On August 28, 2020, the respected lawyer and human rights activist Sudha Bharadwaj will complete two years in jail …
“If somebody is working for poor people, then does it mean they are criminals?”, Maaysha, Bharadwaj’s daughter who got to speak with her mother after four months on June 9, asks Prasanna D Zore/Rediff.com. Read more
Things Getting Really Bad in Overcrowded Maharashtra Prisons
Even after 2 deceased inmates were found COVID-19 positive, testing is not being done in Taloja where rights activists, mostly 60+, arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case have been lodged. Read more
OF 269 PRISON INMATES WHO TESTED POSITIVE IN MAHARASHTRA, 115 RECOVERED
The Hindu / by Sonam Saigal
As of June 13, 17, 695 screenings and 1681 swab tests were conducted in 10 Central Prisons in Maharashtra and in the Additional Director General, Prisons (ADGP) office of which 269 tested positive, 115 recovered and four died, the Bombay High Court was informed on Monday. Read more
Despite Court Order, Sudha Bharadwaj Denied Basic Right of Phone Calls in Jail
While others who have been accused in the case have managed to stay in touch with their families and lawyers, Bharadwaj’s daughter and lawyers have not been able to do so despite multiple requests and a court order.
Mumbai: Maaysha saw her mother, Sudha Bharadwaj, last on February 22. It was a day after Maaysha’s birthday; she turned 23 this year. In the mulaqaat (meeting) at Yerwada prison in Pune, Bharadwaj – an academic and human rights activist – was barely given five minutes to talk to her daughter who had travelled from Delhi just for this meeting. Read more
The Times of India / by Shishir Arya & Sarfaraz Ahmed
Nagpur: Two years after activists — Nagpur University professor retired) Shoma Sen and lawyer Surendra Gadling – were arrested in Bhima-Koregaon case, their kin say the lockdown has left them clueless about their well-being in jail. They were already complaining of a slow progress in the case. Read more
Revolutionary poet Varvara Rao admitted to Mumbai hospital
VV Rao’s daughter Pavana and wife Hemalatha protest in Hyderabad on Friday
The New Indian Express / by IANS
Varavara Rao’s wife Hemalatha and daughter Pavana staged a three-hour-long protest at home, holding placards for release of the 80-year-old who was arrested in November 2018.
HYDERABAD: Revolutionary Telugu poet and writer Varavara Rao, who is in judicial custody in Maharashtra in the Bhima Koregaon case, has been admitted to JJ Hospital at Mumbai, officials said on Friday. Read more
Activist Varavara Rao admitted to hospital in Mumbai
Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff
Taloja Jail authorities said Rao was being treated at the medical facility within the jail, but his condition did not improve for three days.
Varavara Rao, the 81-year-old Telugu poet and an accused in the Elgar Parishad case, was admitted to JJ Hospital in Mumbai on Thursday, the Hindustan Times reported. Taloja Jail authorities said Rao was being treated at the medical facility within the jail over the last three days, but was shifted to hospital after his condition did not improve. Read more
Appeal: Save our father Varavara Rao – Release him immediately from Taloja Jail
Varavara Rao greeting family members, 2018 (Photo: DC)
South Asia Citizens Web / by P Sahaja, P Anala, P Pavana
The Governor, Maharashtra,
The Chief Justice, High Court of Maharashtra,
The Chief Minister of Maharashtra,
We, P Sahaja, P Anala, P Pavana, daughters of the famous revolutionary poet P Varavara Rao, who is incarcerated in Maharashtra jails (in Yerawada, Pune jail till February 2020 and in Taloja, Navi Mumbai jail since then) in a fabricated case, are perturbed to see the news that a prisoner died in Taloja jail due to Covid-19, as admitted by the government in a PIL case in Mumbai High Court yesterday. Read full letter
CITING HEALTH, VARAVARA RAO’S DAUGHTERS URGE MAHARASHTRA CM UDDHAV THACKERAY FOR HIS PAROLE
The New Indian Express / by Express News Service
Earlier, at least 40 prominent writers had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting the release of Rao amid the crisis.
MUMBAI: Family members of poet, writer and activist Varavara Rao, jailed in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon case, appealed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to release him on parole amid the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the state and in its prisons. Read more
Judges withhold bail; several prison reforms recommended over the years have fallen through the cracks.
On May 5, two months after the Arthur Road jail superintendent warned that an outbreak of COVID-19 could not be contained in the jail due to overcrowding, his worst fears came true: the first positive case was discovered in the precincts. Read more
COVID-19: AT LEAST THREE DIE IN MAHARASHTRA PRISONS
The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha
In an affidavit submitted to the Bombay high court in response to a PIL, the state government said that a prisoner each has died in the central prisons of Taloja and Yerwada, and in Dhule district prison. Maharashtra is the first state to have reported deaths in prisons so far. Read more
Maharashtra Prisoner Released on Parole Says Jails Unprepared to Handle COVID-19 Pandemic
The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha
No transport has been arranged for those who are released, while inmates still in prison fear for their health. Read more
Mumbai Police Quiz Jailed Activist’s Family About His Whereabouts
On 11 May 2020, two police officials with the Mumbai Crime Branch reportedly paid a visit to social activist Vernon Gonsalves’s home, with the intent of finding out Gonsalves’s whereabouts. They questioned his wife, Susan Abraham, who is also an advocate and his son Sagar. Read more
UN Bodies pass joint statement on Covid-19 in prisons and other closed settings
The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes, the World Health Organization, and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights have taken note of the spread of Covid-19 in prisons and other closed settings. In this regard, they have issued a statement urging political leaders to undertake the necessary public health measures to counter and mitigate this threat. Read more
MAHARASHTRA RELEASES 7,200 PRISONERS TO CURB OVERCROWDING
The New Indian Express / by PTI
In a bid to decongest state jails due to coronavirus outbreak, the state prisons department has so far released over 7,200 prisoners across the state on either temporary bail or parole.
PUNE: Authorities in Maharashtra have released over 7,200 prisoners so far to check overcrowding in jails amid the coronavirus pandemic, officials said on Sunday. Read more
INDIA DECONTESTS ITS JAILS TO CHECK CORONAVIRUS BUT POLITICAL PRISONERS ARE STILL LOCKED UP
Quartz India / by Manavi Kapur
Overcrowded Indian prisons have become hotbeds of coronavirus cases.
In March, India’s supreme court recognised this risk—total occupancy of India’s jails standing at 115% —and set down guidelines for releasing some prisoners on parole and bail. Read more