Abha Singh, a former civil servant and an advocate, writes on how UAPA has been misused to arrest those who disagreed and criticized with the policies of the State.
What do Varavara Rao, an 80-year-old Marxist poet from Telengana, Sudha Bharadwaj, a 60-year-old civil rights activist who spent 30 years working for the marginalized in Chhattisgarh, Hany Babu, an English professor in DU, Arun Ferreira, a lawyer in Mumbai, young student activists Natasha Narwal, Safoora Zargar, Sharjeel Imam and Umar Khalid have in common? Read more
PUNISHED FOR SPEAKING UP – The ongoing use of restrictive laws to stifle dissent
The Indian government is using a variety of restrictive laws – including national security and counter terrorism legislation – to arrest and imprison human rights defenders, peaceful protesters and critics, global civil society alliance CIVICUS said today in a new report.
The report covers:
– The judicial harassment of activists, targeting of journalists and crackdown on protesters;
– How rights violations have continued during President Modi’s second term and throughout the pandemic;
– Calls for the immediate release of arbitrarily detained activists, protesters and human rights defenders. Read full report
Exception becomes the norm as special laws are misused
Delhi Police’s framing and subsequent reframing of charges, using UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act), against the young women of Pinjra Tod a few months ago is an example of the gross misuse of special laws enacted by the state for circumstances which lie outside the purview of ordinary laws. By definition such laws are meant to be temporary and exceptions but end up being permanent and the norm. Read more
Ominipotent state and impotent people: system weighed in favour of the ‘state’
National Herald / by Aakar Patel
Indefinite ‘detention without trial’ is now the norm. The state is acquiring more power to crush the individual.
The criminal justice system everywhere is deliberately designed to protect the rights of the individual accused. And this is the correct way of seeing it although in our country it is the other way round. Read more
A total of 3005 cases registered and 3974 arrest made under UAPA between 2016 to 2018
The Central Government Wednesday informed Parliament that a total of 922, 901 and 1182 cases were registered in the country under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA) during the year 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively. Read more
Maharashtra: Families of Prison Inmates Worried / Lockdown for some, lockup for others
More humane provisions are needed for prisoners, including political prisoners and those charged under special laws.
It is obvious that the threat of the coronavirus, a communicable disease, is worst in places of high population density. The prison is one such place. About half a million persons are incarcerated in more than 1,300 jails scattered all over India. More than two thirds are undertrials… It is only high-profile cases like those of Binayak Sen, Varavara Rao and others incarcerated in the Bhima Koregaon case that attract national or even international attention. While this attention is justified, most people do not realise that thousands of powerless, impoverished people face similar or worse injustice. Read more
Maharashtra: Families of Prison Inmates with Co-morbidities and Age Issues Worried
News Click / by Varsha Torgalkar
Activists have been demanding the release of prisoners on health grounds. So far, six inmates have died of COVID-19 in prisons across state and 1,772 prisoners have tested positive out of total 11,267 tests conducted as per the Prison Department data.
Pune: On July 12, poet and activist Varavara Rao’s daughter addressed a press conference saying, “My father, Varavara Rao, an 81 years old poet, blabbered about his father’s funeral which was held 75 years ago. Whatever he talked was incoherent during the weekly call from prison to family. His co-prisoner, Vernon Gonsalves, told us that he is in no condition to walk and carry out his daily works,” The family had panicked after the call and held the press conference the next day. Read more
UAPA – Governments Avoid Due Process by Declaring Groups as ‘Front Organisations’
Legal experts say loopholes in UAPA allow enforcement agencies to misuse the law to target dissenters by branding them as ‘fronts’ for banned organisations.
KKM – a 20-year-old cultural troupe with an anti-caste legacy – was first named in a criminal case in 2011, when the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested several individuals for their alleged link with the banned Maoist group… In the nine years since KKM was first criminalised, neither the state government nor the Centre have made any efforts to notify the organisation as either a banned organisation or an unlawful association, a process laid down in the UAPA. Read more
Videos: With Hany Babu: Political Voices for Social Justice / Free All BK Human Rights Defenders
Webinar: With Prof. Hany Babu – Political Voices for Social Justice
To watch video recording (english) via fb click: Dalit Camera
Dr. Udit Raj, Ex-MP, National Spokesperson, AICC
T.K.S. Elangovan, MP Rajya Sabha, DMK
Prof. Manoj Kumar Jha, MP Rajya Sabha, RJD
K. Ambujakshan, Welfare Party of India
Anoop V.R, Indian Youth Congress
Rajkumar Saini, ex MP, Loktantra Suraksha Party
P. Rajeev, ex MP, CPI(M)
Annie Raja, CPI
K.K. Ragesh, MP Sabha CPI (M)
E.T. Mohammed Basheer, MP, Lok Sabha, IUML
Coordinator: Vinayakala Korvi
Chair: Premjish Achari
Curator and Art Critic
Concluding Remarks: N Sachin
Video: Free All Bhima Koregaon Human rights Defenders and Repeal Draconian UAPA
India claims that its constitutional checks and balances prevent the abuse of counterterrorism laws; the evidence, including cases of false imprisonment and torture, suggests that these checks and balances are insufficient not only to protect civilians from abuse under counterterrorism laws but to protect them from terrorism itself. Read more
Hany Babu has been charged with a colonial-era law that was invoked 233 times between 2014 and 2018.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested Delhi University associate professor of English Hany Babu MT on 28 July in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case. He is the 12th person to be held in this connection. Read more
The Ever Looming Darkness Of Law Of Sedition
Live Law / by Pulkit Malhotra
An honest omission was ratified, albeit, realized after a decade. With the enactment of the Indian Penal Code Amendment Act, 1870, the law of sedition took birth and in came, the darkest days for the most cherished right- the right to express. The dystopian society, with the kind blessings of the ‘government’ in power back then, was burdened with a draconian law, which unfortunately still finds a place in our society, with no checks and balances, leaving several people destitute … Lately, there are several eminent personalities such as Mr. Vinod Dua, Mrs. Sudha Bharadwaj, Mr. Varavara Rao and Mr. Gautam Navlakha, who have been booked under the outdated law, which law, in my opinion, requires immediate attention of the Government in order to protect free speech, which is granted by our Constitution. Read more