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Category: Urban maoists

‘Urban Naxals’, Sharad Pawar’s U-Turn and What it Means for Efforts to Ensure Justice for Activists

‘Urban Naxals’, Sharad Pawar’s U-Turn and What it Means for Efforts to Ensure Justice for Activists

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

When the MVA government came to power in Maharashtra, it vehemently criticised the Fadnavis government’s handling of the Elgar Parishad case. Two years later, Sharad Pawar is sounding a lot more like Fadnavis.
In 2018, the Maharashtra police, under the Devendra Fadnavis-led Bharatiya Janata Party government, arrested several rights activists, lawyers and academics for their alleged involvement in the Elgar Parishad case.
This series of arrests, made from different parts of the country, made way for the dramatic discourse on the presence of “urban Naxals” in the country. 
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How 5 Reliance Workers Fighting For A Better Deal Found Themselves In Jail On Terrorism Charges

How 5 Reliance Workers Fighting For A Better Deal Found Themselves In Jail On Terrorism Charges

Article 14 / by Jyoti Punwani

For 15 years, these Mumbai contract workers struggled to be treated on par with regular workers and went from success to success, despite arrests and dismissals. Then the State used a law meant to be used against terrorists to incarcerate them with scant evidence of such crimes.
… So, long before the June 2018 arrests of six Left activists in what has come to be known as the Bhima Koregaon case, the Maharashtra Government’s narrative that the violence on 1 January 2018 was planned by “urban Naxals” was set into motion by the arrests of these workers. 
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Also read:
Bail After 3 Years for the Incarcerated Mumbai Electric Employees Union Workers (groundxero, June 2021)
Statement on release of four Reliance workers – First to be falsely implicated in Bhima Koregaon case (Sanhati India, January 2019)

Vira Sathidar’s Life Was a Lesson in Political Commitment and Solidarity

Vira Sathidar’s Life Was a Lesson in Political Commitment and Solidarity

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

Nothing perturbed Vira Sathidar, not even the constant harassment by the NIA or the local Nagpur police.
On October 21 last year, when I finally could access one of the countless rounds of supplementary chargesheets in the Elgar Parishad case, I had immediately called Vira Sathidar. His name was among the list of many “Urban Naxals” named in the chargesheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). It was not surprising, but concerning, nevertheless. No “crime” was attributed to Vira Sathidar, but he was named several times. “Asta tey tasa (It is usually like that in these cases),” he told me in his signature Nagpuri drawl. Nothing perturbed Vira Sathidar, not even the constant harrowing by the NIA or the local Nagpur police. He was used to police raids and their persistent harassments.
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Allegations of planted evidence raise questions about hacking ecosystem in India / Designs of India’s Surveillance State

Allegations of planted evidence raise questions about hacking ecosystem in India / Designs of India’s Surveillance State

Allegations of planted evidence raise questions about hacking ecosystem in India

19/02/2021

Cyber Scoop / by Shannon Vavra

Recent allegations that planted evidence may have been used to frame an activist in a terrorism case are raising new questions about the surveillance and hacking ecosystem in India.
The human rights activist in question, Rona Wilson, is one of several people accused of plotting to overthrow the Indian government in connection with a violent demonstration in Bhima Koregaon, India in 2017…
While it may be unclear who exactly is responsible for the reportedly manipulated evidence against Wilson at this time, the possible links between pro-India hacking operations and the global commercial sector of surveillance software have begun to emerge in recent research.
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Unprecedented Tampering In Bhima Koregaon Case: Forensic Firm Chief

19/02/2021

Outlook/ by Preetha Nair

Mark Spencer is the president of Arsenal Consulting, a forensic firm that recently released a report that concluded that incriminating evidence was planted on the computer of Bhima-Koregaon accused and activist Rona Wilson.
In an email interview with Outlook, Arsenal Consulting’s President Mark Spencer elaborates on the process involved in analyzing the data and larger issues with regard to the case. Spencer also contests the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) claim of no ‘planted evidence’.
Excerpts from the interview.
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Sinister Designs of India’s Surveillance State

19/02/2021

NewsClick / by Suhit K Sen

How the Bhima Koregaon case has progressed so far gives credence to the claim that malware was planted on activist Rona Wilson’s computer.
On 10 February, Rona Wilson, one of the first batch of activists arrested by the police in the Bhima Koregaon/Elgar Parishad case, filed a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking the dismissal of the case against him. In support, his lawyers provided a forensic report showing that evidence had been planted against him.
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Also read: Prison-rights activist Rona Wilson’s hard disk contained malware that allowed remote access (The Caravan, March 2020)

Podcast: Bhima Koregoan violence – Three years on, Activists remain arrested and justice remain awaited

Podcast: Bhima Koregoan violence – Three years on, Activists remain arrested and justice remain awaited

Drawing by Arun Ferreira

By On Record

Three years after the caste violence in Bhima Koregoan, 16 human right activists have been arrested under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in connection with the case. Multiple conspiracy theories have been laid out by the police but it may be long before they are proved and the guilty is punished.
Professor Apoorvanand from Delhi University and Harish Vasudevan, an advocate practicing at Kerala High court share their insights for the story.
Listen to podcast (11:00min)

Unfair To Target A Lawyer For Appearing For A Particular Client: Justice Lokur

Unfair To Target A Lawyer For Appearing For A Particular Client: Justice Lokur

‘Unfair To Target A Lawyer For Appearing For A Particular Client’: Justice Lokur

21/11/2020

Live Law / by Radhika Roy

I think that it’s unfair to target a lawyer for appearing for a particular client”, said Justice (Retd.) Madan B. Lokur, former Judge of the Supreme Court of India at a virtual session hosted by Delhi High Court Women Lawyers Forum and Women in Criminal Law Association.
“If a lawyer is dealing with hundreds of COFEPOSA cases, you can’t say that he is also a smuggler. I don’t think the Judge should ever get involved in the relationship between a lawyer and a client”, the judge commented.
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Video: Justice (retd.) Madan Lokur speaks on „Defending Liberties“

20/11/2020


en | 1h 29min | 2020

By Bar & Bench

The former Supreme Court judge is speaking at a virtual discussion hosted by the Delhi High Court Women Lawyers Forum and WCLA.
Former Supreme Court Judge, Justice (retd.) Madan Lokur is speaking on the theme Defending Liberties in a virtual discussion to be hosted by the Delhi High Court Women Lawyers Forum and WCLA. Justice (retd.) Lokur will interact with Warisha Farasat, Tara Narula, Shalini Gera and Sowjhanya Shankaran during the discussion.
Watch video
Read tweets/summaries by Live Law

Arrests in Bhima Koregaon case frame a transformation in India’s polity and police force

Arrests in Bhima Koregaon case frame a transformation in India’s polity and police force


Watch music video: Wake Up Call

The Indian Express / by Christophe Jaffrelot

The current usage of the expression “urban Naxal” owes much to Bollywood film director Vivek Agnihotri, who defines an “urban Naxal as an intellectual, influencer or activist who is an invisible enemy of India”. The idea of such a conspiracy was propagated, however, by the Sangh Parivar.
In October, Stan Swamy, an 83-year old Jesuit priest, was sent to judicial custody in the Bhima Koregaon case. His is the latest arrest in a case that illustrates a significant transformation in India’s polity and the country’s police force.
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Stan Swamy, Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde among eight named in NIA chargesheet

Stan Swamy, Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde among eight named in NIA chargesheet

Stan Swamy, Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde among eight named in NIA chargesheet

09/10/2020

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The chargesheet, which runs over 10,000 pages, accuses all eight activists of conspiring to further the ideology of Communist Party of India (Maoist).
The National Investigation Agency on Friday filed a chargesheet against eight activists, including Gautam Navlakha, Anand Teltumbde, 83-year-old Stan Swamy and Delhi University professor Hany Babu, for their alleged involvement in inciting violence at Bhima Koregaon in 2018, PTI reported.
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NIA Files Chargesheet in Bhima Koregaon Elgar Parishad Case

09/10/2020

Press Release by NIA India

Click to enlarge

NIA chargesheets eight accused in Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case

09/10/2020

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Friday filed a supplementary chargesheet before a Mumbai court against eight persons in the Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case.
The first chargesheet filed by the central agency since it took over the probe from Pune police in January is against academic Anand Teltumbde, activist Gautam Navlakha, Delhi University associate professor Hany Babu, members of cultural group Kabir Kala Manch— Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor and Jyoti Jagtap—Jharkhand-based Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy and absconding accused Milind Teltumbde, who is alleged to be a top operative of banned CPI (Maoist).
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Democracy in Higher Education, Social Justice and the Importance of Hany Babu

Democracy in Higher Education, Social Justice and the Importance of Hany Babu


Delhi, Aug 2020

Countercurrents / by Dr Ajay S Sekher

We are going through one of the most dismal times in the history of post-independence India. Anyone who resists, anyone who speaks for the greater common good, for truth and justice, is getting hounded. Hate campaigns are unleashed against them or they are implicated under fabricated charges and thrown into prison.
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Judicial probe into Bhima Koregaon caste violence stalls, while NIA makes arrests in conspiracy case

Judicial probe into Bhima Koregaon caste violence stalls, while NIA makes arrests in conspiracy case

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The Maharashtra government has not renewed the tenure of a judicial commission examining the riots of January 1, 2018.
A raging pandemic and nationwide lockdown this year did not stop the National Investigation Agency from making more arrests in the controversial Bhima Koregaon case of 2018. Academic Anand Teltumbde and journalist Gautam Navlakha were arrested in April, and Delhi University professor MT Hany Babu was arrested in July.
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