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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Podcast: The unravelling of a conspiracy: were the 16 charged with plotting to kill India’s prime minister framed?
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
The Legal Battle of Bhima Koregaon: The story so far
The Special NIA Court has listed the pending applications on September 6, 2021
On July 5, 2021, 83-year-old activist and priest Father Stan Swamy passed away in a Mumbai private hospital while in judicial custody for his alleged involvement in the riots that took place in Bhima Koregaon post the Elgar Parishad event held on January 2018.
His death highlighted the state of undertrials in the Bhima Koregaon case, most of whom have been awaiting trial for the past three years. Read more
Bhima Koregaon accused languishing in jail for 3 years
Plea challenging denial of bail being heard in Bombay HC
Saturday marks three years since trade unionist and human rights advocate Sudha Bharadwaj, columnist and activist Vernon Gonsalves, cartoonist and activist Arun Ferreira and poet and activist Varavara Rao were arrested by the Pune police some seven months after a mob attacked Dalits and Bahujans on January 1, 2018. Read more
by CIVICUS (Aug 28):
#India: Today marks exactly 3 years since human rights lawyer & activist Sudha Bharadwaj was arrested & subsequently detained under the anti-terror UAPA law on fabricated charges.
The state must #FreeSudhaBharadwaj immediately
http://web.civicus.org/Sudha | #StandAsMyWitness
The unravelling of a conspiracy: were the 16 charged with plotting to kill India’s prime minister framed?
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
In April 2018, a large group of policemen arrived at the Delhi flat of Rona Wilson, a 47-year-old human rights activist. They had travelled from Pune in the western state of Maharashtra, and appeared, accompanied by Delhi police officials, at Wilson’s single-room flat at 6am. For the next eight hours, they scoured the modest premises, searching the files on Wilson’s laptop and rifling through his books. Read more
PUDR report: Framed to Die – The Case of Stan Swamy
Marking a month since Stan Swamy passed away in judicial custody in a private hospital, a month in which no official inquiry, even the mandated magisterial inquest, has not been initiated, Framed to die: The case of Stan Swamy documents the manner in which Stan Swamy was framed, fettered, and finally forced towards a fatal illness under due process of law called Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Framed to Die argues that Stan’s experiences of persecution provide an understanding of many others, including the 15 accused in the Bhima Koregaon case. Beyond chronicling Stan’s persecution under law, Framed to Die documents why Comrade Stan was a dissenter and a true patriot and why the state feared and criminalized his dissent under the UAPA.
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. Read more
On Monday, 5th July, Fr. Stan Swamy passed away after eight months in prison – conditions that exacerbated his Parkinson’s. He was one of the jailed human-rights advocates also known as the Bhima Koregaon 16.
The evidence that surrounds the case is bizarre. The Wire breaks down the story, looking into the investigation conducted by Arsenal Consulting, a Boston-based digital forensics firm that has claimed the evidence for the arrests of the activists, was planted on their computers. Watch video
Father Stan Swamy Died Awaiting Bail, What About Other UAPA Accused?
For the 15 Bhima Koregaon accused, there’s no trial in sight, and no interim relief in reach either.
Father Stan Swamy’s death, as an incarcerated undertrial in the Bhima Koregaon case, has sparked outrage and triggered international condemnation.
Swamy was 84 years old, suffered from Parkinson’s disease, and had told the Bombay High Court, weeks before his death, that all he wanted was to go home. Read more
Status of medical bail pleas of other accused / An Account Of Stan Swamy’s Struggles For Basic Rights
In June 2020, the special NIA court rejected interim bail pleas of poet Varavara Rao and former professor Shoma Sen, who sought bail citing their health conditions in light of Covid. Rao was subsequently granted temporary bail by HC for six months.
In May, a vacation bench of the High Court hearing a medical bail filed by Maaysha Singh, the daughter of activist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, said prisoners are entitled to access their own medical records and that prisoners should be allowed to make a phone call to a family member after a hospital visit. The court disposed of the medical bail plea after Singh’s lawyer submitted that Bharadwaj had received treatment. Read more
An Account Of Father Stan Swamy’s Struggles For Basic Rights
Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim
Father Stan Swamy, an 84-year-old Jesuit priest who spent over 60 years of his life working for the most marginalised communities, for Adivasis and against the illegal detention of minors branded as Maoists in Jharkhand, passed away at the Holy Family hospital on Monday, his last wish unfulfilled.
… Father Swamy’s lawyer Sharif Shaikh had argued during his first application for interim bail on medical grounds in October 2020 that he could not sign even his vakalatnama and a thumb impression had to be taken.
But NIA opposed his plea. They accused the old man of trying to take “undue benefit” of the pandemic. Read more
Three years after Bhima Koregaon: How criminal law was violated
Recalling his bruising experiences with an unjust criminal justice system as part of the legal team of the activists arrested in the questionable Bhima Koregaon violence case three years ago, Nihalsing B Rathod, in this second of a three-part series, recollects how basic tenets of criminal law were violated by the Pune Police in arresting Sudha Bharadwaj, Varavara Rao, Arun Fereira, and Vernon Gonsalves at various points, and extending their detention, as well as that of Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale and Mahesh Raut. All this while, Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde exhausted all legal options to evade arrest, as the judiciary looked on, condoning the deprivation of the activists’ liberty and denying their bail applications, sometimes making gestures that filled the activists’ legal team with hope but ultimately continuing the farce that is the Bhima-Koregaon travesty. Read more