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The BK16

The BK16


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.

The Case of the Reliance Workers Satyanarayan Karrela, Babushankar Vanguri, 
Shankar Gunde, Ravi Marampelli and Saidulu Singapanga

The BK16: Who is …?

Who is Varavara Rao?
All posts related to Varavara Rao
Who is Sudha Bharadwaj?
All posts related to Sudha Bharadwaj
Who is Sudhir Dhawale?
All posts related to Sudhir Dhawale
Who is Arun Ferreira?
All posts related to Arun Ferreira
Who is Surendra Gadling?
All posts related to Surendra Gadling
Who is Vernon Gonsalves?
All posts related to Vernon Gonsalves
Who is Mahesh Raut?
All posts related to Mahesh Raut
Who is Shoma Sen?
All posts related to Shoma Sen
Who is Rona Wilson?
All posts related to Rona Wilson
Who is Gautam Navlakha?
All posts related to Gautam Navlakha
Who is Anand Teltumbde?
All posts related to Anand Teltumbde
Who is Hany Babu?
All posts related to Hany Babu
Who are the Kabir Kala Manch artistes Jyoti Jagtap, Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor?
All posts related to Kabir Kala Manch
Who is Stan Swamy?
All posts related to Stan Swamy

Jyoti Jagtap – The Young Woman Who Would Not Cry

Jyoti Jagtap – The Young Woman Who Would Not Cry

Article 14 / by Jyoti Punwani

Jyoti Jagtap sang against Hindutva, casteism, inequality. In September, unafraid and resolute, she became the third member of a cultural troupe to be arrested in the Bhima-Koregaon case and its youngest accused. Like 15 others, she faces charges of sedition and waging war against the government of India.
“You can counsel the other inmates in jail. That way your time inside won’t be wasted.”
With these words, Rupali Jadhav bid farewell to her Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) colleague Jyoti Jagtap in the Pune office of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on 8 September 2020.
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Note on life and work of Fr. Stan Swamy & the case / His arrest is an insult to justice

Note on life and work of Fr. Stan Swamy & the case / His arrest is an insult to justice

Life and work of Fr. Stan Swamy and the Bhima Koregaon case

20/10/2020

Indian Cultural Forum / by Frazer Mascarenhas

Fr. Stan Swamy was arrested by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) on 8th October in Ranchi and he was sent to Taloja jail after being charged in a false and fabricated conspiracy case related to the Bhima Koregaon incident that took place on 1st January, 2018. Here is a brief note on the life and work of Fr. Stan Swamy and the Bhima Koregaon case.
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India’s arrest of an 83-year-old priest on terrorism charges is an insult to justice

18/10/2020

The Guardian / by Mari Marcel Thekaekara

Father Stan Swamy, who was helping indigenous people fight mining corporates, is far from a violent Maoist.
A frail, ailing 83-year-old Jesuit priest, Father Stan Swamy, has become the oldest person to be accused of terrorism in India. He is incarcerated in a Mumbai jail after his arrest last week.
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If teaching Marx and Ambedkar is a criminal activity: A profile of K. Satyanarayana

If teaching Marx and Ambedkar is a criminal activity: A profile of K. Satyanarayana


Solidarity poster Sep, 2020

The Polis Project / by The Polis Project and maraa

In collaboration with maraa, The Polis Project launched Profiles of Dissent – a new series centered on remarkable voices of dissent and courage in India and their personal and political histories, as a way to reclaim our public spaces. These are prominent writers, poets, activists, and human rights defenders who have been in prison, held under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The profile features K. Satyanarayana who has been implicated in the connection with Bhima Koregaon investigation in relation to his father-in-law Varavara Rao.
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Jailed activist Stan Swamy has spent half a century making Adivasi struggles his own

Jailed activist Stan Swamy has spent half a century making Adivasi struggles his own

Pic: National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO)

Jailed activist Stan Swamy has spent half a century making Adivasi struggles his own

15/10/2020

Scroll.in / by John Dayal

The Jesuit priest has sought to interpret his vocation and training in Ignatius Loyola’s philosophy in the service of the most deprived, the most threatened.
In one of those coincidences, 83-year-old Stan Swamy was arrested by India’s high-profile National Investigation Agency about the same time that another octogenarian, Francis, was declaring that all men and women in the world are brothers and sisters, with responsibility to each other and to the earth on which they all live, its resources, its environment, its climate.
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Stan Swamy: The oldest person to be accused of terrorism in India

13/10/2020

BBC News / by Soutik Biswas

On Thursday evening, detectives from India’s National Investigation Agency arrived in an SUV at a red and white building on the outskirts of Ranchi in India’s eastern state of Jharkhand.
There they picked up Father Stan Swamy, an ailing 83-year-old activist and Jesuit priest. They seized his mobile phone and asked him to pack a bag. They then drove him to the airport and boarded a flight to Mumbai, where Father Swamy was remanded to judicial custody until 23 October.
He is now the oldest person to be accused of terrorism in India.
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A new website launched by Friends of Sudha Bharadwaj

A new website launched by Friends of Sudha Bharadwaj

By Friends of Sudha Bharadwaj

Sudha Bharadwaj is a trade-unionist, activist and lawyer who has lived and worked in Chhattisgarh for over three decades. On the 28 th of August 2018, along with other lawyers, writers and activists, Sudha was arrested under wrongful charges in the Bhima Koregaon case and put in jail under the draconian UAPA law. Part of the vibrant labour movement that began in the iron ore mines of Dalli Rajhara as a young activist, Sudha was urged by workers to study law and fight for them in the courtroom.
Visit website

The battle to protect Adivasis’ right to the land: A profile of Father Stan Swamy

The battle to protect Adivasis’ right to the land: A profile of Father Stan Swamy


Pic: Ranchi Oct, 9

The Polis Project & maraa

Fr. Stan Swamy is an indigenous people’s rights defender. He is the founder of Vistapan Virodhi Janvikash Andolan (VVJA), an all India platform for different movements that are campaigning against human rights violations caused by the displacement of Adivasis, Dalits, and farmers from their lands.
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Held by NIA 83-yr-old priest worked for tribals, took on govt policies, and `even the Church´

Held by NIA 83-yr-old priest worked for tribals, took on govt policies, and `even the Church´


Ranchi, Oct 2020

The Indian Express / by Abhishek Angad

Swamy’s arrest has led to widespread protests in Jharkhand, where he has been based for over two decades. Various civil society groups and activists have criticised this arrest.
Two days before his arrest, Father Stan Swamy, 83, a Jharkhand-based Jesuit priest, human rights activist and writer who was arrested by NIA on Thursday in the Bhima Koregaon case, had in a video statement spoken about his work on displacement, land alienation, rights of gram sabhas and of Adivasis in jail, among other issues.
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Who is Stan Swamy?

Who is Stan Swamy?

By India Civil Watch

On the morning of August 28, 2018 Maharashtra police raided the one room home of Fr.Stan Swamy, who lives on the outskirts of Ranchi on Bagaicha campus, under suspicion of him being involved in the violence at Bhima Koregaon. The police confiscated his laptop, mobile phone and several CDs, and a recent press release on the Pathalgadi movement by Women against Sexual violence and State repression (WSS).

What does an 82 year old Jesuit priest has got to do with Bhima-Koregaon case? Everything, if he is a stalwart of people’s causes.

“When I decided to join the Jesuits, I sought to know where I will be needed more. I came to know about the Indigenous Adivasi people in central India and I lived in an interior Adivasi village for two years and came to appreciate their values … sense of equality, cooperation, sharing without counting, community-bond, consensus decision making, closeness to nature etc.  At the same time, I saw how these beautiful people were being exploited and oppressed by unscrupulous outsiders. I wanted to make something of my life that would make even a small difference in their search for dignity and self-respect. That’s what I am still trying to do during the last four decades.“ (Stan Swamy)

This life defining decision has put Stan Swamy in the forefront of struggles that ranged from the right to food to anti-displacement movements to protests against false imprisonments to land alienation.
Stan Swamy, who moved to the Chaibasa area of undivided Bihar in the 1970s, embarked on life of activism by associating with the 1996 campaign led by the Jharkhand Organisation Against Uranium Radiation (JOAR), a campaign against Uranium Corporation India Limited that successfully stopped the construction of a tailing dam in Chaibasa which, if constructed, would lead to the displacement of adivasis in Jadugoda’s Chatikocha area. After vociferously raising these issues, he moved to work with the displaced people of Bukaro, Santhal Parganas and Koderma and has continued to work for them. He has been a vocal critic of the government’s attempts to amend land laws and the land acquisition act in Jharkhand, termed as ‘Land Bank’, which he sees as the most recent plot to annihilate the Adivasi people and a strong advocate of the Forest Rights Act, Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA), Tribes Advisory Council (TAC), Samatha Judgement etc.
In 2010 Stan Swamy published a book titled, ‘Jail Mein Band Qaidiyon ka Sach’ exposing the arbitrary and unlawful arrests of tribal youths with alleged links to the Naxal Movement. In his book, he highlighted that the average monthly income of 97 percent of these tribal households was less than Rs 5,000, which meant they simply could not afford to hire lawyers to take up their cases. In 2015 when a report was published discussing the plight of the arrested youths, Stan Swamy came into the State machinery’s radar. According to the report 98% of the 3000 arrested were falsely implicated and had no links to the Naxal Movement. Some served years in jail without a trial. He has selfless contributed to pay for the youth’s bail bonds and approached lawyers to represent these cases in the court of law. As part of the Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee, Stan Swamy along with Sudha Bhardwaj, has questioned the illegality with which some undertrials have been put in solitary confinement following the banning of Mazdoor Sangathan Samiti in December 2017.
Working tirelessly to have the PESA Act implement in the state’s scheduled areas, his efforts culminated in the Pathalgadi movement in 2017 in the districts of Khunti, Simdega, Seraikela and Gumla in Jharkhand.  The government’s response was to try and suppress the movement by booking around 20 leaders, including Father Swamy, under charges of sedition on 30 July 2018. It led to well-known intellectuals and activists like Vasvi Kido and Santosh Kido describing the government action as a witch hunt and an attempt to malign the image of the Church in Jharkand. It is hardly a secret that Chief Minister Raghubar Das and the BJP are keen to check the Church’s influence among the tribal community.
As testimony to his tireless endeavours to retain the secular fabric of the country, Stan Swamy has also been closely engaged in fostering communal harmony through secular platforms like Sajha Kadam.
He founded of Vistapan Virodhi Janvikash Andolan (VVJA), an all India platform for different movements that are campaigning against human rights violations caused by displacement of adivasi people, dalits, and farmers from their lands.
As a writer and with meticulous documentation skills he laid threadbare several of the government’s anti-people policies.

India Civil Watch
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E-mail: indiacivilwatch at gmail.com
Dubbed urban Naxal, Arun Ferreira a ‘victim’ of BJP govt’s sectarian, vendetta politics

Dubbed urban Naxal, Arun Ferreira a ‘victim’ of BJP govt’s sectarian, vendetta politics

Drawing by Arun Ferreira

Counterview / by Atul, Sandeep Pandey

Arun Ferreira is a civil rights activist and human rights lawyer. He has been behind bars since June 6, 2018, when he was arrested in connection to the Bhima Koregaon event held earlier that year. Like many other activists, he was slapped with Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, sedition and other anti-terror related offenses allegedly for inciting the ensuing violence that police claimed was calculated to disturb public peace.
Ferreira has spent years in jail on similar charges previously as well.
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The Making of Varavara Rao: Parts Seven and Eight

The Making of Varavara Rao: Parts Seven and Eight


VV with wife Hemalatha and the author

Indian Cultural Forum / by N Venugopal Rao

I wouldn’t have been who I am without Varavara Rao, and it is true for the generation I come from and the one that followed. Today’s Telangana wouldn’t have been what it is without him. I have written and spoken about him and his poetry in the past, but now he is on the deathbed, in a faraway hospital, being subjected to retributive torture by the powers that be. Now, with a never-before urgency, I want to speak and write about him, through an interminable torrent of words.
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