The Guardian / by Siddhartha Deb
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.
By Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR)
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.
Download full report (45 pages) here
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.
• 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)
en | 6:41min | 2021
By The Wire Video
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.
The Quint / by Mekhala Saran
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.
Status of medical bail pleas of other accused
The Indian Express / by Sadaf Modak
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.
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.
The Leaflet / by Nihalsing B Rathod
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.
Also read part one: Bhima Koregaon: Marking three years since the first arrest (June 7, 2021)
Click to enlarge posters
The Leaflet / by Nihalsing B Rathod
Recalling the first set of arrests made in the questionable Bhima Koregaon violence case almost exactly three years ago, Nihalsing B Rathod, in this first of a three-part series, recollects the personal horrors of trying to track Surendra Gadling in the immediate aftermath of his arrest, details the events leading to the arrest of five more activists in August 2018, and explains how basic tenets of criminal law were violated by the Pune Police in making these arrests.
The morning of June 6, 2018, gave me a horrific memory that perhaps will never fade. Early in the morning, I received a phone call that police were at the house of Advocate Surendra Gadling again. The memory of the raid of April 17, 2018, was still fresh.
CIVICUS / by CIVICUS
Today marks exactly 1000 days since human rights lawyer & activist Sudha Bharadwaj was arrested & detained on fabricated charges.
Sudha Bharadwaj, aged 59, is a human rights lawyer and activist who has spent her life defending Indigenous people in India and protecting workers’ rights. She has been in pre-trial detention since August 2018, when she was arrested under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) on trumped up accusations of having links with Maoist terrorist organisations, based on evidence believed to be fabricated.
Also read: The Sudha Bharadwaj the Govt Doesn’t Want You To Know (article14, Jan 2021)
The Quint / by Vakaha Sachdev
All you need to know about the 16 accused, 3 charge sheets, and the controversial narrative surrounding the case.
When exactly did the Bhima Koregaon case, as it has come to be known, begin?
Was it on the day the first set of activists were arrested, back in June 2018? Was it the day when malware was allegedly planted on the computers of at least one of the accused, two years before that? Or do we have to go all the way back to the Battle of Bhima Koregaon itself to understand what’s really going on with this case?
And when will this case, which has dragged on for nearly three years with a trial nowhere in sight, end?