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The Imprisoned Nine

The Imprisoned Nine

All the people who are the focus of this campaign have been accused of being associated with what has come to be known as the Bhima-Koregaon case.
At December 31, 2017 about 260 organizations had come together on to the common platform Elgar Parishad (‘loud declaration committee’) to challenge the rising tide of communal forces in India and to fight for maintaining the essentials of the Indian Constitution. The next day they all had gone to Bhima-Koregaon, where every year since the 1990s thousands of Dalits converge at the village Bhima-Koregaon to symbolically commemorate a battle fought in 1818. 

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 Imprisoned Nine: Who is …?

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 Varavara Rao?
All posts related to Varavara Rao
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 Sudha Bharadwaj?

Who is Sudha Bharadwaj?

By India Civil Watch

Sudha Bharadwaj is one of India’s best known ‘people’s lawyer’. She has spent more than three decades working with the most marginalised sections of people in the mineral-rich conflict-ridden central Indian state of Chhattisgarh. Away from the media glare, her ear firmly to the ground, this trade union activist and lawyer has fought numerous battles (protests, negotiations, court cases) against powerful corporate powers, and the Chhattisgarh state. Her fight has always been to defend worker rights to a living and dignified wage and conditions of work, and indigenous people’s constitutional rights to their land, and to expose the frequent (at times, endemic) atrocities (rape and sexual assault against women, murders, and pillage of entire villages) committed by unconstitutional state-sponsored armed militia against people resisting forced displacement.

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Who is Arun Ferreira?

Who is Arun Ferreira?

By India Civil Watch

Arun Ferreira is a human rights lawyer from Mumbai, India. He is a member of the Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR) and the Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL). He studied at Mumbai’s St. Xavier’s College where he developed a strong social conscience, and organised the institution’s canteen workers to demand better work conditions. After college, he worked with slum dwellers in Mumbai before becoming a community organiser in Vidarbha (rural Maharashtra state).

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Who is Vernon Gonsalves?

Who is Vernon Gonsalves?

By India Civil Watch

Vernon Gonsalves is trade unionist, activist, an academic (former professor of business management in a college in Mumbai) and a writer, who writes extensively on Dalit and adivasi rights, the conditions of prisons in India and the routine violation of rights of prisoners. Along with Arun Ferriera, he has authored a number of popular articles on the condition of Indian jails, the abuse of authority by Indian police, and draconian laws such as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), a piece of ‘anti-terror’ legislation with a wide ambit and vague concepts, which allows its misuse against academics, lawyers and human rights defenders. Equally importantly, their writings expose the hypocrisy of democracy in India.
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Who is Varavara Rao?

Who is Varavara Rao?

By India Civil Watch

Varavara Rao (VV) was born in Warangal in 1940. He finished his MA in Telugu literature from Osmania University. He worked as a lecturer in several colleges and transformation towards revolutionary ideas started in Varavara Rao’s mind during his tenure in Mahabubnagar district.
Varavara Rao has been writing poetry since 1957. Warangal was one of the first places to respond to the Naxalbari movement, which began in Bengal in around 1967. In 1969, with Varavara Rao as one of the driving forces, Warangal saw the rise of a literary group called Thirugubatu Kavulu (Rebel Poets), which associated itself with the armed struggle going on in Andhra’s Srikakulam district then.
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Who is Sudhir Dhawale?

Who is Sudhir Dhawale?

By India Civil Watch

After spending close to four years (2011-2014) in jail in India (where he was denied every kind of human right) on charges of being a ‘Naxalite’, Sudhir Dhawale was acquitted of all charges. Reflecting on his traumatic experience, Sudhir soberly identifies his private struggle as being part of a much larger public and collective struggle for democratic values. Sudhir:

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Who is Surendra Gadling?

Who is Surendra Gadling?

By India Civil Watch

Surendra Gadling is a human rights lawyer and General Secretary of the Indian Association of Peoples’ Lawyers (IAPL). Among those he has represented are numerous human rights defenders arrested on fabricated charges. Gadling began his career, almost two decades ago in Nagpur, fighting cases for those arrested under the draconian Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act 1985, or TADA, and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
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Who is Mahesh Raut?

Who is Mahesh Raut?


Mahesh Raut (left) and Lalsu Narote. Foto credit: Javed Iqbal/ The Wire

By India Civil Watch

“He first came to us as a part of the PMRD [Prime Minister’s Rural Development] fellowship in 2013. He would visit every village with other government officials and meticulously note down grievances and parallelly also research on several village and state-level policies that could come to our rescue. His work in the formative years helped us build our struggles in the coming days.”
These are the words of an elected district council member, Lalsu Nogoti, from Bhamragad in Maharashtra. He is speaking about Mahesh Raut. Four months after Mahesh Raut was arrested, accused by the state of being an ‘urban naxal’, 300 gram sabhas (people’s councils ) from the two districts that Mahesh worked in, issued a resolution in his support.
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Who is Shoma Sen?

Who is Shoma Sen?

By India Civil Watch

Shoma Sen, Professor and Head of the Department of English at the Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, was arrested on 6 June 2018 and eventually suspended from the college, days before she was scheduled to retire in July 2018.
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Who is Rona Wilson?

Who is Rona Wilson?

By India Civil Watch

Rona Wilson is the 47-year old Public Relations Secretary of the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP). He was arrested under the UAPA on June 6, 2018, in Delhi, at the same time as Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling, and Mahesh Raut in Nagpur and Sudhir Dhawale in Mumbai, and accused of channeling Maoist funds for the Elgar Parishad and fomenting violence in Bhima Koregaon.
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