The Leaflet / by Mihir Desai
The running motif of the recent Supreme Court judgment on the UAPA (and POTA and TADA) is that under the guise of sovereignty and integrity of the nation, the Parliament can do anything and pass any law. The judgment is likely to lead to more arrests and denial of bail, and further stigmatise dissidents and their work. It virtually sanctions a police State.
Additionally, the First Schedule to the UAPA, which lists banned terrorist organisations, mentions in many entries that their ‘frontal organisations’ are also banned. These frontal organisations are not notified anywhere and suddenly make their first appearance only in chargesheets. For instance, in the Bhima Koregaon cases, the chargesheets filed by national investigation agencies implicate persons on the basis of their membership of frontal organisations such as the Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights and the Indian Association of Peoples Lawyers, among others. These organisations were never notified as unlawful or banned. But by the present judgment, mere membership of these organisations will render all members liable to prosecution and punishment.
● UAPA – CRIMINALISING DISSENT AND STATE TERROR – Study of UAPA Abuse in India, 2009-2022 (PUCL / Sep 2022)
● NIA Opposes Stan Swamy’s Bail; Calls PUCL, Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan ‘Maoist Fronts’ (The Wire / Jan 2021)
● 2 years, 3 charge sheets & 16 arrests — Why Bhima Koregaon accused are still in jail (The Print / Oct 2020)
The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha
While Sudha Bharadwaj secured a ‘default bail’, Varavara Rao is out on medical bail. The order in Teltumbde’s case is significant, because for the first time in the case, a court has dealt with the merits of the allegations levelled.
Observing that there is “no proof or any material” to show that 73-year-old civil liberties activist and academic Anand Teltumbde had made international visits sponsored by the banned CPI (Maoist) organisation, the Bombay high court on Friday, November 18, granted him bail.
By Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy
Statement by Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy – a campaign of 40+ civil society groups
MRSD is distressed to learn about the health situation of 65 year old activist, poet, and writer Vernon Gonsalves, incarcerated since 2018 in the Bhima Koregaon/Elgar Parishad case. Gonsalves started developing several symptoms, such as fever, cough, dizziness, and nausea starting on August 30, as per the affidavit filed by his lawyers in Court. However, his health condition was met with neglect and it was only after pleading several times that he was finally taken to the state-run JJ hospital on September 6. Instead of continuing his treatment there, he was taken back to jail the same day. Upon hearing about this from other co-accused, Gonsalves’ lawyers and family members moved the NIA court seeking temporary bail on medical conditions. During the hearing, the lawyers told the Court that apart from Dengue, he may also be suffering from Pneumonia. …
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Counterview / by Nilkantha Mandal, Sandeep Pandey, Kushagra Kumar
Surendra Gadling, now in jail in the Bhima-Koregoan violence case, is a human rights lawyer and Dalit rights activist based in Nagpur. He is known for taking up cases of extra-judicial killings, police excesses and atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis in Gadchiroli and Gondia districts of Maharashtra.
The cost of voicing dissent: UAPA against G.N. Saibaba, Gautam Navlakha, Father Stan Swamy and others
Countercurrents / by Kunal Pant
In 2016, a Supreme Court Judge asked the state of Maharashtra, “Do you want to extract a pound of flesh?” The statement was directed against the state for contesting the bail plea of Delhi University Professor G. N. Saibaba. Saibaba was arrested in 2014, a justification for which was to prevent him from committing what the police called “anti-national activities.”
Campaign poster, June 2020
Stories Asia / by Tarini Mehta
Koel Sen, the daughter of Prof. Shoma Sen, accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, tells their story.
As a kid, I was always around her. She would take me along for much of the women’s rights work she did in the bastis (slums) of Nagpur (city). I would come back from school and she’d be back from work, so after lunch, we would set off for her social work. She was very dedicated to her work in extremely poor and marginalised communities. I’m really close to her and I’ve seen her work up close. She’s naturally a very sharing and giving human being.”
Hindustan Times / by Charul Shah
Prior to the Supreme Court (SC) directing academician and activist Dr Anand Teltumbde to approach the Bombay high court (HC) for anticipatory bail in January 2018, he allegedly had asked his colleagues to run a campaign against his implication in the case. The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is investigating Teltumbde for his role in the Bhima Koregaon case mentioned Teltumbde’s plans in the charge sheet filed against him earlier this week.
By India Civil Watch
Signatories include eminent public figures such as Noam Chomsky, Gayatri Spivak, Sukhadeo Thorat, Cornel West, Angela Davis, Kshama Sawant, Ramachandra Guha, Prakash Ambedkar and Arundhati Roy.
Sign statement here
Statement for Dr. Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha:
We, the undersigned (organizations and individuals) protest the impending arrest of Professor Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha and strongly condemn the attempt to malign their status as two of India’s foremost civil rights activists and public intellectuals today. …
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Newsclick / by Newsclick
In a statement, the family expressed their solidarity with Dr. Anand Teltumbde, saying he was being hounded through the Elgar Parishad case.
The family of Babasaheb Ambedkar has issued a statement expressing concern regarding the “hounding” of Dr. Anand Teltumbde, saying that they are “extremely concerned for his life, and the suffering of his family if he is arrested and incarcerated like others.”
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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