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Release the Poet: NO BIAS! JUSTICE FOR ALL!

Release the Poet: NO BIAS! JUSTICE FOR ALL!

By Release the Poet Committee @ FB

Release the Poet Committee’s statement at Kolkata Press Club on 23rd Nov
“…If we look upon the flood of tweets and whatsapp texts, memes and mimics denouncing the highest seat of judiciary – the Supreme Court – in the last few months, we could clearly see that it was unprecedented in the history of India! People are openly getting judgmental and bitterly critical about the so called “temple of justice” discounting the risk that is ‘contempt of court’. The state should lend an ear to this alarm, which is, ACTUALLY, directed to them.

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UAPA and the growing crisis of judicial credibility in India

UAPA and the growing crisis of judicial credibility in India

Observer Research Foundation / by Niranjan Sahoo & Jibran Khan

The Democracy Report 2020 by V-Dem Institute created quite a storm recently in India’s policy circles. The report claimed that the world’s largest democracy is on the verge of losing its status as a democracy. Noting India’s rapid slide into an autocracy, the Sweden-based report, which produces the most comprehensive analyses on the health of democracy across the world, cited trends of dramatic erosion of basic civil liberties, particularly media freedom and suppression of the freedoms of free speech and dissent as the key reasons for this major dip…
The last two years, in particular, have witnessed a sharp rise in the arrests of several prominent human rights defenders, civil society leaders, agitating leaders and even protesting students under the UAPA and sedition laws, including Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Varavara Rao, Anand Teltumde, Gautam Navlakha, and Arun Ferreira.
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A List of Activists, Scholars and Scribes Whose Personal Liberty Remains at Judiciary’s Mercy

A List of Activists, Scholars and Scribes Whose Personal Liberty Remains at Judiciary’s Mercy

A List of Activists, Scholars and Scribes Whose Personal Liberty Remains at Judiciary’s Mercy

13/11/2020

The Wire / by Ismat Ara and Sukanya Shantha

On September 7, following sustained interrogation at the National Investigation Agency’s office in Mumbai, two activists of the Kabir Kala Manch – Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor – were arrested for alleged connections to the 2018 Elgar Parishad case. Days later, another young cultural activist of the group, Jyoti Jagtap, was arrested too…
The Wire has put together a list of cases where activists and journalists arrested in the past years have struggled either in securing regular hearings, or in having their basic human rights protected, or both. Their situations put the Supreme Court’s assertion on “personal liberty” during Goswami’s bail hearing in harsh perspective.
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Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

14/11/2020

Counterview / by Fr Sunil Macwan SJ

It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.
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Law and the Subversion of Justice in India

Law and the Subversion of Justice in India

Institute of Postcolonial Studies / by Yug Mohit Chaudhry

While purporting to investigate the Hindutva-fuelled riots of 1st January 2018 following the Elgaar Parishad commemoration of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon, an iconic event in Dalit historiography, the state has imprisoned some highly respected intellectuals, scholars and social activists…
Many of these sixteen are role models and heroes of our times: they have sacrificed themselves for the weak and the poor, deepened democracy, and given dignity and meaning to those surviving on the margins of existence ignored by successive governments. If at all they erred, it was in excess of love for those they served.
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2 years, 3 charge sheets & 16 arrests — Why Bhima Koregaon accused are still in jail

2 years, 3 charge sheets & 16 arrests — Why Bhima Koregaon accused are still in jail

The Print / by Apoorva Mandhani

Since 2018, stringent UAPA rules, SC’s Zahoor Watali order, NIA takeover and allegedly ‘inadmissible’ evidence has made sure that all accused remain in custody.
On 31 December 2017, a group of activists, political leaders and even retired judges came together at Shaniwar Wada in Pune.
Called the Elgar Parishad (Congress for Speaking Aloud), the organisers of this event included former Supreme Court judge, Justice P.B. Sawant, and former Bombay High Court judge, Justice B.G. Kolse-Patil. The event saw songs, street plays and speeches on various issues, including Dalit rights and criticism of the Narendra Modi government. 
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Arrests in Bhima Koregaon case frame a transformation in India’s polity and police force

Arrests in Bhima Koregaon case frame a transformation in India’s polity and police force


Watch music video: Wake Up Call

The Indian Express / by Christophe Jaffrelot

The current usage of the expression “urban Naxal” owes much to Bollywood film director Vivek Agnihotri, who defines an “urban Naxal as an intellectual, influencer or activist who is an invisible enemy of India”. The idea of such a conspiracy was propagated, however, by the Sangh Parivar.
In October, Stan Swamy, an 83-year old Jesuit priest, was sent to judicial custody in the Bhima Koregaon case. His is the latest arrest in a case that illustrates a significant transformation in India’s polity and the country’s police force.
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NIA is acting as another ‘caged parrot’ like CB

NIA is acting as another ‘caged parrot’ like CB

National Herald / by Arun Srivastava/IPA

The NIA, constituted by an Act of Parliament, is also being used by the Modi government to serve its political interest.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which in recent times has suffered a severe crisis of credibility and faith in the eyes of the people has suffered yet another shattering blow with the Maharashtra government withdrawing general consent for operations within its territory…
The NIA can take up a case dealing with its scheduled offences in India without the consent of the state government in question.
But unfortunately, the NIA is also being used by the Modi government to serve its political interest. The Bhima Koregaon case is worth mentioning.
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Call to Dalits, minorities to join protest / Webinar report: Stand With Stan

Call to Dalits, minorities to join protest / Webinar report: Stand With Stan

Call to Dalits, minorities to join protest

28/10/2020

The Telegraph / by Animesh Bisoee

Representatives of Christian and rights organisations hint at urgent need for the convergence against the current ‘fascist’ forces.
Christian organisations and human right groups have called for Dalits, tribal and minorities to join hands with other concerned citizens and protest attempts by the central government to silence voices of dissent by misusing the anti-terror law UAPA.
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Bhima Koregaon Case: A Critical Appraisal: Our Call – Free them All

27/10/2020

Countercurrents / by Dr Prakash Louis

Background to Bhima Koregaon Event
The 1818 Battle of Koregaon is of importance for Dalits. On 1st January, 1818, 800 troops of the British Army, with large number of Mahars, Dalit Community of Maharashtra predominant among them, defeated a numerically superior force of the Peshwa Baji Rao II …
On 1st January, 2018, like every year, lakhs of Dalits poured into Bhima Koregaon. The commemoration has a record of being conducted peacefully and the village’s residents have a history of social harmony. But this year, tensions had begun to build in a neighbouring village over the question of which community had conducted the last rites of Maratha ruler Sambhaji – the Mahars or the Marathas.
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Webinar report: Stand With Stan

27/10/2020

Countercurrents / by Indian Christians for Democracy

A webinar was organised with major initiative of Indian Christians for Democracy on 25th October, Sunday, 2020 from 11.00 to 1.00 pm …
The objectives of the webinar were 1) Keep pressure on for the release of all falsely accused and arrested; 2) False accusation, detention and arrest becomes a debating point and the government gives up this practice; 3) Nation-wide demand for the repeal of UAPA.
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