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Another COVID-19 Outbreak in Byculla Prison Highlights Lessons That Haven’t Been Learnt

Another COVID-19 Outbreak in Byculla Prison Highlights Lessons That Haven’t Been Learnt


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

Another COVID-19 Outbreak in Byculla Prison Highlights Lessons That Haven’t Been Learnt

28/09/2021

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

Rights activists Shoma Sen and Sudha Bharadwaj are lodged in this prison.
On September 17, a local health post in Mumbai’s E ward was notified about a sudden increase in “fever” cases inside Byculla women’s prison. The cause of the fever was unknown, but the prison authorities had seen this pattern many times in the past year. The ward authorities set up a fever camp two days later, on September 19. The initial figures suggested three women were down with COVID-19. In subsequent camps, another 36 people – including six children under the age of six – tested positive. The jail, with close to 300 women prisoners, was soon sealed.
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43 inmates, including at least four children, test positive in Mumbai’s Byculla prison

26/09/2021

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The jail has not been declared a containment zone yet.
The number of inmates who contracted the coronavirus disease in Mumbai’s Byculla prison rose to 43 on Sunday. This includes at least four children, who continue to stay with their mothers…
The prison holds inmates like Elgar Parishad accused Sudha Bharadwaj, Jyoti Jagtap and Shoma Sen.
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Also read: Amid pandemic, India’s political prisoners struggle with failing health in unequipped jails (the Caravan, June 22, 2021)

Increasing spread of virus infection in Byculla prison is worrisome: Friends & Family of Sudha Bharadwaj

Increasing spread of virus infection in Byculla prison is worrisome: Friends & Family of Sudha Bharadwaj

By Friends & Family of Sudha Bharadwaj

Press Release
Friends and Family of Sudha Bharadwaj are extremely worried over the alarming and disturbing news of the rising Covid-19 infection in Byculla women’s jail forcing the authorities to seal the premise.
Last week, in a prison supervised phone conversation Koel Sen had with her mother Shoma Sen, former professor of English from Nagpur University, arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case and incarcerated for the last three years in Byculla prison without trial, it was informed that 20 inmates from the prison were infected, which appears to have now risen to 39!
Three women political prisoners, Shoma Sen, Sudha Bharadwaj and Jyoti Jagtap, all arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case for the past three years without trial and bail, are housed in the women’s prison of Byculla jail. Alarmingly, two out of the 20 infected are from the barrack that houses 40 senior women inmates, including 61-year-old Shoma Sen and 59-year-old Sudha Bharadwaj. The barrack of 40 senior citizen women inmates is fully vaccinated, however the virus infection of the two fully vaccinated women has sent fear and concern to all the women inside the prison and their family waiting for them in their homes.

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Varavara Rao’s Plea For Extension Of Medical Bail; HC Adjourns Matter, Grants Interim Protection

Varavara Rao’s Plea For Extension Of Medical Bail; HC Adjourns Matter, Grants Interim Protection


Pic by Release The Poet

Bombay HC extends time to surrender for Varavara Rao till October 14

25/09/2021

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

Rao, arrested in the Elgaar Parishad case in 2018, was granted medical bail by the HC on February 22 for six months. The court had said he would have to either surrender or seek another extension based on his health condition after six months.
The Bombay High Court on Friday extended by two weeks the time to surrender for Elgaar Parishad accused Varavara Rao, the octogenarian who has sought extension of his medical bail and permission to shift to his residence at Hyderabad citing ill health and high expenses in Mumbai.
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Varavara Rao’s Plea For Extension Of Medical Bail; Bombay HC Adjourns The Matter, Grants Interim Protection

24/09/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

The Bombay High Court on Friday extended interim protection to Telugu Poet PV Varavara Rao from surrendering before prison officials in the Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad Case after his petition could not be heard due to paucity of time.
Rao has sought an extension of the medical bail granted to him on February 22, 2021, for six months, and modification of a bail condition to reside at his home in Telangana.
On Friday, after Rao’s counsel informed the court that the octogenarian is protected only until tomorrow, Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar said that interim protection granted earlier would continue till the matter is heard after two weeks.
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Varavara Rao’s bail plea hearing adjourned; he need not surrender till Oct 14

24/09/2021

The Hindu / by pti

Varavara Rao (82) was granted interim bail for six months on medical grounds by the HC on February 22 this year, and was scheduled to surrender and return to judicial custody on September 5.
The Bombay High Court on Friday adjourned till October 13 the hearing on a bail extension plea filed by poet-activist Varavara Rao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad case, and said he need not surrender before Taloja jail authorities till October 14.
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Human rights bodies must intervene to help Shoma Sen, Sudha Bharadwaj get medical bail

Human rights bodies must intervene to help Shoma Sen, Sudha Bharadwaj get medical bail

National Herald / by Satyaki Chakraborty

The situation has got precarious with COVID infection spreading in their barrack in Mumbai’s Byculla Jail. The Stan Swamy case should not be allowed to be repeated.
Bhima Koregaon accused activists Shoma Sen and Sudha Bharadwaj who are languishing in the Byculla Jail of Mumbai after being accused of conspiracy against the state by the National Investigating Agency(NIA), are facing a serious danger to their lives. At least 20 persons have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 at Byculla women’s jail, according to Koel Sen, daughter of activist Shoma Sen.
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Inmate found COVID-19 positive in barrack holding Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen

Inmate found COVID-19 positive in barrack holding Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

20 women, 5 children test Covid positive in Byculla women jail, 10 in male ward

25/09/2021

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

A prison official said that those who tested positive have been shifted to a nearby school. One of the prisoners, who is a senior citizen, has been shifted to a civic hospital. There are over 450 prisoners in Byculla prison.
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Inmate found COVID-19 positive in barrack holding Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen

23/09/2021

The Hindu / by Sonam Saigal

Both of them have tested negative on the RTPCR test, says DIG.
A senior citizen inmate, lodged in the same barrack as Sudha Bharadwaj and Shoma Sen at the Byculla jail, was found COVID-19 positive on Thursday.
Confirming it with The Hindu, DIG Yogesh Desai said, “One senior citizen who was given one dose of vaccination has tested positive and has been shifted to a temporary COVID Center next to the jail.”
He said Ms. Sen and Ms. Bharadwaj have tested negative on the RTPCR test.
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Days after special NIA court rejects Shoma Sen’s medical bail plea, daughter alleges two co-prisoners tested Covid-positive

23/09/2021

The Leaflet / by The Leaflet

More than 20 COVID cases reported in Byculla women’s jail.
At least 20 persons have allegedly tested positive for COVID-19 at Mumbai’s Byculla women’s jail, according to Koel Sen, daughter of activist Shoma Sen who is presently lodged in the jail. Earlier on Thursday, September 23, 2021, Koel reportedly spoke with her mother Shoma over an official call supervised by the jail superintendent, where she was informed of the same.
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Also read:
Inhumane prison conditions for Bhima Koregaon Human Rights Defenders (UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders / Aug 12, 2021)
Amid pandemic, India’s political prisoners struggle with failing health in unequipped jails (The Caravan / June 22, 2021)
‘Left to die’: Families of Bhima Koregaon accused demand their release, say jail conditions poor (The Print / June 12, 2021)

NIA court reject medical bail pleas of four accused / Court reject application seeking copy of draft charges

NIA court reject medical bail pleas of four accused / Court reject application seeking copy of draft charges

NIA Court refuses medical bail to four Bhima Koregaon accused; citing past precedent, two other accused activists seek laptops in jail

22/09/2021

The Leaflet / by Sabah Gurmat

Shoma Sen, Vernon Gonsalves, Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde had applied for bail.
On Tuesday, 21 September 2021, a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai rejected the bail applications filed on behalf of four of the senior citizens accused in the Bhima Koregaon case…
Notably, three of the Bhima Koregaon accused – Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Surendra Gadling – were also produced in-person at the special NIA court in Mumbai. The three argued before court by themselves.
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NIA Court rejects medical bail to Shoma Sen

22/09/2021

Sabrang / by Sabrang

She was arrested in June 2018, and has been in jail since then, with no relief.
… Further, as per media reports, the court has also rejected the applications filed by co-accused Sudha Bharadwaj, Hany Babu and Gautam Navlakha for a copy of the draft charges filed by National Investigation Agency (NIA) that has reportedly submitted a list of seventeen draft (proposed) charges against the 15 accused, including the serious charge of waging a war against the country, which is punishable with death or imprisonment for life (section 121 of the Indian Penal Code)…
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Special NIA Court Rejects Professor Shoma Sen’s Interim Medical Bail Plea In Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad Case

22/09/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

A special NIA court on Tuesday refused interim medical bail to Shoma Sen, a former professor at Nagpur University, who was arrested in the Bhima Koregaon – Elgaar Parishad caste violence case in 2018…
Meanwhile, the court has extended co-accused researcher Rona Wilson’s interim bail by three days…
Lastly, the court rejected an application filed by accused Gautam Navlakha, Hany Babu and Sudha Bharadwaj seeking a copy of draft charges submitted by NIA.
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NIA court reject medical bail pleas of four Bhima-Koregaon case accused

21/09/2021

The Hindu / by Sonam Saigal

The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Tuesday rejected the medical bail applications filed by senior citizens Shoma Sen, Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha and Vernon Gonsalves.
Special Judge D.E. Kothalikar rejected the pleas by relying on recommendations from the high-powered committee set up to decongest prisons owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Bombay HC adjourns plea challenging probe being transferred to NIA to September 27

Bombay HC adjourns plea challenging probe being transferred to NIA to September 27

Not replying to plea against probe transfer in Bhima Koregaon case: Maharashtra

15/09/2021

The Hindu / by Special Correspondent

Petition challenged transfer of investigation to NIA after chargesheet was submitted.
In an unusual move, the Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court on Tuesday that it does not want to reply to a plea filed by two accused in the Bhima Koregaon caste violence case challenging the transfer of the probe from Pune Police to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
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Bombay HC adjourns plea challenging probe being transferred to NIA to September 27

14/09/2021

The Times of India / by Swati Deshpande

The state government on Tuesday informed the Bombay high court that it does not wish to file any affidavit in reply to a petition by two Elgar Parishad accused who have challenged the transfer of probe from state police to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The HC bench of Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar recorded the statement by the public prosecutor made on instructions from the state and posted the petition for the final hearing on September 27.
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Petition filed in Bombay High Court challenging transfer of case investigation to NIA

19/06/2020

The Leaflet / by Ujjaini Chatterji

A Writ Petition has been filed before the High Court of Maharashtra at Bombay, challenging the transfer of the investigation for Bhima Koregaon and Elgar Parishad cases, to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The Petitioners in the writ are Advocate Surendra Gadling, prominent lawyer who is famous for his court craft and immense knowledge of criminal law, and Sudhir Dhawale, a freelance journalist and anti-caste activist.
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Anand Teltumbde challenges UAPA bail provisions before Bombay High Court

Anand Teltumbde challenges UAPA bail provisions before Bombay High Court

Anand Teltumbde challenges UAPA bail provisions before Bombay High Court

14/09/2021

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

The Bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar issued notice to the NIA in the matter, with a direction to file a reply within three weeks.
Bhima Koregaon accused Anand Teltumbde has approached the Bombay High Court challenging bail provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and misuse of the term “front organisation” by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
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Anand Teltumbde Moves Bombay High Court Challenging Stringent Bail Conditions & ‘Vague Terminology’ In UAPA

13/09/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

In a significant challenge, Professor Anand Teltumbde, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon- Elgar Parishad Caste Violence Case, has filed a writ petition in Bombay High Court to quash the terminology “and all its formations and front organizations” attached to the banned CPI (Maoist) in the first schedule of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
He claims that the “vagueness” of the terminology is used as a tool to circumvent due process wherein the State does not notify He claims that the “vagueness” of the terminology is used as a tool to circumvent due process wherein the State does not notify a particular organization as banned under the UAP Act but investigating agencies keep using the ‘front organization’ card with impunity and no oversight, especially to oppose bail.
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Bombay HC seeks NIA response to Teltumbde’s pleas seeking bail, challenging UAPA

13/09/2021

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice N J Jamadar was on Monday hearing Anand Teltumbde’s appeal against the July order of the NIA court that rejected his bail application.
The Bombay High Court on Monday issued a notice to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), seeking its response to an appeal filed by Elgaar Parishad case accused Anand Teltumbde against rejection of his bail application by the special NIA court.
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Teltumbde moves HC on UAPA”s ”frontal organisation” provisios

13/09/2021

Outlook / by pti

Anand Teltumbde, an accused in the Elgar Parishad Maoist links case, has filed a writ petition in Bombay High Court seeking that a provision under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) to brand certain groups as a front for banned or terrorist organisations be quashed as it was bad in law.
The UAPA provides for the declaration of an association as unlawful and for the listing of organisations in the first schedule of the Act as “terrorist organisations”.
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Also read: ‘Mass frenzy has made India’s destroyers nationalists, its selfless servers traitors. Hope you speak out before your turn comes’ (The Polis Project / by Anand Teltumbde, April 14, 2020)

Podcast: The unravelling of a conspiracy: were the 16 charged with plotting to kill India’s prime minister framed? 

Podcast: The unravelling of a conspiracy: were the 16 charged with plotting to kill India’s prime minister framed? 


en | 35min | 2021

The Guardian / by Siddhartha Deb

In 2018, Indian police claimed to have uncovered a shocking plan to bring down the government. But there is mounting evidence that the initial conspiracy was a fiction – and the accused are victims of an elaborate plot.
Listen to the podcast

They Don’t Want us to Sing our Songs, Read our Poems

They Don’t Want us to Sing our Songs, Read our Poems

Newsclick / by Parth MN

Moved by the death of anti-caste activist Vira Sathidar, Ramesh Gaichor, an Elgar case accused, had penned a poem in Taloja prison, but the jail chief found it ‘objectionable’ for circulation. Gaichor has moved the court.
Civil and Sessions Court, complaining against one of its prisoners, Ramesh Gaichor. Gaichor, one of the 16 political prisoners arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case, had written a poem as a tribute to Vira Sathidar, a committed anti-caste activist and an Ambedkarite, who died of COVID-19 in April 2021.
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