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 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.
Of 2 min phone calls and three birthdays in prison: What keeps professor Shoma Sen going
Edex Live / by Parvathi Benu
How much information can two people exchange during a two-minute-long phone call? The call doesn’t extend even a second beyond two minutes. The people at both ends of the call were professor Shoma Sen and her daughter Koel Sen. The call happened on May 7 and this was the only piece of conversation in two months. Read more
Women’s trajectories towards social equality and liberation – A profile of Shoma Sen
The Polis Project / by The Polis Project and maraa
The profile features Shoma Sen, an assistant professor and head of the English literature department of Nagpur University, and a Dalit and women’s rights activist. Sen has been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and among other things has been accused of inciting violence in Bhima-Koregaon in 2018. Read more
Sudha Bharadwaj: The lawyer for poor and labourers
She was a lawyer for the poor, a thorn in the side of big industry. Is that the reason why she has been implicated?
The noted human rights lawyer was born in Massachusetts in the United States but gave up her US citizenship at the age of 18 and returned to India. She studied at IIT-Kanpur and horrified at the condition of labourers in UP, Bihar and West Bengal, she decided to work for them and joined the Chhattisgarh Liberation Front in 1986 when it was still a part of Madhya Pradesh. Read more
Shoma Sen spends birthday in jail for third consecutive year
Prof. Shoma Sen, former head of department, English, at the Nagpur University, and one of the accused in the Elgaar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon cases, turned 63 on Saturday. She has been lodged in Byculla jail in Mumbai since February this year, when the case was transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Ms. Sen was in Yerwada jail in Pune since her arrest on June 6, 2018, and this was her third birthday in jail. Read more
Today, Professor Shoma Sen has turned 62. She is spending yet another birthday away from her family, detained in Byculla Women’s Jail – where a medical officer & another prisoner have tested positive for #COVID19.
Who Is DU Professor Hany Babu M.T. Arrested Unexpectedly During Witness Summon?
Co-operate and get arrested!
Hany Babu M.T., Associate Professor of English at the University of Delhi, Major in Language Ideology, Politics and Policy, Linguistic Identity, Marginalised Languages and Social Justice, was arrested by NIA (National Investigation Agency) on, Tuesday, July 28, for connection with the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case. A total of 12 people – all activists, lawyers, and academics – have been arrested in the case. Read more
The Indian state has imprisoned the Dalit intellectual Anand Teltumbde on trumped-up charges of terrorism and subversion. His activism and writing on caste and class are needed more than ever in the struggle against both casteism and capitalism. Read more
Who’s Afraid of Anand Teltumbde?
The Wire / by N. Balmurli
Teltumbde’s writing has exposed the hypocrisy of the votaries of neo-liberal capitalism, caste deniers and Hindutva triumphalists. It is they who seek to silence him today.
… A consummate polymath, Anand Teltumbde is at once comfortable with hard-nosed political-economic analyses of globalisation, as with the cultural-politics of caste identities and caste-class dialectics, or with the techno-business strategic policy formulations that figure in trade journals. Read more
When the State Fears a Poet: Varsha speaks up for her uncle
On Saturday, I checked my phone and saw that we’d heard from my uncle, currently a political prisoner in India. “I’m alright,” he said. But he wasn’t alright. His voice was weak and feeble, and his words, disjointed, slipped into Hindi instead of his beloved Telugu. For over six decades, Varavara Rao, the revolutionary poet, captivated generations with his critical poetry and prose. That he was anything less than articulate, let alone incoherent, was a gut punch. The goal of Narendra Modi’s administration has been to silence those like my uncle. Had they succeeded? Read more
Chained Muse: Notes from Prison by Varavara Rao/ How To Read A Letter From Jail
In November 2019, when the Bhima Koregaon accused were still housed in Yerawada Central Prison and their case had not yet been transferred to the NIA, the Telugu poet penned some thoughts about his experience there, and the carceral nature of the state. Read more
“Read it not once, but many times,” says Mohammad Aamir Khan explaining the process clearly over the phone. “Each word has a story. Try to feel the pain behind each word.”
Khan, 39, should know. After he was “kidnapped” one night (he never uses the word arrested because he was snatched from the street, tortured, made to sign blank sheets of paper, and then produced in a court only a week later), Khan spent 14 years in prison, incarcerated for serious crimes he never committed, before being acquitted in 2012. Read more
Sudha Bharadwaj Denied Basic Right of Phone Calls in Jail / Interview with Maaysha
Mumbai: Maaysha saw her mother, Sudha Bharadwaj, last on February 22. It was a day after Maaysha’s birthday; she turned 23 this year. In the mulaqaat (meeting) at Yerwada prison in Pune, Bharadwaj – an academic and human rights activist – was barely given five minutes to talk to her daughter who had travelled from Delhi just for this meeting. Read more
MAASHA FEELS PM NARENDRA MODI WON´T LISTEN TO HER PRAYERS OF RELEASING HER INNOCENT MOTHER
Maaysha and Sudha Bharadwaj
News 21 / by Santoshee Gulabkali Mishra
In a lengthy telephonic interview with Santoshee Gulabkali Mishra, Special Correspondent of TheNews21, Maaysha describes her pain and struggle within and outside the system, her process of learning to cope with the situation in the entire two-year journey minus mother. Read more
Mahesh Raut, our brother and friend, is in jail for over 2 years. For defending democracy, in his home district, Gadchiroli. He deserves to be free.
This video is an attempt to present the real picture which paid media won’t show you. Watch video
We need groups organised to fight, they’re the ones who can make a dent – A profile of Sudha Bharadwaj
CMM demands release of Sudha Bharadwaj, Chhattisgarh 2019
The Polis Project / by The Polis Project & maraa
PROFILES OF DISSENT | The profile spotlights the life and work of Sudha Bharadwaj a trade unionist, and a civil rights activist who had fought against land acquisition, and has worked and lived in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh for 29 years. Read more