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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

Koel Sen: Why Are We Being Made To Suffer?

Koel Sen: Why Are We Being Made To Suffer?

Koel & Shoma (pic credits: Free Shoma Sen)

Rediff.com / by Jyoti Punwani

It’s been five days since Professor Shoma Sen, accused in the Elgar Parishad case, got bail from the Supreme Court, but she hasn’t managed to step out of Byculla Jail in central Mumbai. Nor has her daughter or husband been able to speak to her even on the phone, since they had finished their phone-call quota for last week before her bail order came.
Waiting to meet her mother, Koel Sen recalled the many frustrations she has experienced in the six years since her mother was suddenly arrested in June 2018. The 36-year-old independent film-maker spoke to Jyoti Punwani about how these years changed her.
Read more


Also read:
‘Shoma Sen should have been released in October 2018’ (Rediff.com / Apr 2024)
And he waits for Shoma Sen (Midday.com / May 2022)
Part 1: ‘It is very difficult to see my mother like this’ (Rediff.com / May 2022)
Part 2: When Your Mother Is In Prison… (Rediff.com / May 2022)

‘From Phansi Yard’ by Sudha Bharadwaj wins Best Author in Non-Fiction @AutHER Awards

‘From Phansi Yard’ by Sudha Bharadwaj wins Best Author in Non-Fiction @AutHER Awards

by Jayati Ghosh @Jayati1609 (March 18):

Absolutely delighted to learn that Sudha Bharadwaj has deservedly won the best author award for non fiction with her sensitive, insightful and illuminating book on the lives of women in an Indian prison.

Here’s a typically thoughtful and compassionate response from #SudhaBharadwaj after news of the award:



by AutHER Awards – Creating Lasting Impressions / @AutherAwards (March 17):
A round of applause for Sudha Bharadwaj, winner of the Non-Fiction category at #AutherAwards. Her remarkable book ‘From Phansi Yard: My Year With The Women Of Yerawada’ has made a profound impact on the jury’s hearts
by Juggernautbooks / @juggernautbooks (March 17):
‘From Phansi Yard’ by Sudha Bharadwaj wind Best Author in the Non Fiction Category for @AutherAwards
A heart congratulations to Sudha Bharadwaj!

by Chiki Sarkar / @Chikisarkar (March 17):
Thrilled that Sudha Bharadwaj wins best non fiction in the ⁦@AutherAwards awards.
We are so proud to be publishing this wonderful book ⁦@juggernautbooks


From Phansi Yard: My Year with the Women of Yerawada

Author: Sudha Bhardwaj
Publisher: Juggernaut
Pages: 216
Order


Also read/watch:

▪ From Phansi Yard: My Year With The Women Of Yerawada, by Sudha Bharadwaj (Excerpt)

Artice 14 / by Samar Halarnkar / Sudha Bharadwaj | Nov 2023
Arrested on 28 August 2018, human rights lawyer, teacher and IIT graduate Sudha Bharadwaj is among 16 accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case, charged under  sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1967…

EXCERPT
On 1 November, I mark my second birthday in custody. Diwali was in late October this year, and Shoma Di has saved a bit of her Diwali faral (snacks, in Marathi) as a treat for me. She gives me a beautiful card with a hand-drawn Sudoku on the front and a ballerina ‘dancing away to her freedom’ on the inside. It’s an ode to my Sudoku mania.
Read more

▪ Video: Barkha Dutt speaks to Sudha Bharadwaj on her book ‘From Phansi Yard’

Mojo Story | Nov 2023


en | 21:03min | 2023
Barkha Dutt speaks to Trade Unionist, activist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj on her book ‘From Phansi Yard’. The book records stories of her time in jail. She is out on bail after 3 years in the 2018 Bhima-Koregaon violence case.
Sudha speaks about her days in jail and how her time in a women’s prison made her aware of the gender gap in legal aid. “Many women are jailed- because their husband committed some crime and are now absconding- they don’t even know about the crime,” she says.
Sudha further says that she lives in the house of a friend, as she “can’t afford rent”. Trade unions support her, she does legal cases for them, she says.
Watch video

▪ A Cage with a View: Under-trial life in an Indian jail

National Herald | by Sudha Bharadwaj | Oct 2023
The jottings that make up this book were my way of coping with incarceration. Some prisoners pray, some weep, some just put their heads down and work themselves weary. Some fight defiantly every inch of the way, some are inveterate grumblers, some spew gossip. Some read the newspaper from cover to cover, some shower love on children, some laugh at themselves and at others.
I watched through the bars, and I wrote.

Read more

‘My state has done the greatest honour by putting me in jail’: Anand Teltumbde after receiving award

‘My state has done the greatest honour by putting me in jail’: Anand Teltumbde after receiving award

by Dr Meena Kandasamy / @meenakandasamy (Jan 31):
Feeling so proud of Dr Anand Teltumbde for receiving the Karnataka Government’s Basava Rashtriya Puraskar today


‘My state has done the greatest honour by putting me in jail’: Anand Teltumbde after receiving Karnataka’s Basava award

01/02/2024

The Indian Express / by Sanath Prasad

Teltumbde says the award is ‘an honour for all the faceless and countless activists struggling for making this world better for people to live’.
Civil rights activist and academic Anand Teltumbde was felicitated with the Basava Rashtriya Puraskara by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Bengaluru on Wednesday for his work on delivering social justice and equality through speeches and writings.
Read more

Poster by Siddesh Gautam / #bakeryprasad


NIA court allows Anand Teltumbde to travel to Bengaluru to receive Basava Rashtriya Puraskar award

30/01/2024

The Leaflet / by Sarah Thanawala

Dr Anand Teltumbde has been allowed to travel to Bengaluru to receive the Basava Rashtriya Puraskar award for 2022–23. The award recognises individuals and organisations for their achievements in the areas of literature, social justice and harmony.
Today, a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court of special judge Rajesh Kataria allowed Dalit scholar, academic and activist, Dr Anand Teltumbde to travel to Bengaluru to receive the Basava Rashtriya Puraskar award for 2022–23 from the Karnataka government.
Read more


Elgar Parishad case accused allowed to visit Karnataka to receive award

30/01/2024

India Today / by Vidya

Professor Anand Teltumbde, an accused in the 2018 Elgar Parishad case, has been allowed to travel to Bengaluru to receive a felicitation by the state government.
A special court in Mumbai has allowed scholar-activist Professor Anand Teltumbde, an accused in the 2018 Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case of Maharashtra, to travel to Karnataka for two days to receive an award from the government in the neighbouring state.
Read more


Civil rights activist Anand Teltumbde chosen for Basava Award; Na. D’Souza gets Pampa Prashasti

26/01/2024

The Hindu / by the Hindu Bureau

Scholar, civil rights activist, and Ambedkarite Anand Teltumbde from Maharashtra and Dr. N.G. Mahadevappa from Dharwad in Karnataka have been picked for the national-level Basava Award for the year 2022-23 and 2023-24, respectively.
Read More

Anand Teltumbde: Of a frank and fearless mind

Anand Teltumbde: Of a frank and fearless mind

Poster by #bakeryprasad

The Indian Express / by Suraj Yengde

Teltumbde helped us to foreground the meaning of atrocity. Among his notable scholarly contributions to social sciences are his monographs covering the state and the political economy.
Anand Teltumbde is a rare intellectual, someone gifted with a versatility that cuts across disciplines. He’s among the top-ranking intellectuals of contemporary India. Much like the late British historian Eric Hobsbawm, he is someone who can easily play with multiple topics and engage intelligently.
Read more

Notes from prison | Talk with Sudha Bharadwaj

Notes from prison | Talk with Sudha Bharadwaj

Notes from prison

19/01/2024

The Telegraph / by Lakshmi Subramanian

‘Phansi Yard’ is more than just jottings of a sensitive prisoner. Like all jail diaries, it documents the everyday — the quality of food, limited access to clothing, the absence of privacy — with great attention and, alongside, records individual stories with real sensitivity, framing them within a larger social context
The prison diary has remained an enduring genre in all societies with its extraordinary capacity to document the self and interrogate power structures.
Read more


Lawyer’s ballad of Yerawada Jail reflects on the lives of 76 prisoners

13/01/2024

Deccan Chronicle / by Anand K Sahay

This resident of Phansi Yard has a writer’s sensibility, and says in a matter-of-fact way
This is a remarkable document of life observed from the Phansi Yard or Death Row of the Yerawada Women’s Jail in Pune by an extraordinary individual who made a conscious choice to be a trade union worker and human rights lawyer in order to stand with marginalised people, rather than build a career as a mathematician after emerging with a shining degree from IIT, Delhi.
Read more


From Phansi Yard: My Year with the Women of Yerawada

Author: Sudha Bhardwaj
Publisher: Juggernaut
Pages: 216
Order


#keeptalking | Anuradha Sen Gupta talks to Sudha Bharadwaj

08/01/2024


en | 32:47min | 2024

By anuradhasays

Trade unionist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj is used to fighting rights battles. She started her career in Chhattisgarh in the late 1980s as a trade unionist and later studied law in order to fight legal cases directly. Even though she has been on the side of many losing battles, giving up or opting out has never been an option. Despite the setbacks and personal challenges, the biggest one being arrested in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, Sudha who is out on bail, retains her good cheer and optimism. In a wide ranging conversation with Anuradha SenGupta, Sudha talks of women who are incarcerated, the underbelly of capitalism, the rights of workers and her hope for the new year.
Watch video


Also watch/read:

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

By People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Jan 2021en + hindi | 2h 53min | 2021

Topic: Why is the state afraid of Sudha Bharadwaj?
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)

■ 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
Paperback: 316 pages
Access a free PDF copy of the book here:
Sudha_Bharadwaj_speaks (2,1 MB)

PUDR: Remember Bhima Koregaon Case. Remember Shoma Sen. Release Shoma Sen.

PUDR: Remember Bhima Koregaon Case. Remember Shoma Sen. Release Shoma Sen.

by Peoples Union for Democratic Rights @PUDR_Delhi (Jan 6):
#PeoplesUnionforDemocraticRights #PUDR #RepealUAPA
#StateOppression #democraticrights #BK16 #BhimaKoregaon16


Also read:
Shoma Sen’s Bail Hearing in SC Adjourned Yet Again, Until January 10 (NewsClick / Dec 2023)
Supreme Court quotes Watali judgment in Shoma Sen’s bail application (The Leaflet / Dec 2023)
“Hopefully waiting” writes Shoma Sen from prison (InSAF India / Jul 2023)

Excerpts from ‘From Phansi Yard: My Year with Women of Yerawada’ by Sudha Bharadwaj

Excerpts from ‘From Phansi Yard: My Year with Women of Yerawada’ by Sudha Bharadwaj

By People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)

Sudha Bharadwaj’s recently published book ‘From Phansi Yard: My Year with the Women of Yerawada’ is a tenderly written collection of her memories, through which one gets to witness her resilient spirit, and yet, her vulnerabilities. In the book, she observes, reflects and chronicles stories of women prisoners, prison conditions and her own journey.
… The book begins with an interview, in which she narrates her story, her memories of the beginning of her activism, her relationship with her daughter and the work she did with the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha. Here are some excerpts from the book, that illustrate the warmth and compassion with which she wrote about her fellow prisoners (whom she has numbered and left anonymous), and her unyielding courage with which she survived incarceration.
Read more


From Phansi Yard: My Year with the Women of Yerawada

Author: Sudha Bhardwaj
Publisher: Juggernaut
Pages: 216
Order


Also watch/read:

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

By People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Jan 2021en + hindi | 2h 53min | 2021

Topic: Why is the state afraid of Sudha Bharadwaj?
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)

● 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
Paperback: 316 pages
Access a free PDF copy of the book here:
Sudha_Bharadwaj_speaks (2,1 MB)


● Video: The Conditions of Prisoners in Indian Jails

By All India Lawyers’ Association for Justice – AILAJ | March 2022

en | 1:21:23 | 2022
The huge number of undertrials, the overcrowding, and the disproportional numbers of Dalit, Muslim and Adivasi prisoners are part of the prison problem in India.
We are joined by Adv. Sudha Bharadwaj for a discussion on the Conditions of Prisoners in Indian Jails.
Watch video

Sudha Bharadwaj: What I knew in the abstract I was now living, feeling and observing

Sudha Bharadwaj: What I knew in the abstract I was now living, feeling and observing

Sudha Bharadwaj

The Leaflet / by Freny Manecksha

In this interview, trade unionist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, who was jailed in the Bhima-Koregaon matter and has just produced a book on From Phansi Yard: My Year with the Women of Yerawada, tells Freny Manecksha how prison changes one for the worse, but also for the better.

“But the irony is on the day they (Adivasis of Sarkeguda, Chhattisgarh) are vindicated, seven years after they began their fight, I, their first lawyer, am in jail 1,000 kilometers away! Yet it is a happy day.”
Read more


Also read:
Prison Occupancy Rose In 2022, Despite Campaign To Release Undertrials. Three in four prisoners continue to be undertrials, a majority of whom belong to oppressed caste groups (Indiaspend.com | Shreehari Paliath | Dec 2023)

● 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
Paperback: 316 pages
Access a free PDF copy of the book here:
Sudha_Bharadwaj_speaks (2,1 MB)

NIA court gives temporary bail to Surendra Gadling to attend wedding in Nagpur

NIA court gives temporary bail to Surendra Gadling to attend wedding in Nagpur

Poster by PUDR, June 2023

NIA court gives temporary bail to Surendra Gadling to attend wedding in Nagpur

08/12/2023

Hindustan Times / by Rutuja Gaidhani

A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Thursday granted temporary bail to Surendra Gadling, an accused in the Elgar Parishad case 2017, from December 25 to January 2 of 2024, to attend a relative’s wedding in Nagpur.
While granting Gadling bail, special judge R J Katariya noted that the original wedding card of his relative was produced which proved the case. “The applicant (Gadling) shall not leave Nagpur city and there shall not be any prayer for extension of the period of bail in any circumstances,” said the court.
Read more


NIA Court Grants Temporary Bail To Surendra Gadling Held In Elgar Parishad Case To Attend Close Relative’s Wedding

07/12/2023

Free Press Journal / by Charul Shah Joshi

He has been asked not to leave the Nagpur city during the said period of one week and also not hamper the evidence and prosecution witnesses
The special NIA court on Thursday granted temporary bail to advocate Surendra Gadling, an accused in the Elgar Parishad case, to attend the wedding of a close relative in the family for one week from December 25 till January 2.
Read more


Also read:
Supreme Court issues notice in bail plea of Surendra Gadling (The Leaflet / Oct 2023)
● Video: The Second Song of Surendra Galding (Adv-Surendra-Gadling-Defence-Committee / lyrics by Sagar Gorkhe)

hindi | 8:43min | June 6, 2023
Five years back this day they took him away hoping to break his spirit.
1825 days so far behind bars and see who won?
During the short release he sang his heart.
Caged yet fearless.
U can jail him not his charisma.
This is the second of the songs.
Watch video / Listen to the song
Surendra Gadling’s Computer Was Attacked, Incriminating Documents Planted: Arsenal Consulting (The Wire / July 2021)
Video: The Prison Song of Surendra Gadling (The Wire / lyrics by Ramesh Gaychor)

hindi | 11min | 2021
51- year-old Gadling, a well-known criminal lawyer in Nagpur, was once a cultural activist, who sang songs of political resistance. The 11- minutes- long rendition tells you what it means to be incarcerated in Indian prisons. From food, water, to medical care, everything is a struggle, Gadling narrates. The song was recorded by one of Gadling’s colleagues and was made available to The Wire after obtaining his consent.
Watch video / Listen to the song

Sudha Bharadwaj: ‘So Writing Was My Way Of Reaching Out To The Women I Saw’

Sudha Bharadwaj: ‘So Writing Was My Way Of Reaching Out To The Women I Saw’

Free Press Journal / by Anushka Jagtiani

The lawyer and activist talks about her time in prison and From Phansi Yard, her currently released book
Sudha Bharadwaj chose to surrender her US passport and dedicate her life to fighting the battles of exploited labourers in Chhatisgarh. Her activism led to her arrest in 2018 in the Bhima-Koregaon violence case along with 15 others, and she spent three years in jail — in Pune and Mumbai. She is currently out on bail and therefore cannot comment on the case as an under trial.
She speaks about her time in jail, the unlikely friendships she made, and how she became ‘vakeel aunty’ to many poor inmates and even helped get some out on bail. 
Read more


From Phansi Yard: My Year with the Women of Yerawada

Author: Sudha Bhardwaj
Publisher: Juggernaut
Pages: 216
Order


Also read:

● 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
Paperback: 316 pages
Access a free PDF copy of the book here:
Sudha_Bharadwaj_speaks (2,1 MB)