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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

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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

Evidence against Sudha Bharadwaj ‘too poor’ to be admissible, says lawyer / A Peek into her Life and Journey

Evidence against Sudha Bharadwaj ‘too poor’ to be admissible, says lawyer / A Peek into her Life and Journey

Evidence against Sudha Bharadwaj ‘too poor’ to be admissible, says lawyer

25/01/2021

The Telegraph / by Basant Kumar Mohanty

Writers, activists and academics seek her release from jail, urge intelligentsia to break their silence.
Yug Chaudhary, lawyer of activist Sudha Bharadwaj who has been in custody since her arrest in the Bhima Koregaon case in 2018, on Sunday said the purported evidence against her lacked “sanctity” and was “too poor” to be admissible.
At a webinar, writers, activists and academics demanded that Bharadwaj be released from jail and urged the intelligentsia to follow her example and break their silence as the country’s institutions were no longer reliable.
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A Peek into the Life and Journey of Sudha Bharadwaj

24/01/2021

The Leaflet / by People’s Union for Civil Liberties

Through a series of interviews with Sudha Bharadwaj, PUCL shows the grim reality of the people fighting in tribal areas for the land they own. The book titled ‘A LIFE IN LAW AND ACTIVISM: SUDHA BHARADWAJ SPEAKS’ shows her journey into fighting for the rights of people, her cases and the story of the people affected by these laws…
The following are edited excerpts from the book.
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Sudha Bharadwaj on Why She Joined the Trade Union Movement and Became a Lawyer

24/01/2021

The Wire / by Santanu Chakraborty and Darshana Mitra

“We have to bring the Constitution to life. That’s where the lawyers and peoples’ organisations have to work together.”
The following is an excerpt from Sudha Bharadwaj Speaks: A Life in Law and Activism published by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties. Bharadwaj, a lawyer, trade unionist and rights activist, was arrested in 2018 in the Elgar Parishad case. The book is based on a long interview of Bharadwaj conducted before her arrest by two young lawyers, Santanu Chakraborty and Darshana Mitra.
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‘My mother misses home often’, says Sudha Bharadwaj’s daughter during book release

24/01/2021

The Print / by The Print Team

A book titled ‘Sudha Bharadwaj Speaks: A Life in Law and Activism’, based on a long interview just before Bharadwaj’s arrest in 2018, was released Sunday.
A new e-book based on a long interview with human rights lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, who has been under arrest for more than two years now, was released Sunday.
The book, titled Sudha Bharadwaj Speaks: A Life in Law and Activism, is based on an interview conducted by lawyers Santanu Chakraborty and Darshana Mitra just before Bharadwaj was arrested in the infamous Bhima Koregaon case in 2018. It was released at a webinar by author Nayantara Sehgal.
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PDF copy: Sudha Bharadwaj speaks – A Life in Law and Activism

24/01/2021

By People’s Union for Civil Liberties

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
Pictures credit: PUCL
Cover Design / Layout: Vinay Jain
Paperback: 316 pages

Access a free PDF copy of the book here:
Sudha_Bharadwaj_speaks (2,1 MB)

Please download and share widely!
#RepealUAPA

Book release: Sudha Bharadwaj speaks – A Life in Law and Activism [PDF copy]

Book release: Sudha Bharadwaj speaks – A Life in Law and Activism [PDF copy]

PDF copy: Sudha Bharadwaj speaks – A Life in Law and Activism

24/01/2021

By People’s Union for Civil Liberties

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
Pictures credit: PUCL
Cover Design / Layout: Vinay Jain
Paperback: 316 pages

Access a free PDF copy of the book here:
Sudha_Bharadwaj_speaks (2,1 MB)

Please download and share widely!
#RepealUAPA


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

24/01/2021


en + hindi | 2h 53min | 2021

By People’s Union for Civil Liberties and more than 100 other organizations

Topic: Why is the state afraid of Sudha Bharadwaj?
Sudha Bharadwaj, a renowned human rights lawyer, trade unionist, is one of 16 activists incarcerated in the infamous Bhima Koregaon case for more than 2 years. 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)

Programme – click to enlarge
Guilty by association – A profile of Hany Babu

Guilty by association – A profile of Hany Babu

Solidarity poster, Aug 28, 2020

The Polis Project / by The Polis Project and maraa

… Hany Babu Musaliyarveettil Tharayil, 54, is an associate professor of Linguistics in Delhi University (DU). He is also a linguist, an anti-caste scholar, and a social activist. His work as an activist has been largely related to the pro-reservation movement in Indian universities. He is the coordinator of the Alliance of Social Justice, a member of the Joint Action Front for Democratic Education and, until his arrest, he was leading the Defense Committee for GN Saibaba, a professor convicted for alleged links with the Maoist movement.
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