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Who is Sudha Bharadwaj?

Who is Sudha Bharadwaj?

By Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy

Maaysha, Sudha’s daughter: “If fighting for the rights of adivasis, fighting for workers and peasants, fighting against repression and exploitation and giving up one s whole life for them is being a naxalite then I guess naxalites are pretty good.”

“The 6th Annual Harvard Law International Women’s Day Portrait Exhibit showcases the astounding contributions of women around the world to the areas of law and policy. The honorees — each of whom were nominated by HLS students, faculty or staff — are powerful voices in their respective fields, whether they are sitting on a high court bench, standing in front of a classroom, or marching in the streets.”

Or whether they are sitting in jail.

Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj is a 2019 honoree of the Harvard Law International Women’s day exhibition and is sitting in a jail cell in Pune. How did these conflicting positions come about?

Sudha grew up to illustrious parents, and spent the first part of her life as an American citizen. In the next 30 years of her life, she worked tirelessly in Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha (CMM) as a trade unionist and eventually as a lawyer after the CMM, hamstrung in their legal battles by unscrupulous lawyers, found in her the courage and integrity needed to challenge powerful opponents in the courtrooms.

She founded Janhit, giving rigorous legal aid to several industrial workers, villages fighting acquisition and mining, Adivasi communities fighting for forest rights, environmental cases and PIL litigation. Janhit led cases against powerful industrial houses such as Jindal, Vedanta, BALCO, Lafarge Holcim, D.B. Power, Vandana Vidyut, SECL, Bhilai Steel Plant, Monnet Steel, Adani, Hindalco, Grasim, Ultratech and others.

Sudha was instrumental in rebuilding the PUCL group after the arrest and incarceration of its then-President, Dr. Binayak Sen. During this time, she was appointed as the General Secretary of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and worked on issues of human trafficking and attacks on minorities. She also assisted families of victims of human rights violations looked upon as casualties in the conflict zone of Bastar and supported journalists and activists who dared raise their voices and pen against the State excesses in Bastar. She was elected recently as Vice President of the Indian Association of Peoples’ Lawyers (IAPL) and was active in campaigns against attacks on Dalit and human rights lawyers in Chhattisgarh and facilitated an IAPL fact-finding into it.

Sudha was arrested from her Faridabad home which she was sharing with her daughter, Maaysha. During this time, she was a Visiting Professor at the National Law University Delhi, taking Seminar Courses on tribal rights, land acquisition, and the Fifth and Sixth Schedules. This year she was to have taught “Law and Justice in a Globalising World”. Sadly, and ironically, she can’t teach the class as she is in jail. The loss, the students inform us, is all theirs.

Her daughter Maaysha, has in several letters candidly brought to fore Sudha’s tireless spirit and her commitment to her work, “If fighting for the rights of Adivasis, fighting for workers and peasants, fighting against repression and exploitation and giving up one’s whole life for them is being a Naxalite then I guess Naxalites are pretty good.”

Guneet Ahuja, Advocate, Delhi, in an open letter writes about Sudha, “On my first meeting with Sudha ji, I asked her about the competing narratives regarding the condition of indigenous communities in Bastar. Her reply left a deep impact on me: “For a pedestrian on a narrow lane, the car driver is causing the trouble. For the car driver, the pedestrian is the nuisance. Your perspectives change based on where you are placed.”

Sudha is the pedestrian along with all the people she fights for. She believes the road belongs to us. The State is the car who doesn’t want nuisance pedestrians in the way, believes the road belongs to it, and wants it lined with the businesses of its cronies. To the State, Sudha belongs in jail. To us, she is a defender of human rights.

“If you try to be safe and in the middle, you will never succeed.”
Sudha, The Wire


Sudha Bharadwaj Speaks – A Life in Law and Activism


Publisher: Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)
Edition: January 2021
Language: English
Sudha Bharadwaj’s interview by: Darshana Mitra and Santanu Chakraborty
Pictures credit: PUCL
Cover Design / Layout: Vinay Jain
Paperback: 316 pages

PDF copy: Sudha Bharadwaj speaks – A Life in Law and Activism (PUCL, Jan 2021)

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Who is Varavara Rao?

Who is Varavara Rao?

By Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy

“When the victory drum started
beating
In the heart of the masses
You mistook it for a person and
trained your guns
Revolution echoed from all
horizons.”

Being thrown into jail is nothing new to the famous Telugu poet Varavara Rao. He has faced at least 25 cases in the last 45 years. His story can be understood through the history of these arrests and the power of his writings, his poetry, his teaching career and his political understandings and analysis of power and oppression, and the path to liberation.
Varavara Rao, or VV was born into a middle class family in Chinna Pendyala, Warangal District, Andhra Pradesh in 1940. He started publishing his poetry at age 17, in 1957, but got interested in revolutionary theory while working as a lecturer at Mahabubnagar. It was during this time that he founded a literature and poetry group called Sahithee Mithrulu and a non-political journal named Srujana to eventually join the Tirugubadu Kavulu (Rebel Poets), who were sympathetic to the armed struggle going on in Srikakulam.
During this time, VV founded the Virasam or Viplava Rachayitala Sangham (Revolutionary Writers’ Association), an association banned by the Andhra Pradesh government in August 2005. The ban was later struck down by the AP High Court in November 2005.
VV, now 74, has published 15 poetry collections of his own, besides having edited a number of anthologies. His poetry has been translated into almost all Indian languages and have appeared in Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi and Bengali. His thesis on ‘Telangana Liberation Struggle and Telugu Novel – A Study into Interconnection between Society and Literature’ published in 1983 is considered to be one of the finest works of Marxist critical studies done in Telugu. While in prison he translated Kenyan writer, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s prison diary ‘Detained’ and his novel ‘Devil on the Cross’ into Telugu. He also wrote his own prison diary Sahacharulu (1990), which was translated into English as Captive Imagination.
VV was first arrested under the infamous Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) in Andhra Pradesh, in 1973. He was then arrested during Emergency and was re-arrested at the entrance of the jail and kept imprisoned for an additional week when the Emergency was lifted. He survived many attempts on his life post-Emergency.
He was among the 46 accused of conspiring to overthrow the Andhra Pradesh government in the Secunderabad conspiracy case, and was sent to jail once again in 1985. He was also an accused in the Ramnagar conspiracy case where he was accused to have attended a meeting where the plan to kill two Andhra Pradesh Police constables was hatched. He was finally acquitted of the charges after 17 years, in 2003.
He remains a staunch opposer of neo-liberal globalisation and specifically the globalisation policies adopted by Chandrababu Naidu’s government in the ’90s. He went as an emissary for the People’s War Group in the peace negotiations between the Andhra Pradesh government and Naxalites. After multiple rounds of the talks failed, Virasam was banned only to be reinstated later. Following the banning, Rao was arrested once again in 2005 and was released in 2006. He has been arrested four-times since the formation of the new Telangana state in 2014.
VV has faced at least nine cases under the Arms Act of 1959 and the Explosive Substances Act, 1908 over the last four decades. In perhaps the most ridiculous case, he was charged with distributing bombs to ensure the success of a strike against the custodial death of a Radical Students Union activist in 1985. In response, Varavara Rao wrote a memorable poem, titled :

Reflection
I did not supply the explosives
Nor ideas for that matter
It was you who trod with iron heels
Upon the anthill
And from the trampled earth
Sprouted the ideas of vengeance
It was you who struck the beehive
With your lathi
The sound of the scattering bees
Exploded in your shaken facade
Blotched red with fear
When the victory drum started
beating
In the heart of the masses
You mistook it for a person and
trained your guns
Revolution echoed
from all horizons …


WHO IS VARAVARA RAO?

By India Civil Watch

Varavara Rao (VV) was born in Warangal in 1940. He finished his MA in Telugu literature from Osmania University. He worked as a lecturer in several colleges and transformation towards revolutionary ideas started in Varavara Rao’s mind during his tenure in Mahabubnagar district.

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Who is Shoma Sen?

Who is Shoma Sen?

By Mumbai Rises To Save Democracy

In one of her letters to her daughter, Shoma writes, They can keep me locked inside, but my mind is completely free”

A reputed academician, a Dalit and Women’s Rights activist, a teacher and dissenter, Shoma Sen is all of the above and more. Born and raised in Mumbai, she moved to Nagpur with her partner and daughter with a strong resolve to protect and promote democratic rights of the most marginalised people in the society.

Shoma has been a respected academic for almost three decades. She has been actively involved with the Women’s Department of Wardha Vishwavidyalaya and taught in various colleges across Nagpur. During the time of her arrest she was the Head of the Department of English at Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University. She has written extensively on post-colonialism and women’s studies for several decades.

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Who is Arun Ferreira?

Who is Arun Ferreira?

By India Civil Watch

Arun Ferreira is a human rights lawyer from Mumbai, India. He is a member of the Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR) and the Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL). He studied at Mumbai’s St. Xavier’s College where he developed a strong social conscience, and organised the institution’s canteen workers to demand better work conditions. After college, he worked with slum dwellers in Mumbai before becoming a community organiser in Vidarbha (rural Maharashtra state).

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Who is Vernon Gonsalves?

Who is Vernon Gonsalves?

By Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy

Characterised by a loose cotton half sleeve shirt, loose trousers, spectacles, a jhola and a hearty laughter, Vernon Gonsalves comes across as an effervescent wise man. Gonsalves gets along well with everyone from the age of six to sixty. His demeanour reflects an inner happiness. He started a band in college, but gave it up to be a part of people’s movements. His songs still hold the flavour of 70s rock.
Vernon’s pen is as sharp as his vision for an equitable, just society without distinctions of class, caste, race, with principles of gender equality and justice at its core. He is an acute political observer and makes nuanced arguments about complex sociopolitical-economic issues. Vernon has shown a keenness to understand the latest undercurrents in progressive politics.
He was born to a Mangalorean Catholic couple and grew up in a chawl in a modest locality in Byculla in Mumbai. Vernon was always good with academics and won a gold medal in Commerce from Mumbai University. Subsequently, he left his corporate job in Siemens to work with trade unions, workers, slum dwellers and the working class in Mumbai. During this period, he taught in prominent colleges in Mumbai including Ruparel College, HR College of Commerce and Economics, and Akbar Peerbhoy College of Commerce and Economics. Very few know that, in college he wanted to be a musician. Rumours say that he had also started a band but could not find meaning in it.
Around 1983, he moved to Chandrapur near Nagpur to work with unorganised sector workers including the coal-mine workers in the area. In 1984, he married fellow activist Susan Abraham. It was a union of two unique and fiercely independent minds. They worked in Chandrapur for a decade. After their son Sagar was born in 1994, they returned to Mumbai.
On 19 August 2007, the Maharashtra ATS arrested Vernon from his residence in Andheri, Mumbai. His arrest was falsely shown as from the residence of his co-accused S. Shridhar in Govandi. They were charged with being “top-level” Naxalites having explosives in their possession. For some months prior to this, Vernon had been working for the rights of tribal communities in the Maharashtra district of Chandrapur. 20 cases were filed against him. He spent nearly six years in jail while his trial dragged on as an undertrial. He was acquitted in 18 cases, convicted in one against which his appeal is pending in the Nagpur HC while the application for discharge in the last case in Gujarat is pending before the High Court.
During his years as an undertrial in jail, Vernon spent most of his time writing. He is now working on a collection of prison writings. He edited a set of short stories written while imprisoned, one of which, “Jailbird Jabbar” was written in a typical staccato Bambaiya patois style. He also translated stories by Annabhau Sathe from Marathi to English for Aleph Publication’s “A Clutch of Short Stories.” After his release he wrote articles on prevailing law, rights of Dalit and tribal communities, the condition of prisons in India, land grabbing by the nexus of Corporates and the Government, misuse of the criminal justice system by the governments against marginalised communities, and scrapping of UAPA. One of his last published articles titled “Harsher Punishments and Retributive Criminal Justice” is a landmark commentary on the trends of crime control vis-a-vis justice system in the country.
Vernon’s son Sagar sums what everyone close to him feels about him:
“Among the many things that I admire greatly about my father is his commitment to his beliefs and ideals.To stand up for what is right and help those whose rights are denied – he has always done that and will continue to do so. This did not deter him the last time and will not do it now as well. He has an unbreakable spirit and will always stay true to what he believes in.”

 

WHO IS VERNON GONSALVES?

By India Civil Watch

Vernon Gonsalves is trade unionist, activist, an academic (former professor of business management in a college in Mumbai) and a writer, who writes extensively on Dalit and adivasi rights, the conditions of prisons in India and the routine violation of rights of prisoners. Along with Arun Ferriera, he has authored a number of popular articles on the condition of Indian jails, the abuse of authority by Indian police, and draconian laws such as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), a piece of ‘anti-terror’ legislation with a wide ambit and vague concepts, which allows its misuse against academics, lawyers and human rights defenders. Equally importantly, their writings expose the hypocrisy of democracy in India.

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Who is Sudhir Dhawale?

Who is Sudhir Dhawale?

By India Civil Watch

After spending close to four years (2011-2014) in jail in India (where he was denied every kind of human right) on charges of being a ‘Naxalite’, Sudhir Dhawale was acquitted of all charges. Reflecting on his traumatic experience, Sudhir soberly identifies his private struggle as being part of a much larger public and collective struggle for democratic values. Sudhir:

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Who is Mahesh Raut?

Who is Mahesh Raut?


Mahesh Raut (left) and Lalsu Narote. Foto credit: Javed Iqbal/ The Wire

By India Civil Watch

Lalsu Nogoti, an elected district council member from Bhamragad in Maharashtra is speaking about the work of Mahesh Raut:

“He first came to us as a part of the PMRD [Prime Minister’s Rural Development] fellowship in 2013. He would visit every village with other government officials and meticulously note down grievances and parallelly also research on several village and state-level policies that could come to our rescue. His work in the formative years helped us build our struggles in the coming days.”

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Who is Rona Wilson?

Who is Rona Wilson?

By India Civil Watch

Rona Wilson is the 47-year old Public Relations Secretary of the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP). He was arrested under the UAPA on June 6, 2018, in Delhi, at the same time as Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling, and Mahesh Raut in Nagpur and Sudhir Dhawale in Mumbai, and accused of channeling Maoist funds for the Elgar Parishad and fomenting violence in Bhima Koregaon.

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Who is Gautam Navlakha?

Who is Gautam Navlakha?

By India Civil Watch

Gautam Navlakha is a Delhi-based veteran journalist, author, civil liberties, human rights and peace activist best known for his fierce and sustained critique of the Indian state’s militarism against its own citizenry in three broad zones – the northeastern states, Kashmir valley, and the central Indian forested zone in Chhattisgarh. He has been actively involved with the People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) – one of India’s leading civil liberties and democratic rights defence organizations- working to protect, extend and help implement fundamental rights as guaranteed in the Indian constitution.
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Podcast: Elgar Parishad case defies logic, creates perpetual sense of disbelief

Podcast: Elgar Parishad case defies logic, creates perpetual sense of disbelief


en | 38:57min | 2023

By All Indians Matter

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.

Listen to the podcast


Also read:
Why the letter about a ‘Rajiv Gandhi-type’ assassination plot to kill Modi is fake (dailyo | by Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves | Jan 30, 2018)
Why peoples’ coalitions are uniting against Hindutva — the ‘new Peshwai’ (dailyo | by Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves | Jan 30, 2018)

SC to hear bail pleas of Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira on Feb 13 / ‘We’re Conscious It Is A Matter Of Personal Liberty’

SC to hear bail pleas of Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira on Feb 13 / ‘We’re Conscious It Is A Matter Of Personal Liberty’

‘We’re Conscious It Is A Matter Of Personal Liberty’: Supreme Court After Adjourning Bail Pleas Of Bhima Koregaon Accused At NIA’s Request

08/02/2023

Live Law / by Anurag Tiwari

The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, at the request of National Investigation Agency (NIA), again adjourned the hearing of the bail applications of Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira, two of the accused persons in the Bhima Koregaon case, to Monday.
Senior Advocate Rebecca John, appearing for one of petitioners, submitted before the bench comprising Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sudhanshu Dhulia, “I hope they (NIA) won’t take further adjournment. Because it is a matter of personal liberty”.
Read more


Thread by Bar & Bench (Feb 8):

++ The Supreme Court to shortly hear bail pleas of Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira, accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence case.
Matter before Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sudhanshu Dhulia. ++
++ Counsel: SG is leading us, he is in another court.
Sr Adv Rebecca John: They had sought adjournment earlier as well.
Justice Bose: We will take it tomorrow.
Justice Dhulia: You can argue, what was the case you were relying on?
John: It is in volume … ++
++ SC: We do not have it.
John takes court through Anand Teltumbde medical bail order.
Bench does not have the copy it says.
SC: Call Mr Raju
Adv: He is not available. Next week?
SC: No ma’am, at most time till Friday.
Bench discusses ++
++ Sr Adv R Basant: 4 and a half years in custody.
Justice Bose to NIA counsel: You prepare yourself. Monday.
John: My lords have the compilation? I hope they do not take further adjournments. Only because it involves personal liberty.
Justice Dhulia: We … ++
++ Justice Dhulia: cannot give injunction (smiles). You can object then.
Justice Bose: We are conscious (that it involves personal liberty).

Also read:
Supreme Court adjourns bail pleas of Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira at the request of NIA (The Leaflet / Feb 6, 2023)
Will the bail granted to Anand Teltumbde help others in the Bhima Koregaon case to get out of jail? (Scroll.in / Nov 2022)

Accused In Custody For 5 Years: Supreme Court Points Out To NIA While Hearing Bail Applications

Accused In Custody For 5 Years: Supreme Court Points Out To NIA While Hearing Bail Applications

‘Accused In Custody For 5 Years’: Supreme Court Points Out To NIA While Hearing Bail Applications

06/02/2023

Live Law / by Live Law News Network

The Supreme Court, on Monday, at the request of National Investigation Agency (NIA), directed the hearing of the bail applications of Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira, two of the accused persons in the Bhima Koregaon case, to be deferred to a Non-Miscellaneous day (Wednesday).
A Bench comprising Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia was hearing the bail applications of Gonsalves and a co-accused, Ferreira, who were arrested for alleged links with the 2018 caste-based violence that broke out at Bhima Koregaon in Pune, as well as with far-left militants.
Read more


Supreme Court adjourns bail pleas of Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira at the request of NIA

06/02/2023

The Leaflet / by Sarah Thanawala

The matter is posted to be heard on February 8.
On Monday, a division bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sudhanshu Dhulia, at the request of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), adjourned the hearing of the bail pleas of trade unionist, activist and academic Vernon Gonsalves, and activist and lawyer Arun Ferreira. Gonsalves and Ferreira have filed bail applications in the Supreme Court challenging the order of the Bombay High Court dated October 15, 2019 rejecting their bail pleas.
Read more


Thread by Bar & Bench (Feb 6):
++ #SupremeCourt is hearing bail applications of activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in the Bhima Koregaon case
Adv Kanu Agarwal: 2 bails in UAPA case. ASG is in another court It will take sometime. We have filed the counter affidavits. ++
++ SC: Somebody is in custody for 5 years. What harm will be caused if he is released on bail with conditions? What is there in counter affidavit ? We have read it
Adv Agarwal: delay in trial cannot be attributed to NIA. There are serious charges of membership etc ++
++ Sr Adv Rebecca John: trial was also underwent for 5 years.. material pertaining to this case is the same in other cases where I was acquitted..
SC: This may make your case a little different
SC: List on Next Wednesday for hearing ++

Also read:
Vernon Gonsalves cites Arsenal report to seek discharge (Free Press Journal / Jan 5, 2023)
Will the bail granted to Anand Teltumbde help others in the Bhima Koregaon case to get out of jail? (Scroll.in / Nov 2022)
Bombay High Court rejects default bail plea of Varavara Rao and seven other accused (The Leaflet / May 2022)
HC disposes plea of eight accused seeking rectification in order denying them bail (Scroll.in / Dec 2021)

Maharashtra: Top Cop Accuses Decades-Old Cultural, Rights Orgs of Working as ‘Naxal Fronts’

Maharashtra: Top Cop Accuses Decades-Old Cultural, Rights Orgs of Working as ‘Naxal Fronts’

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

At the recent police conference attended by PM Modi, Gadchiroli DIGP Sandip B. Patil claimed in a paper that 15 cultural and rights organisations are actually “active frontal organisations of Naxals.” Behind this claim is little evidence.
In 2017, the artiste couple Shital Sathe and Sachin Mali publicly announced their decision to split from the cultural outfit, Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) after 15 years of association.
Read more


Also read:
UAPA – CRIMINALISING DISSENT AND STATE TERROR – Study of UAPA Abuse in India, 2009-2022 (PUCL / Sep 2022)
Kabir Kala Manch: A History of Revolutionary Singing and State Repression (ritimo / April 2022)
The Security Playbook Used To Erode Democracy In Modi’s India & How The Tide Might Turn (article 14 / March 2022)
Maharashtra: Activists, Lawyers Added to ‘Union War Book’, Listed as ‘Enemies of the State’ (The Wire / Jul 2021)
From ‘tukde tukde gang’ to ‘urban Naxal’: How media trials enable the government to stifle dissent (Scroll.in / Sep 2018)

Shoma Sen files discharge plea / Targeted for activism, says Shoma Sen seeking clean chit

Shoma Sen files discharge plea / Targeted for activism, says Shoma Sen seeking clean chit

Shoma Sen files discharge plea in court

01/02/2023

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

Shoma Sen said in her discharge application that the “incriminating” evidence claimed to have been seized from her deals with information on social movements, all of which can be found in public domain.
… Meanwhile, the court on Tuesday heard the discharge application of activist Vernon Gonsalves. During the arguments, Gonsalves said that the accused in the case had not received some of the cloned copies presented by the NIA as evidence. … The co-accused in the case, lawyers Surendra Gadling and Arun Ferreira, informed the court that they had previously too sought cloned copies but have not received all.
Read more


Targeted for activism, says Shoma Sen seeking clean chit

01/02/2023

The Free Press Journal / by Staff Reporter

Professor Shoma Sen, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case, on Tuesday filed a plea for getting a clean chit in the case. She claimed she has been falsely implicated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for her active role in the sphere of activism for human rights, Dalits and the marginalised sections of society.
Read more


Also read:
Bombay HC asks Elgar Parishad accused Prof Shoma Sen to first approach trial court for bail (India Today / Jan 17, 2023)

Supreme Court Adjourns Hearing On Bail Plea Of Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira

Supreme Court Adjourns Hearing On Bail Plea Of Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira

Supreme Court Adjourns Hearing On Bail Plea Of Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira

01/02/2023

The National Bulletin / by TNB Bureau

The hearing in the Supreme Court has been postponed in the case of bail of accused Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in the Bhima Koregaon case. The next hearing of this matter will be on 6 February. The Supreme Court said that further hearing of the case will not be postponed. Earlier on August 18, 2022, the Supreme Court had asked the special court of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to frame charges against accused Vernon Gonsalves within three months.
Read more


Thread by Live Law / @LiveLawIndia (Feb 1, 2023):
++ Supreme Court to hear bail pleas of Bhima Koregaon Case Accused Varun Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira. ++
++ Report from the last hearing++
++ Matter before bench of Justices MR Shah and Sudhanshu Dhulia ++
++ Bench to shortly start hearing the bail plea. ++
++ Letter circulated in the matter. ++
++ Justice Shah – We will keep it on next Monday. No further adjournments. ++


Also read:
Supreme Court division bench led by Justice Aniruddha Bose to hear bail pleas of Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira (The Leaflet / Jan 16, 2023)

Bombay High Court rejects bail plea by Surendra Gadling [read judgment]

Bombay High Court rejects bail plea by Surendra Gadling [read judgment]

Surendra Gadling

Reasonable ground to believe Surendra Gadling a member of banned CPI (Maoist): Bombay High Court [Read Judgment]

31/01/2023

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

The Court made the prima facie observation while rejecting Gadling’s bail plea in the 2016 Surajgarh arson case.
Allegations that lawyer and activist Surendra Gadling had direct membership of the banned organisation, Communist Party of India (Maoist) seem to be prima facie true, the Bombay High Court observed on Tuesday [Surendra Gadling v. State of Maharashtra].
A division bench of Justices Vinay Joshi and Valmiki SA Menezes made the observation while rejecting a bail plea moved by Gadling in the 2016 Surajgarh arson case.
Read more
Read judgment


Surajgarh arson case: Bombay High Court rejects bail plea by Surendra Gadling

31/01/2023

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

Gadling is presently in judicial custody in Taloja Central Prison and is also an accused in the 2018 riots case of Bhima Koregaon.
The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court today rejected the bail plea of lawyer and activist Surendra Gadling in the 2016 Surajgarh arson case.
A division bench of Justices Vinay Joshi and VA Menezes pronounced the order today.
Read more


HC upholds denial of bail to Nagpur lawyer Surendra Gadling

01/02/2023

Nagpur Today / by Nagpur Today

Justice Vinay Joshi and Justice Valmiki SA Menezes at the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court have dismissed the appeal filed by the Nagpur lawyer, Surendra Gadling (55), against rejection of his application for regular bail by the Sessions court, Gadchiroli, with observation that the court prima facie believes the NIA´s accusations that appellant was part of a conspiracy and abetting the terrorist acts.
Read more


Also read:
Explainer: Arsenal Report on Surendra Gadling (The Leaflet | July 2021)
DISINHERITING ADIVASIS – THE GADCHIROLI GAME PLAN (KAFILA | June 2018)
Mining In Gadchiroli – Building A Castle Of Injustices (Countercurrents | by Neema Pathak Broome and Mahesh Raut | June 2017)

How the Politics of Hate Unites South Asia

How the Politics of Hate Unites South Asia

The Wire / by Farahnaz Ispahani

Not just Indian, but Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka too appear to be well within an era of media incitement, orchestrated attacks on minority religious institutions, and identity politics.
The volume Politics Of Hate: Religious Majoritarianism in South Asia presents the research of noted scholars on the role of the media and political leaders in deploying hatred for political advantage.
… In July 2021, jailed tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy died in a prison in Mumbai, at the age of eighty-four. A Jesuit priest, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, was arrested in October 2020 after being accused of terrorism along with sixteen other activists, academics and lawyers. Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, had referred to this detention as ‘inexcusable’.
Read more

Drive to seek justice for Stan Swamy

Drive to seek justice for Stan Swamy

Poster by #bakeryprasad

The Telegraph / by Animesh Bisoee

We will be starting campaigns from February in almost all those cities of Jharkhand where Father had been active, says CPI leader
Members of Shahid Father Stan Swamy Nyay Morcha (formed in 2021 to carry forward the legacy of the deceased Jesuit priest) will launch a signature campaign across major cities of Jharkhand in February, demanding a probe and action against federal agencies responsible for planting documents in Father Stan Swamy’s computers.
Read more


Also read:
Hackers Planted Files to Frame an Indian Priest Who Died in Custody (Wired / Dec 13, 2022)
I am not a silent spectator – An autobiographical fragment, memory and reflection (Indian Social Institute | By Stan Swamy | 2021)

Publisher: Indian Social Institute
First published in 2021
140 pages
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AI: India/Egypt: Ongoing human rights crisis in both countries must be addressed

AI: India/Egypt: Ongoing human rights crisis in both countries must be addressed

India/ Egypt: Ongoing human rights crisis in both countries must be addressed

26/01/2023

By Amnesty International

The Indian and Egyptian authorities must address the ongoing human rights and impunity crises in the two countries, Amnesty International said today, as India hosts Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi as the chief guest at its Republic Day celebrations.
… In India, 16 Bhima Koregaon activists have been arrested since 2018 on fabricated charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), a draconian anti-terror law. They have also faced an intense crackdown by the authorities for their work for marginalized communities.
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Also read:
Act now to demand the release of the BK16! (Amnesty International, Dec 2022)