December 28, 2017: Desecration of shrine at Vudhu Budhruk village near Bhima-Koregaon which commemorates Govind Gaikwad, a Dalit (Mahar) icon. FIR filed against the desecrators (groups linked to the RSS and Hindutva movement. which included a named individual, Milind Eknote a well-known Hindutva leader). December 29, 2017: Call for a bandh against Dalits by same groups and individuals December 31, 2017: Elgaar Parishad held in Pune January 1, 2018: Tens of thousands of Dalits visit Bhima-Koregaon to mark 200th anniversary of memorial to Mahar soldiers. Some clashes between Hindutva groups and some Dalits occur in which 1 person was killed. Subsequently, large protests by Dalits in Mumbai. Police crackdown and arrests of many Dalits. No arrest of any named Hindutva individual.
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The Bhima Koregaon–Elgar Parishad ‘Maoist’ conspiracy case is a grand experiment with truth where the State is daring the people to stand up for justice.
‘TRUTH or dare’ is a mostly verbal party game requiring two or more players. Players are given the choice between answering a question truthfully, or performing a ‘dare’. The premise is simple: Players take turns asking one another ‘truth or dare?’ If they choose truth, they have to answer a question of the asker’s choosing. If they choose dare, the asker dares them to do something rather than make a confession.
Suppose the State were to subject its citizens to a macabre version of this game by cooking up a conspiracy case and locking up people behind bars. Then tell them that in order to win their freedom, they have to choose the ‘truth’ of the conspiracy or the ‘dare’ to dissent.
This is the absurd logic that plays out when you try to make sense of the Bhima Koregaon conspiracy case. Read more
Some of the accused activists have finally been granted bail. But charges have not been framed even five years after their arrests.
On 1 January 2018, protests and violence spread across Maharashtra following an attack on a gathering of Dalit persons at Bhima Koregaon. At least one person died and three others were injured. An investigation which began with FIRs lodged against pro-Hindutva leaders then took a baffling turn, with a number of renowned activists being arrested for instigating violence through inflammatory speeches at the event, which is also called Elgar Parishad. Read more
Counterview / by National Campaign to Defend Democracy
The National Campaign to Defend Democracy which is a coalition of over 100 organisations working on human rights issues would like bring to your attention the situation of five years of unjust incarceration under false and fabricated evidence of some of India’s finest intellectuals, thinkers, activists and lawyers.
This injustice which goes by the name of the Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad Conspiracy case – started its nightmarish journey five years ago. Even as of today, 16 noted academics, intellectuals, lawyers, writers, poets, activists, stand charged with conspiring to overthrow the elected government, indulging in terrorist acts, sedition etc., although the evidence the back these tall claims of high treason is still absent. Read full statement
Surendra Gadling, along with 15 other activists and academics, has been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Gadling has been in custody since June 2018 and is lodged at Taloja Central Prison in Mumbai.
On Monday, a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court of special judge Rajesh Kataria heard an application filed by human rights lawyer and Dalit rights activist Surendra Gadling regarding a plea for the NIA to comply with Section 207 (supply to the accused of copy of police report and other documents) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Read more
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
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
When Push Comes to Shove: Tracking Judicial Recusals and Transfers
Taking stock of some cases important for the right to life and liberty and freedom of expression where judges left mid-way.
… The Elgar Parishad case against 16 human rights defenders has gone through several twists and turns over the past five years. Both the state and the Central agency’s role, the subsequent investigations and the electronic evidence allegedly gathered from the accused have faced severe criticism. Even five years later, the trial is yet to commence and those imprisoned have been moving bail applications at different levels. In some of these matters, a number of judges from the Bombay high court and the Supreme Court have recused themselves. Read more
Instead of addressing the pathetic condition of Dalits, many Ambedkarites are busy promoting a devotional cult of Babasaheb, hollowing out his radical content and helping the ruling classes exploit his legacy.
In view of the controversy my article in The Wire of January 2, 2018 created – which I did not have an occasion to respond to with an explanation due to my entrapment in the case that paradoxically pivoted on the allegation that I was the main organiser of the Elgar Parishad – this note is intended to explain the factual background and motive for my writing the article. Read more
The Elgar Parishad case, in which several activists have been accused of making speeches that led to violence in Bhima Koregaon near Pune in 2018, drags on. Dalit scholar Anand Teltumbde, lawyer-activist Sudha Bhardwaj and poet Varavara Rao have got bail, but only after spending years in prison. But others, such as Vernon Gonsalves, continue to languish behind bars.
Eighty-four-year-old Jharkhand-based tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy, meanwhile, died in custody on July 5, 2021. What does this case tell us about human rights in India and about the effectiveness – or lack of it – of the judiciary?
Susan Abraham – a lawyer who’s been at the forefront of the legal battle, human right activist and wife of Vernon Gonsalves – speaks to All Indians Matter.
It has been five years and the case has witnessed arrests of several activists (some getting bail after long incarceration) for alleged conspiracy and covert involvement in the Elgar Parishad gathering purportedly leading to the January 1, 2018 violence during the bicentenary celebrations of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon.
Last week, during a hearing in the Bhima-Koregaon case, the Supreme Court was struck with an application by the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court for an extension of one more year to frame charges in the Bhima Koregaon case. Read more
5 years on, charges not framed despite repeat extensions
Sabrangindia / by Sanchita Kadam
The Special NIA Court has said that it will first need to dispose the discharge applications filed by the accused, before deciding on framing of charges
The Special NIA court, Mumbai has sought a time extension of one more year from the Supreme Court to frame charges in the case. This request was sent in November last year. On January 16, the Supreme Court said that it will proceed with hearing bail applications of activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira from January 30.
Last year in August while hearing Gonsalves’ plea, the apex court had given the Special Court three months’ time to decide whether charges are required to be framed against the accused or not. This three month period ended in November 2022, just when the Special Court sought an extension for another year! Read more
Elgaar Parishad case: Court seeks one more year to decide on framing charges
The Indian Express / by Sadaf Modak
On August 18, the Supreme Court had directed the trial court to decide on these aspects within three months, granting it time till last November.
The special court hearing the Elgaar Parishad case in Mumbai had last November sought an extension of one year to decide whether to frame charges against the accused and also take a call on their discharge applications. Read more
Five years and 10 extensions later, Bhima Koregaon inquiry goes on
The Indian Express / by Chanda Haygunnde
The two-member inquiry commission has examined 48 witnesses so far, seven of them partly. More yet to be deposed. Formed on February 9, 2018, the Commission was tasked with inquiring into the “exact sequence” of events that led to violence on the occasion of the 200th anniversary Battle of Koregaon Bhima.
Almost five years after it was constituted and after receiving 10 extensions, the Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry has yet to complete its work. Read more
Koregaon Bhima inquiry commission gets yet another extension, till March 31
The Indian Express / by Chandan Haygunde
The two-member commission was constituted by the Maharashtra government on February 9, 2018, to inquire into the “exact sequence” of events that led to violence on the 200th anniversary of Battle of Koregaon Bhima on January 1 that year.
The Maharashtra government Tuesday granted yet another extension to the Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry. An order in this regard issued by the state home department on Tuesday stated that the commission has been given an extension of three months till March 31, 2023, to submit the report. Read more