Parliament panel to hold meeting on data security and privacy on July 28
Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology will question officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on July 28 in connection with reports about the illegal surveillance using Pegasus spyware, ANI reported.
… In November 2019, BJP MPs opposed when the standing committee wanted to discuss the matter, according to The Hindu. In a later meeting, the panel met 17 individuals representing a platform called the “Pegasus Targeted Persons”. They included human rights activist Bela Bhatia, Dalit activist and Bhima Koregaon case accused Anand Teltumbde, Jagdalpur Legal Aid group member Shalini Gera, Chattisgarh-based civil rights activist Alok Shukla and human rights activist Jagdish Meshram. Read more
Report on Pegasus ‘by the disrupters for the obstructers’, says Home Minister Amit Shah
Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday dismissed an investigation pointing to the use of the Pegasus hacking software to spy on journalists, activists and Opposition leaders in India, calling it “a report by the disrupters for the obstructers”.
… On Sunday, The Wire revealed the names of dozens of journalists and activists on the list, including its own founder-editors Siddharth Vardarajan and MK Venu, The Hindu’s Vijaita Singh, the Hindustan Times’ Shishir Gupta, as well as scholars and activists on the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners and relatives, lawyers and friends of those arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case and the accused themselves. Read more
Telangana govt bans Revolutionary Writers Association, 15 other orgs
The Telangana government on Friday banned 16 organisations, including the Revolutionary Writers Association, known as Virasam, claiming that these are frontal bodies of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), and are engaged in “tactics” that “wage war against the state”. The order was passed by chief secretary Somesh Kumar, with effect from March 30 this year.
… The Government Order also clearly states that the organisations are also being banned for demanding the release of Prof. GN Sai Baba, Rona Wilson, and writer Vara Vara Rao (who is from Virasam), who are all currently in prison with regard to the Elgar Parishad case, on allegations of conspiring to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Read more
Andhra govt, Centre ‘collude’ to repeat Bhima Koregaon type case against rights activists
Counterview / by Counterview Desk
In a comprehensive statement, running into about 3,500 words, India’s premier human rights organisation, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), even as condemning the recent “unprecedented attack” on rights activists by the Andhra Pradesh government, with the Centre’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) and stood in “solidarity”, has said that the main aim of the “witch hunt” is to silence dissent.
Signed by Ravi Kiran Jain and Dr V Suresh, respectively President and General Secretary of PUCL, the statement, drawing a parallel with the Bhima Koregaon case, said, this time too the NIA cover was used to level the allegation that the activists were all supporters and “front organisations” of Maoists. Read more
NIA Raids 33 Activists in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
The Leaflet / by The Leaflet
On 31st March & 1st April 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided the homes of at least 33 human rights and civil liberties activists, members of women’s groups, Dalit organizations, labor unions, and social and cultural movements in 31 locations spread across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The NIA alleged that the activists were all supporters and “front organizations” of Maoists. These raids resemble the ones carried out in the Bhima Koregoan case….
In the past few years, the NIA has frequently stepped in to take control of UAPA cases in states which are not governed by the BJP. Read more
The large scale destruction of lives and livelihoods in 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in India and its inept handling by the government has been accompanied by another sort of destruction, much more deliberate and calculated. It is the destruction of the democratic rights organizations (DROs) of India, as part of a vicious plan of the BJP government to irreparably shrink the democratic space for a future that we can only tremble to think about. Read more
Gadling in jail. Reason? As lawyer-activist he has been ‘unpleasant’ to India’s topcops
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. Read more
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.” Read more
When contesting repressive laws makes you a dangerous citizen: a profile of Rona Wilson
The Polis Project / by The Polis Project and maraa
Rona Wilson, a forty-seven-year-old activist from Kollam district in Kerala, has made Delhi his second home since the late 1990s. Having come to the capital during his post-graduation, Wilson almost immediately took to activism.
Rona Wilson is a member of the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP), which has campaigned against the UAPA and other repressive laws. Read more
Incarcerated, ‘erudite’ scholar Rona Wilson worked for release of political prisoners
Rona Wilson is a prison rights activist who has been in jail since April 2018 and denied bail several times. The Pune Police raided his home in Delhi on April 17, 2018, and arrested him subsequently for his alleged role in the Bhima Koregaon violence in January that year. A few months later, the agencies also accused him of being part of a larger naxal plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a Rajeev Gandhi style and overthrow the current government. Read more
BK12 Solidarity in Kolkata + New York / Fast by Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sangham in Kerela
1000 cultural activists would fast under the banner of the Thrissur District Committee of the Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sangham (Pu.Ka.Sa. – Progressive Association of Art and Literature) on Thursday, 6th of August, demanding that the life of revolutionary poet Varavara Rao be saved, and that he be released from jail immediately. Read more
KOLKATA: LET THE RAIN BE THERE! WE WILL SHIELD THE FIRE!
SO, by the drizzling afternoon
On Central Kolkata road, WE uttered out loud …
“Varavara’s Comrade! Let’s build Barricade!”
“Soma’s Comrade! Build up Barricade!
“Sudha’s Comrade! Let’s build Barricade!”
“Rona’s Comrade! Build up Barricade!”
“Hanybabu’s Comrade! Let’s build Barricade!”
“GN’s Comrade! Build up Barricade!”
“Join Us Comrade! Let’s build Barricade!”
PUCL • CRPP • AIPF • FOD • PYL • BHIM ARMY • IFTU • AISA • NO NRC MOVEMENT • SANGHATI UDYOG • RSF •
BANDI MUKTI COMMITTEE • SARA BANGLA GANAPRATIRODH MANCHA •
RELEASE THE POET
Bombay HC Reserves Judgement In Bail Pleas Of Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj And Vernon Gonsalves
The Bombay High Court on Monday reserved judgement after conclusion of arguments in bail applications filed by activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in Pune police’s case against the said accused that they were involved in inciting caste-based violence at Koregaon Bhima in Pune on January 1, 2018. Read more
Vernon Gonsalves Member Of IAPL And CRPP, Both Frontal Organisations Of CPI(Maoist): Prosecution
The prosecution began its arguments on Tuesday in the bail hearings of Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Arun Ferreira, all accused of being a part of the Naxalite movement and for inciting the violence which took place at Koregaon Bhima in Pune.
Justice Sarang Kotwal has been hearing the detailed submissions of all the bail applicants almost on a daily basis. Read more