Browsed by
Category: Profiles

Book Release: Salaakhon Mein Qaid Avaazein (Imprisoned Voices)

Book Release: Salaakhon Mein Qaid Avaazein (Imprisoned Voices)

By Family Members and friends of BK16

“Salaakhon Mein Qaid Avaazein”
Edition: June 2021
Language: Hindi
Paperback: 69 pages

Access a PDF copy of the book here (15MB)
(Salaakhon Mein Qaid Avaazein is free to download, but contributions are welcome!
Write to us at booksbywss(at)gmail.com if you would like to contribute.)

“Salaakhon Mein Qaid Avaazein” is a book on the Bhima Koregaon Conspiracy case. It is a tribute to those individuals who, while fighting for truth and justice, have themselves become victims of a grave and flagrant injustice.
Sixteen sterling citizens of this country, all of them well-known dissidents and renowned human rights activists, have been arrested in this fictitious case, so far. They have been accused of conspiring with the banned Maoist party to cause violence in Bhima Koregaon on 1st January, 2018, by inciting the oppressed Dalit and Bahujan people against the government. Among the accused (known as BK-16) are professors, writers, lawyers, cultural activists, trade unionists, poets, etc.
The book, while providing a background of this fabricated case, gives a profile of each of the BK-16 and also carries original pieces of writing by them.

“सलाखों में कैद आवाज़ें” एक कोशिश है, भीमा कोरेगांव के षड़यंत्र को सामने लाने की। ये किताब एक कोशिश है उन्हें याद करने की जो न्याय और मानवता के लिए लड़ने के बावजूद आज खुद ‘न्याय के षड़यंत्र’ का शिकार बने हुए हैं।
पिछले तीन साल से इस देश के 16 ‘सच्चे नागरिक’ (जिन्हें बीके-16 भी कहा जाता है) सलाखों में कैद हैं, जिनमें जाने-माने मानवाधिकार व सांस्कृतिक कार्यकर्ता, प्रोफेसर, लेखक, कवि, वकील व ट्रेड यूनियन कार्यकर्ता शामिल हैं। उन पर आरोप है कि उन्होंने प्रतिबंधित माओवादी पार्टी के साथ मिलकर 2018 में भीमा कोरेगांव में हिंसा भड़काने और दलितों व बहुजनों को शासन के खिलाफ उकसाने की साजिश रची।
इस फर्जी केस पर रोशनी डालते हुए, यह किताब हमें बीके-16 से रूबरू कराती है और उन के लिखे हुए खत व रचनाओं को भी संकलित रूप से रखती है।

Chronology of harassment against human rights defender Sudha Bharadwaj

Chronology of harassment against human rights defender Sudha Bharadwaj

CIVICUS / by CIVICUS

Today marks exactly 1000 days since human rights lawyer & activist Sudha Bharadwaj was arrested & detained on fabricated charges.
Sudha Bharadwaj, aged 59, is a human rights lawyer and activist who has spent her life defending Indigenous people in India and protecting workers’ rights. She has been in pre-trial detention since August 2018, when she was arrested under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) on trumped up accusations of having links with Maoist terrorist organisations, based on evidence believed to be fabricated.
Read more


Also read: The Sudha Bharadwaj the Govt Doesn’t Want You To Know (article14, Jan 2021)

Rama Teltumbde: How can he be a Maoist sympathiser? He has written against Maoism

Rama Teltumbde: How can he be a Maoist sympathiser? He has written against Maoism

The Times of India / by Shruti Ganapatye

Teltumbde’s wife and Babasaheb Ambedkar’s granddaughter says it is laughable that he has been arrested in connection with Bhima-Koregaon violence because he has written that the clash of “mahars and Peshwas” was a myth perpetuated by Dr Ambedkar to rally the Dalits against caste oppression.
Read more

Vernon Gonsalve’s third birthday in a crowded jail

Vernon Gonsalve’s third birthday in a crowded jail

By Sagar Abraham-Gonsalves @ fb

Yesterday was my father’s birthday. For a third year he spent it in a crowded jail and for a second year in a row he did so under the serious threat of a pandemic out of control. The threat seems far more severe this year and he, now aged 64, still very much falls in the category of vulnerable people. In the absence of an individual, memories are what we tend to hold onto and so I thought of sharing a memory from his earlier birthday in prison in 2019.

Read More Read More

To The Jailed Priest Who Loves People: Friends Remember Stan Swamy

To The Jailed Priest Who Loves People: Friends Remember Stan Swamy

The Quint / by Asmita Nandy

Even as Father Stan Swamy fights for bail, his friends remember him as the man who “loves and lives for the poor.”
A four-minute call every 10 days from Taloja jail and a chirpy “I am managing here” keep the hope alive for friends of 83-year-old human rights activist and Jesuit priest Stan Swamy, booked by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the Bhima-Koregaon case.
Read more

After release, Varavara Rao spends his time reading and recovering, say kin

After release, Varavara Rao spends his time reading and recovering, say kin


VV Rao, leaving hospital on 6th of March

The News Minute / by Balakrishna Ganeshan

Varavara Rao, who was released on conditional bail, was discharged from Nanavati Hospital on March 6.
82-year-old Varavara Rao, who lost about 20 kgs in prison, according to family members, is slowly recovering from physical weakness. Rao, accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, who was discharged from hospital on March 6, is out on interim-bail for six months considering his frail health.
Read more

High Court: Accept cash surety from Varavara Rao / Activist Varavara Rao’s release delayed

High Court: Accept cash surety from Varavara Rao / Activist Varavara Rao’s release delayed

HC: Accept cash surety from Varavara Rao

06/03/2021

Times of India / by Vaibhav Ganjapure

The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Friday directed release of poet PV Varavara Rao on cash surety of Rs 50,000. Justice Anuja Prabhudesai directed the Gadchiroli sessions court to send his release order to Taloja Central Jail, Mumbai, by email or any other electronic mode after he furnishes the surety amount.
Read more


Activist Varavara Rao’s release delayed

04/03/2021

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

Despite the Bombay High Court granting him interim bail, ailing revolutionary poet Varavara Rao’s release would be further delayed as a court in Gadchiroli has asked his family to file deposit papers in the format that they have specified.
Read more


Bombay High Court Relaxes Bail Condition To Facilitate Varavara Rao Release On Temporary Bail

01/03/2021

Live Law / by Shrmeen Hakim

The Bombay High Court, on Monday, allowed 81-year-old Telugu poet – Dr Varavara Rao’s – plea for relaxation of his temporary bail condition and provisional release on furnishing a cash security of Rs 50,000.
A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale further granted the Bhima Koregaon – Elgaar Parishad accused time till April 5, 2021 to furnish solvent sureties. The octogenarian has been under custody awaiting trial since August 28, 2018.
Read more


Bombay HC Allows Varavara Rao’s Counsel to Visit Him to Complete Bail Formalities

25/02/2021

The Wire / by pti

Rao, 82, was on Monday granted interim bail for six months by the high court on medical grounds.
The Bombay high court on Thursday permitted a counsel of poet-activist Varavara Rao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, to visit him in the Nanavati Hospital here to obtain his signatures for completion of his bail formalities.
Read more


Varavara Rao’s kin seek relief from ‘difficult’ bail conditions set by Bombay HC

23/02/2021

The News Minute / by TNM Staff

The 81-year-old poet has been ordered to stay within the jurisdiction of the Mumbai NIA court.
Relatives of ailing revolutionary poet and activist Varavara Rao welcomed the Bombay High Court’s order granting interim bail to him, but said the conditions put forth by the court were difficult to be met. On Monday, the Bombay HC granted bail on medical grounds to the Telugu poet jailed in connection with the Bhima Koregaon Elgar Parishad case for six months. At the end of the six-month period, the court said that Varavara Rao must report back to Navi Mumbai’s Taloja jail, where he can either surrender or seek an extension.
Read more


Can’t afford Mumbai rent, says Varavara Rao’s family on court’s bail condition

22/02/2021

Hindustan Times / by Srinivasa Rao Apparasu

Varavara RAo’s brother-in-law said the poet has no relatives in Mumbai who could take care of him during the bail period.
The family of octogenarian Pendyala Varavara Rao, noted revolutionary poet, is relieved that the Bombay High Court on Monday granted medical bail to him in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, but it has another worry on its hands: where to house him in Mumbai. The court order said that the poet cannot go back to Hyderabad, his home.
Read more

Telugu, Wheelchair & Blanket: How Varavara Rao slipped into dementia during his time in prison

Telugu, Wheelchair & Blanket: How Varavara Rao slipped into dementia during his time in prison

The Quint / by Nikhila Henry

The octogenarian slipped into dementia during his time in prison, thereafter believing that his wife was dead.
Varavara Rao was incoherent on the phone. The president of Viplava Rachayitala Sagham (Revolutionary Writers’ Forum) spoke in Hindi instead of Telugu, his mother tongue, in which he has penned many poems.
“Her body was taken to the mortuary. Many people visited,” Rao said.
P Hemalatha, his wife, patiently listened to him during the five-minute-long phone call in June 2020 from Taloja Central Prison, Maharashtra, even as she was unsure of what he meant.
Read more


Video: VV Rao – Poet, Activist, Political Prisoner

22/02/2021


en | 5:54 | 2021

By Karwan e Mohabbat

Varavara Rao is no stranger to being imprisoned, but the 82-year-old is also the conscience of our society-an intellectual we need to protect from the excesses of a state determined to destroy dissent.
Watch video

Frame Up Of Indian Political Prisoners Revealed – New edition of Colors of the Cage

Frame Up Of Indian Political Prisoners Revealed – New edition of Colors of the Cage

By Common Notions

Colors of the Cage: Memoirs of an Indian Prison
by Arun Ferreira
foreword by Naresh Fernandes
introduction by Siddhartha Deb
February 2021

As Common Notions publishes the new edition of Colors of the Cage (2021) by political prisoner and human rights activist Arun Ferreira, news is breaking that makes it abundantly clear that, just like his earlier arrests, his current detention is based on falsehood and political repression …
In May 2007, Arun Ferreira was picked up at a railway station in western India, detained by the court, and condemned to prison for an expanding list of crimes: criminal conspiracy, murder, possession of arms, and rioting, among others added during his detention. In one of the most notorious prisons in India, he was constantly abused and tortured. Over the next several years as he began to write Colors of the Cage, each of the ten cases slapped against him fell apart. At long last, acquitted of all charges, he prepared to reunite with his family.
Ferreira refused to surrender hope and continued to fight for his freedom. He succeeded and walked out of the prison in 2014 and then used his prison experience to become a lawyer for other political activists. In 2018, he was arrested once again in what is shaping up to be a major frame up. His next hearing is February 28th.
Read more


Also watch: Video: Arun Ferreira speaks about Life in an Indian Prison (en | 12:51 min | 2014)

Video: Keeping Hope, An Everyday Challenge: Imprisoned Activist Gautam Navlakha´s Partner

Video: Keeping Hope, An Everyday Challenge: Imprisoned Activist Gautam Navlakha´s Partner


en | 20:10min | 2021

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

An accused in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon case, Navlakha is a civil liberties, democratic, human rights activist, and journalist. He has been charged with the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which many human rights activists across the world say is a tool used by the government to silence dissent. In this video, we speak to Navlakha’s partner, Sahba Hussain, and try to get some insight into his life – public as well as private.
Watch video