typically thoughtful and compassionate response from #SudhaBharadwaj after news of the award:



by AutHER Awards – Creating Lasting Impressions / @AutherAwards (March 17):
A round of applause for Sudha Bharadwaj, winner of the Non-Fiction category at #AutherAwards. Her remarkable book ‘From Phansi Yard: My Year With The Women Of Yerawada’ has made a profound impact on the jury’s hearts
by Juggernautbooks / @juggernautbooks (March 17):
‘From Phansi Yard’ by Sudha Bharadwaj wind Best Author in the Non Fiction Category for @AutherAwards
A heart congratulations to Sudha Bharadwaj!

by Chiki Sarkar / @Chikisarkar (March 17):
Thrilled that Sudha Bharadwaj wins best non fiction in the ⁦@AutherAwards awards.
We are so proud to be publishing this wonderful book ⁦@juggernautbooks


From Phansi Yard: My Year with the Women of Yerawada

Author: Sudha Bhardwaj
Publisher: Juggernaut
Pages: 216
Order


Also read/watch:

▪ From Phansi Yard: My Year With The Women Of Yerawada, by Sudha Bharadwaj (Excerpt)

Artice 14 / by Samar Halarnkar / Sudha Bharadwaj | Nov 2023
Arrested on 28 August 2018, human rights lawyer, teacher and IIT graduate Sudha Bharadwaj is among 16 accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case, charged under  sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1967…

EXCERPT
On 1 November, I mark my second birthday in custody. Diwali was in late October this year, and Shoma Di has saved a bit of her Diwali faral (snacks, in Marathi) as a treat for me. She gives me a beautiful card with a hand-drawn Sudoku on the front and a ballerina ‘dancing away to her freedom’ on the inside. It’s an ode to my Sudoku mania.
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▪ Video: Barkha Dutt speaks to Sudha Bharadwaj on her book ‘From Phansi Yard’

Mojo Story | Nov 2023


en | 21:03min | 2023
Barkha Dutt speaks to Trade Unionist, activist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj on her book ‘From Phansi Yard’. The book records stories of her time in jail. She is out on bail after 3 years in the 2018 Bhima-Koregaon violence case.
Sudha speaks about her days in jail and how her time in a women’s prison made her aware of the gender gap in legal aid. “Many women are jailed- because their husband committed some crime and are now absconding- they don’t even know about the crime,” she says.
Sudha further says that she lives in the house of a friend, as she “can’t afford rent”. Trade unions support her, she does legal cases for them, she says.
Watch video

▪ A Cage with a View: Under-trial life in an Indian jail

National Herald | by Sudha Bharadwaj | Oct 2023
The jottings that make up this book were my way of coping with incarceration. Some prisoners pray, some weep, some just put their heads down and work themselves weary. Some fight defiantly every inch of the way, some are inveterate grumblers, some spew gossip. Some read the newspaper from cover to cover, some shower love on children, some laugh at themselves and at others.
I watched through the bars, and I wrote.

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‘My state has done the greatest honour by putting me in jail’: Anand Teltumbde after receiving award

‘My state has done the greatest honour by putting me in jail’: Anand Teltumbde after receiving award

by Dr Meena Kandasamy / @meenakandasamy (Jan 31):
Feeling so proud of Dr Anand Teltumbde for receiving the Karnataka Government’s Basava Rashtriya Puraskar today


‘My state has done the greatest honour by putting me in jail’: Anand Teltumbde after receiving Karnataka’s Basava award

01/02/2024

The Indian Express / by Sanath Prasad

Teltumbde says the award is ‘an honour for all the faceless and countless activists struggling for making this world better for people to live’.
Civil rights activist and academic Anand Teltumbde was felicitated with the Basava Rashtriya Puraskara by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Bengaluru on Wednesday for his work on delivering social justice and equality through speeches and writings.
Read more

Poster by Siddesh Gautam / #bakeryprasad


NIA court allows Anand Teltumbde to travel to Bengaluru to receive Basava Rashtriya Puraskar award

30/01/2024

The Leaflet / by Sarah Thanawala

Dr Anand Teltumbde has been allowed to travel to Bengaluru to receive the Basava Rashtriya Puraskar award for 2022–23. The award recognises individuals and organisations for their achievements in the areas of literature, social justice and harmony.
Today, a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court of special judge Rajesh Kataria allowed Dalit scholar, academic and activist, Dr Anand Teltumbde to travel to Bengaluru to receive the Basava Rashtriya Puraskar award for 2022–23 from the Karnataka government.
Read more


Elgar Parishad case accused allowed to visit Karnataka to receive award

30/01/2024

India Today / by Vidya

Professor Anand Teltumbde, an accused in the 2018 Elgar Parishad case, has been allowed to travel to Bengaluru to receive a felicitation by the state government.
A special court in Mumbai has allowed scholar-activist Professor Anand Teltumbde, an accused in the 2018 Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case of Maharashtra, to travel to Karnataka for two days to receive an award from the government in the neighbouring state.
Read more


Civil rights activist Anand Teltumbde chosen for Basava Award; Na. D’Souza gets Pampa Prashasti

26/01/2024

The Hindu / by the Hindu Bureau

Scholar, civil rights activist, and Ambedkarite Anand Teltumbde from Maharashtra and Dr. N.G. Mahadevappa from Dharwad in Karnataka have been picked for the national-level Basava Award for the year 2022-23 and 2023-24, respectively.
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)

Anand Teltumbde: Of a frank and fearless mind

Anand Teltumbde: Of a frank and fearless mind

Poster by #bakeryprasad

The Indian Express / by Suraj Yengde

Teltumbde helped us to foreground the meaning of atrocity. Among his notable scholarly contributions to social sciences are his monographs covering the state and the political economy.
Anand Teltumbde is a rare intellectual, someone gifted with a versatility that cuts across disciplines. He’s among the top-ranking intellectuals of contemporary India. Much like the late British historian Eric Hobsbawm, he is someone who can easily play with multiple topics and engage intelligently.
Read more

Notes from prison | Talk with Sudha Bharadwaj

Notes from prison | Talk with Sudha Bharadwaj

Notes from prison

19/01/2024

The Telegraph / by Lakshmi Subramanian

‘Phansi Yard’ is more than just jottings of a sensitive prisoner. Like all jail diaries, it documents the everyday — the quality of food, limited access to clothing, the absence of privacy — with great attention and, alongside, records individual stories with real sensitivity, framing them within a larger social context
The prison diary has remained an enduring genre in all societies with its extraordinary capacity to document the self and interrogate power structures.
Read more


Lawyer’s ballad of Yerawada Jail reflects on the lives of 76 prisoners

13/01/2024

Deccan Chronicle / by Anand K Sahay

This resident of Phansi Yard has a writer’s sensibility, and says in a matter-of-fact way
This is a remarkable document of life observed from the Phansi Yard or Death Row of the Yerawada Women’s Jail in Pune by an extraordinary individual who made a conscious choice to be a trade union worker and human rights lawyer in order to stand with marginalised people, rather than build a career as a mathematician after emerging with a shining degree from IIT, Delhi.
Read more


From Phansi Yard: My Year with the Women of Yerawada

Author: Sudha Bhardwaj
Publisher: Juggernaut
Pages: 216
Order


#keeptalking | Anuradha Sen Gupta talks to Sudha Bharadwaj

08/01/2024


en | 32:47min | 2024

By anuradhasays

Trade unionist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj is used to fighting rights battles. She started her career in Chhattisgarh in the late 1980s as a trade unionist and later studied law in order to fight legal cases directly. Even though she has been on the side of many losing battles, giving up or opting out has never been an option. Despite the setbacks and personal challenges, the biggest one being arrested in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, Sudha who is out on bail, retains her good cheer and optimism. In a wide ranging conversation with Anuradha SenGupta, Sudha talks of women who are incarcerated, the underbelly of capitalism, the rights of workers and her hope for the new year.
Watch video


Also watch/read:

■ Video – Book Release: Why is the state afraid of Sudha Bharadwaj?

By People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Jan 2021en + hindi | 2h 53min | 2021

Topic: Why is the state afraid of Sudha Bharadwaj?
A long interview conducted with Sudha over several days before she was arrested is now being published as an online book “Sudha Bharadwaj Speaks – A Life in Law and Activism”, and will be released at this webinar by the well-known writer, Nayantara Sahgal. Sudha’s daughter, Maaysha, her lawyer Yug Chaudhary, social activist Harsh Mandar, historian Uma Chakravarti amongst other coworkers & colleagues, will also share their experiences and memories of working with her.
Watch video @ PUCL Facebook (videos)

■ Sudha Bharadwaj speaks – A Life in Law and Activism


Publisher: Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)
Edition: January 2021
Language: English
Sudha Bharadwaj’s interview by: Darshana Mitra and Santanu Chakraborty
Paperback: 316 pages
Access a free PDF copy of the book here:
Sudha_Bharadwaj_speaks (2,1 MB)

PUDR: Remember Bhima Koregaon Case. Remember Shoma Sen. Release Shoma Sen.

PUDR: Remember Bhima Koregaon Case. Remember Shoma Sen. Release Shoma Sen.

by Peoples Union for Democratic Rights @PUDR_Delhi (Jan 6):
#PeoplesUnionforDemocraticRights #PUDR #RepealUAPA
#StateOppression #democraticrights #BK16 #BhimaKoregaon16


Also read:
Shoma Sen’s Bail Hearing in SC Adjourned Yet Again, Until January 10 (NewsClick / Dec 2023)
Supreme Court quotes Watali judgment in Shoma Sen’s bail application (The Leaflet / Dec 2023)
“Hopefully waiting” writes Shoma Sen from prison (InSAF India / Jul 2023)