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Category: Prison conditions

Maharashtra jails, hospitals: Iron curtain on Covid-19 ‘violates’ right to life, says PUCL

Maharashtra jails, hospitals: Iron curtain on Covid-19 ‘violates’ right to life, says PUCL

Counterview / by Counterview Desk

In first of the “Lockdown on Civil Liberties” series, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), has pointed towards how many of the convicted prisoners in Maharashtra whose parole is depended on the prison authorities managed to get paroled as some of the prison authorities were keen to remove congestion amidst Covid-19 onslaught. However, undertrials, many them human rights activists and scholars, charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), failed to get bail even on pure humanitarian grounds.
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Report: Lockdown on Civil Liberties I – A PUCL (Maharashtra) series

03/09/2020

By PUCL (Maharashtra)

The Lockdown on Civil Liberties Series The lockdown and attendant issues have led to major violations of civil liberties and human rights… In this context the PUCL Maharashtra has decided to bring out various segmantwise reports to record the impact. While some of the reports like the present one focuses on Maharashtra others deal with all India situation.
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In prison, waiting is a habit turning slowly into addiction: Varavara Rao’s older prison diaries

In prison, waiting is a habit turning slowly into addiction: Varavara Rao’s older prison diaries

Scroll.in / by Varavara Rao

An excerpt from Varavara Rao’s ‘Captive Imagination: Letters from Prison’, published in 2010.

A day without toil
A night without love
A waiting on the shores of history…

Of the four days of life for which we have begged, two are lost in hope and the rest in waiting, said Bahadur Shah Zafar. In life outside, there is action to separate the hope from the waiting. Action could, of course, lead you to more hope and more waiting. But, lost in activity, time seems to slip through your fingers, your toes, from before your very eyes. Life in prison is not like that.
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Also read: FRAME UP OF INDIAN POLITICAL PRISONERS REVEALED – New Edition of COLORS OF THE CAGE by Rao’s co-accused human rights activist Arun Ferreira (Feb 2021)

Our judicial system punishes a person and their family without trial: Koel Sen

Our judicial system punishes a person and their family without trial: Koel Sen


Koel and Shoma Sen

By Koel Sen @ fb

Last Saturday I tried to go to Byculla Jail for a mulakat with Maa but was denied. I was outside the jail waiting for 6 hours !!(I was there from 12.00PM to 6.00PM). They denied me mulakat because I had not come with the verification from the local police station that I am her daughter. Our surnames match and my Aadhar card clearly states that I am d/o of Shoma Sen. Previously I was allowed to meet her on 4-5 instances. I kept telling them that I have already done mulaquat before and that this verification is not a simple process, its taking time. I just wanted to inform my mother that my grandma, her mother-in-law had passed away. But they just kept me hanging there the entire day. I wanted to speak to Superitndnt and he just walked past me and again I waited for 2 more hours for him to get back after his lunch break which lasted from 1.00PM to 4PM. Can you believe ?

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The sad saga of Kanchan Nannaware who died waiting for justice (by Shoma Sen)

The sad saga of Kanchan Nannaware who died waiting for justice (by Shoma Sen)

The Leaflet / by Shoma Sen

While the High Court of Bombay granted medical bail to Varavara Rao who is now free for the next six months to be with his family and take care of his health, Kanchan has not been so lucky. Shoma Sen, an undertrial in the Bhima Koregaon case understands what it means as she is also battling with several ailments. Here, she explains how the husband of Kanchan’ Nannaware, her co-accused who was in the male section of the same Yerwada Jail was not consulted nor was his consent taken before her surgery. It ultimately proved fatal:
While the Elgar Parishad case received wide and detailed media coverage and many columnists, shocked by the Kafkaesque absurdities of this case were analysing and commenting on it, a political prisoner in Pune Women’s Central Jail was suffering immense hardship due to ill health, till she finally passed away in early February.
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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.
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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)

Calls discontinued, only visits for kin of Elgar Parishad accused

Calls discontinued, only visits for kin of Elgar Parishad accused

The Times of India / by Shishir Arya

Kin of two Elgar Parishad accused lodged in Taloja and Byculla jails in Mumbai say the facility to call inmates has been discontinued abruptly from this month. Phone calling that was allowed since July as a post Covid measure came as a small luxury. At times, even video calls could be made. Visits were stopped due to the pandemic.
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Books sent by families of Hany Babu, Gautam Navlakha returned by jail authorities, again

Books sent by families of Hany Babu, Gautam Navlakha returned by jail authorities, again

Books sent by families of Hany Babu, Gautam Navlakha returned by jail authorities, again

28/01/2021

India Now / by India Now

A Mumbai court has refused to interfere with the order of Taloja Central Jail officials, refusing to accept a courier with books for Elgar Parishad accused Hany Babu and Gautam Navlakha.
A Special Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai has refused to interfere with the order of Taloja Central Jail officials, refusing to accept a courier with books for Elgar Parishad accused Hany Babu and Gautam Navlakha.
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Jail officials cannot refuse books sent for prisoners, but should check content: Mumbai Court

28/01/2021

The Indian Express / by Sadaf Modak

The observation was made in the detailed order passed by the special court earlier this month allowing lawyer activist Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in the Elgaar Parishad case, access to five books per month at Byculla women’s jail where she is lodged.
A special court has said that jail authorities cannot refuse to accept books sent for prisoners though they are expected to go through the contents to ensure there is no “objectionable material”.
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Fr Stan Swamy: I deeply appreciate the overwhelming solidarity expressed by many

Fr Stan Swamy: I deeply appreciate the overwhelming solidarity expressed by many

By Fr Stan Swamy SJ

First of all, I deeply appreciate the overwhelming solidarity expressed by many during these past 100 days behind the bars. At times, news of such solidarity has given me immense strength and courage especially when the only thing certain in prison is uncertainty.
Life here is on a day-to-day basis. Another strength during these past hundred days, has been in observing the plight of the undertrials. A majority of them come from economically & socially weaker communities. Many of such poor undertrials don’t know what charges have been put on them, have not seen their charge sheet and just remain in prison for years without any legal or other assistance. Overall, almost all undertrials are compelled to live to a bare minimum, whether rich or poor. This brings in a sense of brotherhood & communitarianism where reaching out to each other is possible even in this adversity. On the other hand, we sixteen co-accused have not been able to meet each other, as we are lodged in different jails or different ‘circles’ within the same jail. But we will still sing in chorus. A caged bird can still sing.
Fr. Stan Swamy

Sudha Bharadwaj allowed access to 5 books per month from outside jail

Sudha Bharadwaj allowed access to 5 books per month from outside jail

Sudha Bharadwaj allowed access to 5 books per month from outside jail

14/01/2021

Hindustan Times / by Charul Shah

The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Tuesday allowed access to books from outside the prison, to activist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj.
The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Tuesday allowed access to books from outside the prison, to activist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj. The court has, however, asked the prison authorities to check the contents, if they are objectionable, before allowing the same.
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NIA Court Allows Sudha Bharadwaj’s Application Seeking Access To Five Books A Month From Outside

14/01/2021

Live Law / by Nitish Kashyap

The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Tuesday allowed access of five books a month to lawyer and activist Sudha Bharadwaj, who is a accused in the caste based violence that took place on the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 2018.
Special Judge DE Kothalikar directed the Superintendent of Byculla District Prison to grant the access of books to Sudha Bharadwaj with the condition that the said books will be examined by him.
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