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VV Rao’s Bail: Leading Newspapers Urge Courts to Protect the Fundamental Right to Liberty

VV Rao’s Bail: Leading Newspapers Urge Courts to Protect the Fundamental Right to Liberty

Varavara Rao’s Bail: Leading Newspapers Urge Courts to Protect the Fundamental Right to Liberty

27/02/2021

The Leaflet / by Manya Saini

Poet-Activist Varavara Rao’s extended judicial custody amid severe medical concerns has brought into question the rights of accused persons awaiting trial. Leading newspapers have pressed upon the need for judicial reform and argued that courts must come forward to protect the fundamental rights of citizens that are threatened by draconian laws like sedition and UAPA.
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Justice lives: Rao and Ravi granted bail

25/02/2021

The Telegraph / by editorial board

The momentum generated by these verdicts needs to be taken forward to kindle an informed debate on judicial reform.
A fair investigation is one of the prerequisites of justice. The infirmities in two separate investigations that were exposed and castigated by the courts in two recent judgments merit attention. The Bombay High Court granted conditional bail to the poet, Varavara Rao, infirm and an accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, observing that the National Investigation Agency had kept him in custody without framing charges for an extended period of time.
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Bail as right: On bail to Varavara Rao

22/02/2021

The Hindu / editorial

Laws, however stringent, cannot be allowed to trump basic rights.
n granting bail for six months to poet Varavara Rao in the Bhima Koregaon case on medical grounds, the Bombay High Court has affirmed the principle that even the stringent provisions of an anti-terrorism law are not invincible before a prisoner’s constitutional rights.
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Statement by Pen International

23/02/2021

By Pen International


Sharper Fights Ahead – Statement in view of VV’s Interim Bail

22/02/2021

By Release the Poet Committee

People’s Poet Varavara Rao’s interim (medical) bail granted by Mumbai High Court is a small but vital breakthrough, which was long overdue, is indeed an outcome of people’s rejection of state atrocities – but leaves no space for any self-satisfaction for them, who are unceasingly fighting in defense of VV and other victims of Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case.
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Varavara Rao’s bail: Hope for other accused

22/02/2021

The Times of India / by Shruti Ganapatye

With the Bombay high court granting bail to ailing activist Varavara Rao in the Bhima-Koregaon case on Monday, there is a renewed hope among other accused about similar relief coming their way.
Top lawyers, some of them representing the accused in the case, said though bail is difficult to secure in Unlawful Activitities Prevention Act (UAPA) cases, Rao’s case, where bail was granted on health grounds, has set a precedent.
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Video: VV Rao – Poet, Activist, Political Prisoner

22/02/2021


en | 5:54 | 2021

By Karwan e Mohabbat

Varavara Rao is no stranger to being imprisoned, but the 82-year-old is also the conscience of our society-an intellectual we need to protect from the excesses of a state determined to destroy dissent.
Watch video

Allegations of planting evidence in Bhima Koregaon case must be investigated

Allegations of planting evidence in Bhima Koregaon case must be investigated

The Indian Express / by Julio Ribeiro

This is a fit case where the courts should intervene to ensure justice. If the charge of planting evidence is proved, then it is incumbent on the NIA to investigate and ascertain the identity of the culprit.
Boston is an American city that is known to numerous Indians. A degree from MIT is much sought after. A few years ago, my wife and I spent a few days there as my nephew, my sister’s son, was residing in that city. Police martyr Hemant Karkare’s daughter resides there now.
Soon, Boston will be known to policemen in India for something quite different.
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From FIR to Malware Claims: A Timeline of the Bhima Koregaon Case

From FIR to Malware Claims: A Timeline of the Bhima Koregaon Case

The Quint / by Vakasha Sachdev

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?
Here’s a complete timeline of this controversial case: from its origins in a dodgy FIR, to the moment the Supreme Court could have nipped all this in the bud; and from the filing of 3 charge sheets, to the 16 arrests made under its vague and dubious mandate.
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Chorus demanding release of activists grows / Stan Swamy told NIA about planting of fake evidence

Chorus demanding release of activists grows / Stan Swamy told NIA about planting of fake evidence

Family members of Bhima Koregaon accused, cyber experts raise questions on investigation following reports of ‘planted evidence’

17/02/2021

TwoCircles.net / by Suprakash Majumdar

Besides demanding the release of all the accused, the speakers pointed out that the Arsenal report has raised some serious questions such as, “Why couldn’t the government and the forensic lab find evidence of hacking and if they did, why did they ignore it? Why did NIA not verify the authenticity of the files as they were the primary evidence in the case?”
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Chorus demanding release of activists grows

17/02/2021

Sabrangindia / by Sabrangindia

Legal and tech experts shed light on future course of case in wake of Arsenal revelations of planted evidence.
Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy, a group of activists, organised a webinar to discuss the possible impact of the recent revelations made by Arsenal Consulting, an American digital forensics firm in the Bhima Koregaon case.
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Stan Swamy told NIA about planting of fake evidence, says his colleague

17/02/2021

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The statement came in the wake of a forensics report that found key evidence against the accused in the case was planted using a malware.
A colleague of human rights activist Stan Swamy, who was arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case in October, said on Tuesday that the jailed activist had told the National Investigation Agency at least four times that fake evidence had been planted on his computer, reported PTI.
Solomon, the director of Ranchi’s Bagaicha Social Centre where Swamy worked, made the statement at a press briefing.
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Watch whole press briefing @YouTube: Decoding the Arsenal Report – Curious Case of Questionable Evidence in the Case (Feb 16, 2020)

Video: Decoding the Arsenal Report – Curious Case of Questionable Evidence in the Case / Press Release

Video: Decoding the Arsenal Report – Curious Case of Questionable Evidence in the Case / Press Release

Video: Decoding the Arsenal Report – Curious Case of Questionable Evidence in the Case

16/02/2021


en | 1h 36min | 2021

By Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy

PRESS CONFERENCE
Speakers
Jedidiah Crandall: Associate Professor, Biodesign Center for Biocomputing, Security and Society; Associate Professor, School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering, Arizona State University Sandeep Shukla: Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Kanpur
Adv. Mihir Desai: Senior Advocate Bombay High Court Lawyer, PUCL
Father Solomon: Director, Bagaicha, Ranchi, Fr Stan Swamy’s colleague
Sagar Abraham Gonsalves: Vernon Gonsalves’ son
Watch @ YouTube


The NIA’s ‘No Malware Found’ Response to New Forensic Report Points to Ineptitude
Bhima Koregaon Conspiracy Case Must be Quashed in Light of Explosive Forensic Evidence

16/02/2021

By Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy

PRESS RELEASE
On February 10, 2021 the Bhima Koregaon defense team filed a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking the release of Rona Wilson and the quashing of all charges against him. The petition was filed in light of startling new evidence of a forensic analysis that establishes that the top 10 files used to implicate Mr. Wilson with conspiracy to assassinate the Prime Minister and several other charges were fabricated and had been planted on Mr. Wilson’s hard drive by a cyber attacker using the NetWire malware. The forensic analysis was conducted by one of the world’s leading forensic analysis firms, Boston-based Arsenal Consulting and the story was first reported by The Washington Post on February 10.

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Bhima Koregaon hacking allegations: What Arsenal analysis of Rona Wilson’s PC says

Bhima Koregaon hacking allegations: What Arsenal analysis of Rona Wilson’s PC says

Firstpost / by Praveen Swami

Arsenal Consulting’s findings will, obviously, be contested by the police’s Forensic Science Laboratory; that is the normal back-and-forth of any criminal trial.
Last week, US-based digital forensics firm Arsenal Consulting released the results of its investigation into the computer of Rona Wilson — one of 16 people facing trial in the Bhima Koregaon case. The evidence assembled by prosecutors against the accused include letters containing, among other things plans to buy assault weapons from Nepal, and a plot assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The analysis raises questions about not just the authenticity of those documents, but also the possible manipulation of Wilson’s computer by still-unidentified hackers.
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Put an end to using government agencies to stifle free press in India: All India Kisan Sabha

Put an end to using government agencies to stifle free press in India: All India Kisan Sabha


Poster by BKU Ekta Ugrahan

The Caravan / by All India Kisan Sabha

On 14 February, the All India Kisan Sabha issued a statement condemning the raid on Newsclick. The statement is reproduced below.
… In the Bhima Koregaon case, evidences were manufactured to put innocent people in sedition cases and keep them in jail for years without trial.
Read full statement

Feb 13th: #FreeBK16 #EvidencePlanted (posters) / Sudha Bharadwaj spends 900 days in detention

Feb 13th: #FreeBK16 #EvidencePlanted (posters) / Sudha Bharadwaj spends 900 days in detention

Feb 13th TWEET STORM: #FreeBK16 #EvidencePlanted

13/02/2021

Tweets by various groups and individuals

The Washington Post newspaper has published a report in which Arsenal Consulting, a digital forensics firm, exposes the “extremely dark” and “very organised” hacking of activist Rona Wilson’s laptop to plant incriminating evidence related to the Bhima Koregaon incident. Sixteen activists are facing charges under UAPA and have been lodged in jail without bail in Bhima Koregaon case.
Some tweets and posters shared during the tweet storm today:

Dalit Camera: What kind of a country puts its intellectuals behind bars for something they didn’t do?
Dalit Camera: When the government doesn’t have an answer to the storm of questions raised against, it resorts to arresting those speaking the truth fearlessly. Shame!
NAPM India: National Alliance of People’s Movements demands the govt #FreeBK16 in light of #EvidencePlanted – it is draconian to jail #HumanRights activists based on fabricated evidence and no trial!
Elgar Parishad: After Armed Arsenal report it is evident that Elgar Parishad – Bhima Koregaon case is completely fabricated. We demand immediate release of BK 16
Jignesh Mevani: India’s prominent intellectuals are in jail for one simple reason: they can think and oppose an autocratic government! There is no legal basis, no trial, and even the evidence is planted! The world should take note!
Boston South Asian Coalition: Arsenal Consulting, a reputed Forensic firm has exposed the conspiracy that maliciously planted evidence to arrest
Cedric Prakash: It is important that all the illegally incarcerated are freed immediately
COLLECTIVE: COLLECTIVE demands arrest of Sangh rioters Shambhaji bhide, Milind Ekbote. India will be a country of #Andolanjeevis, not bootlickers of imperialism.

Sudha Bharadwaj spends 900 days in detention

12/02/2021

Civicus.org / by CIVICUS

▪ 13 February 2021 marks Sudha Bharadwaj’s 900th day in pre-trial detention
▪ Questions raised about validity of letters used to incriminate Sudha
▪ Indian authorities have limited the number of books she can receive

February 13 marks 900 days since Indian activist Sudha Bharadwaj was arrested and imprisoned. On this day, global civil society organisation CIVICUS calls on the Indian government to immediately release Bharadwaj and drop all charges against her.
Since 2018, Sudha and 15 other activists, writers and lawyers have been arrested under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).
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Video: The Needle of Doubt is Now on All Matters, says Mihir Desai / India’s democracy in decline

Video: The Needle of Doubt is Now on All Matters, says Mihir Desai / India’s democracy in decline

Video: Not Just Bhima Koregaon, the Needle of Doubt is Now on All Matters, says Mihir Desai

12/02/2021


hindi | 23:12min | 2021

Newsclick / Bhasha Singh in conversation with Mihir Desai

In a special offering by Newsclick, senior journalist Bhasha Singh spoke to Mihir Desai, a senior advocate at the Bombay High Court about the new revelation by The Washington Post in the Bhima Koregaon case which has revealed that offensive material was planted through a software on arrested political activist Rona Wilson’s laptop. The disclosure is important because it almost makes it clear that electronic evidence was planted in the Bhima Koregaon case and there is a strong sense of fear that it may happen in other cases as well.
Watch video


Also Read: Computer of Rona Wilson was compromised, malware planted from outside: US Forensic Firm report (Feb 10, 2021)


India’s democracy in decline

12/02/2021

Washington Post / by Joanna Slater and Niha Masih

The future of the world’s largest democracy is looking increasingly less democratic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the most dominant Indian leader in five decades, while the country’s independent institutions have rarely appeared weaker…
One case in particular has become a litmus test for the rule of law and freedom of expression in India. Three years ago, police in a state controlled by Modi’s party began arresting activists under a stringent anti-terrorism law.
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Left parties: Withdraw Bhima Koregaon Cases, Release All The Accused Immediately

Left parties: Withdraw Bhima Koregaon Cases, Release All The Accused Immediately

Withdraw Bhima Koregaon Cases, Release All The Accused Immediately

12/02/2021

By Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist-Liberation

A report by a US-based digital forensics firm reveals shocking evidence that malaware was used to plant a bunch of incriminating letters on the computer of Rona Wilson, one of the Bhima Koregaon accused. It is these letters that were made the basis for the Bhima Koregaon case, for which Wilson has been arrested and imprisoned under the draconian UAPA without bail or trial since 2018.
Read full statement (fb)


Release All Bhima Koregaon Accused Unconditionally

11/02/2021

Communistparty.in / by CPI

The National Secretariat of the Communist Party of India has issued the following statement today (on February 11, 2021) demanding unconditional release of all accused in Bhima Koregaon case.
Read full statement


Drop Cases against Bhima Koregaon Accused

11/02/2021

Communist Party of India (Marxist) / by CPI-M

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demands the dropping of cases against activists arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case and asks the Maharashtra Government to set up an SIT to enquire into the developments exposed by the credible reports of international experts as to how evidence was manufactured and planted in the computer of one of the activists Rona Wilson.
Read full statement


Also Read: Computer of Rona Wilson was compromised, malware planted from outside: US Forensic Firm report (Feb 10, 2021)