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Press Conference & Public Meeting: “Conspiracy of Conspiracy Cases”

Press Conference & Public Meeting: “Conspiracy of Conspiracy Cases”

Poster by Campaign Against State Repression

Wives of Khalid Saifi, Hany Babu, GN Saibaba demand release of ‘political prisoners’


Maktoob / by Maktoob Staff

Life partners of jailed human rights defenders Khalid Saifi, Hany Babu and GN Saibaba who gathered in national capital Delhi on Thursday under the banner of Campaign Against State Repression, demanded the immediate release of all political prisoners incarcerated under the Bhima Koregaon and CAA-NRC cases.
This event titled “conspiracy of conspiracy cases” was held to discuss the recent developments in Bhima Koregaon and CAA-NRC case where top intelligence officers have disclosed that there was no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and Bhima Koregano violence, as well as multiple international forensic reports revealing that the evidence was planted on the BK accused.
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Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights


Countercurrents / by Our Representative

Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was “no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence.”
Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
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Also read
Press Release by Campaign Against State Repression, Dec 5, 2022

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CASR meeting: GN Saibaba, others called new generation freedom fighters, victims of state terror (Countercurrents / Oct 2022)

Four Years After Bhima Koregaon Riots, Where Is Justice?

Four Years After Bhima Koregaon Riots, Where Is Justice?

Four Years After Bhima Koregaon Riots, Where Is Justice?

02/01/2023 / by Varsha Tolgalkar

An inquiry commission was tasked to hear witnesses and publish a report on the Koregaon Bhima riots in 2018. They blame the pandemic for the delay in justice.
Anita Salve, 44, was with her children at a doctor’s clinic at Koregaon Bhima when the riots began on January 1, 2018. She witnessed a mob pelting stone, firing, and damaging vehicles, and properties. “People were carrying rods and swords. I got stuck in that scary situation,” she recollects. Two years ago, Salve appeared before the inquiry commission as a witness.
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4 Years of Bhima Koregaon Violence: Stories of Loss, Fear, and Grief


The Quint / by Himanshi Dahiya

Ground report: four years on, revisiting families who lost their homes in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence.
On 1 January 2018, 44-year-old Rama Athavale and her family received a call that saved their lives. Her son’s friend informed the family that a mob of around 200 people was headed towards their area, and the Athavales must hide.
The Dalit family spent the night inside a sewage pipe behind their house in Pune’s Sanaswadi village and watched their house, grocery store, and a fabrication workshop being torched by the mob.
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Also Read:
Top Investigating Officer Admits Elgar Parishad Event ‘Had No Role’ in Bhima Koregaon Violence (The Wire / Dec 27, 2022)
Case Against Hindutva Leaders Ignored, No Justice in Sight for Bhima Koregaon Violence Victims (The Wire / Sep 2020)
Saffron Conspiracy in Bhima Koregaon? – Fact finding report by Rashtra Seva Dal unearths insidious scheme to target Dalits (CJP / Jan 2018)

Huge turnout at 205th anniversary of battle of Koregaon Bhima

Huge turnout at 205th anniversary of battle of Koregaon Bhima

Bhima Koregaon victory remembered in Sakleshpur



The anniversary of Bhima Koregaon victory was celebrated in Sakleshpur on Sunday. 
Hundreds of people took part in the procession held in memory of the battle held in 1818, in which a few hundred Mahar soldiers of East India Company defeated the Peshwa army at Bhima Koregaon in Pune. A replica of Bhima Koregaon pillar was carried along the procession. A federation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes had organised the event.
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Huge turnout at 205th anniversary of battle of Koregaon Bhima


The Indian Express / by Chandan Haygunde, Sushant Kulkarni

As per a Dalit narrative, a British Army comprising 500 soldiers from the Mahar community defeated a 25,000-strong force of upper caste Peshwas in the battle of Koregaon Bhima.
The programme to mark the 205th anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon Bhima at the ‘Jaystambh’ in Perne village of Pune district passed off peacefully on Sunday. ‘Jaystambh’ is a ‘military monument’ erected by the British government in 1821 in memory of its soldiers, who fought against the Peshwas during the Maratha rule at Koregaon Bhima on January 1, 1818.
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Bhima-Koregaon battle anniversary passes peacefully amid heavy security with lakhs in attendance


The Hindu / by Shoumojit Banerjee

The 205th anniversary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle passed without incident as lakhs of Ambedkarites from across Maharashtra and the country congregated near the Ranstambh (victory pillar) in Perne village in Pune district on Sunday under heavy security cover.
Crowds have been steadily milling in Bhima-Koregaon since Saturday evening to pay floral tributes to the bravery of the Mahar soldiers who fought against the Peshwa forces in the 1818 battle.
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Battle of Koregaon Bhima anniversary: Thousands start paying respects at Jaystambh amidst heavy police deployment


The Indian Express / by Express News Service

The district administration said it is expecting a turnout of over five lakh people this year. The police identified dozens of social media posts which can potentially lead to law and order and situation and initiated a process to delete them.
Thousands of followers have started to arrive at the Jaystambh in Pune’s Perne village marking the 205th anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon Bhima Sunday amidst heavy police deployment. The police said they are keeping a close watch on the social media posts related to the subject.
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by Siddhesh Gautam / @siddheshgautam (Jan 1, 2023):

Happy New Year/ Happy Bhima Koregaon Day, 2023
#JaiBhim #BhimaKoregaon #bakeryprasad

by Shiv Kumar / @ShivKumar_mas (Jan 1, 2023):

by AISA – DU / @aisa_du (Jan 1, 2023):

Remember the battle of Bhima Koregaon! Fight for the freedom of all those incarcerated in false cases! (1)
On January 1 every year, Dalits and Bahujans gather at Bhima Koregaon near Pune to commemorate the anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon (2)
near Pune to commemorate the anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon Battle of 1818 in which the British Bombay Native Infantry, comprising mostly Mahar Dalit soldiers, defeated the Peshwa army. This date is revered by the Dalits as a victory against the Brahminical Peshwas. (3)
But in 2018, those gatherings for the function were attacked violently by men carrying saffron flags, and one man was killed and several injured as a result. (4)
At Vadhu Budruk close to Bhima Koregaon, stones were pelted at Dalits and organised ‘social boycott’ against Dalits en route to the function. (5)
Though a large gathering of Dalit-Bahujans was fully expected at Bhima Koregaon, the police presence to protect the gathering was negligible. (6)
Milind Ekbote of Samast Hindu Aghadi and Sambhaji Bhide of Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan led the attacks; Ekbote is a former corporator from the BJP andBhide also is close to top BJP and Shiv Sena leaders. (7)
Since then, the BJP government has used the violence inflicted by the RSS lackeys as a scapegoat for an all out attacks on the people and the Constitution. (8)
Several activists and intellectuals have been arrested on fabricated charges under the draconian UAPA. (9)
Teachers and intellectuals like Hany Babu, Anand Teltumbde, Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson, Gautam Navlakha among others languish in jail while Milind Ekbote and the saffron goons roam free! (10)
We remember Stan Swamy! We remember your crimes in Bhima Kroegaon! Long live the battle of Dalits against caste system! Free all political prisoners!

Also Read:
Karni Sena demands demolition of Bhima Koregaon memorial, ban on annual celebration ( / Dec 30, 2022)
Let’s Remember the Lesson of Bhima Koregaon: Down with the New Peshwai (Sanhati│ by Sudhir Dhawale │ March 2018)
The Myth of Bhima Koregaon Reinforces the Identities It Seeks to Transcend (The Wire | Anand Teltumbde | Jan 2018)
Why peoples’ coalitions are uniting against Hindutva — the ‘new Peshwai’ ( │ by Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves │ Jan 30, 2018)

Long forgotten: India’s pretrial and undertrial prisoners 

Long forgotten: India’s pretrial and undertrial prisoners 

Drawing by Arun Ferreira

Frontline / by Ashutosh Sharma

The country’s jails teem with poor and marginalised people detained without justification.
Since there was no one to furnish a Rs.30,000 surety bond, Jai Parkash, 47, spent over 22 years in judicial custody without a trial. On November 21, Parkash, a stout man with swollen hands and a puffy face, was finally released on bail as part of the remissions granted under “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”.
… Quoting the Prison Statistics India report, Raghavan said: “Nearly 85 to 90 per cent of prisoners are SCs, STs, OBCs and Muslims. There is no data available on their socio-economic background, but our work with prison populations in Maharashtra shows that more than 60 per cent have a monthly family income less than Rs. 10,000.
Read more

Also read/watch:
The Burgeoning Share of Undertrial Prisoners in India’s Jails (The Wire / Oct 2022)
Punished without trial: How India’s political prisoners are being denied basic rights in jail ( / Aug 2022)
4,484 People Died in Police Custody Since 2020: Govt Data (The Swaddle / Jul 2022)

● Video: The Conditions of Prisoners in Indian Jails

By All India Lawyers’ Association for Justice – AILAJ / March 2022

en | 1:21:23 | 2022
The huge number of undertrials, the overcrowding, and the disproportional numbers of Dalit, Muslim and Adivasi prisoners are part of the prison problem in India.
We are joined by Adv. Sudha Bharadwaj for a discussion on the Conditions of Prisoners in Indian Jails.
Watch video

● Video: The Prison Song of Surendra Gadling

By The Wire

hindi | 11min | 2021
In August, when human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling was released on interim bail for a week, he made a quick visit to the Nagpur sessions court to meet his colleagues and friends. 51- year-old Gadling, a well-known criminal lawyer in Nagpur, was once a cultural activist, who sang songs of political resistance. The 11- minutes-long rendition tells you what it means to be incarcerated in Indian prisons. From food, water, to medical care, everything is a struggle, Gadling narrates.
Watch video

Thousands gather at Chaityabhumi to pay homage to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

Thousands gather at Chaityabhumi to pay homage to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

Dalit women must fight for rights: Ambedkar’s granddaughter


Deccan Herald / by DHNS

Referring to the Bhima Koregaon case, she said Dalits are steadily adopting a “silent stance,” despite being attacked regularly across the country
B R Ambedkar’s granddaughter Ramabai Anand Teltumbde on Tuesday appealed to women to ‘unite and fight’ for scholarships and employment opportunities, indirectly hitting out at the Modi administration.
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Thousands gather at Chaityabhumi to pay homage to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar


The Hindu / by Sonam Saigal

People of all ages, young and old, calling themselves ‘Ambedkar,’ gathered at Chaityabhumi, the cremation ground of the Father of the Indian Constitution.
Thousands of men, women and children from across Maharashtra came to Mumbai on Tuesday to pay homage to Dr. B.R. Ambedkar on his 66th death anniversary.
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What does bail for Teltumbde after 2.5 years say about the judiciary and democracy in India?

What does bail for Teltumbde after 2.5 years say about the judiciary and democracy in India? / by Ashraf Engineer

Hello and welcome to All Indians Matter. I am Ashraf Engineer.
Anand Teltumbde, one of the 16 accused in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case, finally walked out of prison on November 26 after his bail was upheld by the Supreme Court. Many experts opined that him having to wait two and a half years for bail was an abject failure of the judiciary. Speaking after his release, the scholar-activist said: “I am obviously happy to be released after 31 months for which I have been in prison. The sad part, however, is that we had to spend time in jail for years after being booked in a fake case…” The 73-year-old anti-caste writer had been in prison since 2020 under the Draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, or UAPA.

Podcast / Episode transcript
en | 12:43min | 2022
Listen to podcast / Read transcript

Bhima Koregaon – Before the Law

Bhima Koregaon – Before the Law

Monthly Review / by Saroj Giri

In “Before the Law,” Franz Kafka portrays a countryman who can only be forever “before the law,” but never entering. “It is possible” to gain entry, says the doorkeeper, “but not at the moment.” The man gets old and is about to die—and only now does he understand that the gate was meant for him! “No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it.“
… Bhima Koregaon is, in terms of its empirics, so loaded with historical memory and the legacy of caste oppression that the so-called progressive left would rather take cover in the past-erasing, rarefied realms of the futuristic non-world of the constitution and the rights and innate liberties it supposedly guarantees to all citizens. Before the law, any day!
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Also read/watch:
The Bhima Koregaon Arrests and the Resistance in India (Monthly Review / April 2022)
Let’s Remember the Lesson of Bhima Koregaon: Down with the New Peshwai (Sanhati, by Sudhir Dhawale │ March 2018)

● Documentary: The battle of Bhima Koregaon – an unending journey

multiple Indian languages / en subtitles │ 50 min │ 2017

By pedestrian pictures

Direction and Camera – Somnath Waghmare
Editor – Deepu (Pradeep K P)

About the film
History speaks about great wars fought, brave warriors and clever kings and emperors. What history doesn’t do is justice to the wars, warriors and leaders of the oppressed. This documentary is about the 500 Mahar soldiers who offered to fight alongside their countrymen, against the colonisers. Rejected by the ruling class they joined forces with the colonisers and fought in the ‘Bhima Koregaon Battle’, defeating the Brahminical rule of the Peshwas. Just as history did, so do the media and ruling class today conveniently forget to acknowledge them. On​ the 1st of​ January, every year, 20 lakh (2 million) people gather at Bhima-Koregaon, Pune, Maharashtra to commemorate that battle. No national or local media covers the largest annual gathering in the region. The documentary captures the history of Bhima Koregaon and its relevance to contemporary Dalit issues and politics in the country. It tells the history of the​ ​Bahujans through the coverage of the events of this gathering.
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Kabir Kala Manch incited hatred, passion at Elgar Parishad: Bombay High Court [read order]

Kabir Kala Manch incited hatred, passion at Elgar Parishad: Bombay High Court [read order]

Kabir Kala Manch Incited Hatred By Ridiculing Phrases Acche Din, Demonetization In Plays: Bombay HC [read order]


Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

Text ridiculing phrases like ‘Ram Mandir’ and ‘Acche Din’ aimed at the democratically elected government in Kabir Kala Manch’s plays at the Elgar Parishad event in 2017 incited hatred & passion and indicate a larger conspiracy, the Bombay High Court has held.
In its detailed order refusing bail to accused Jyoti Jagtap under UAPA, the HC also took exception to the mention of ‘gomutra,’ ‘calling the PM an ‘infant,’ ‘sanatan dharma,’ ‘atrocities of peshwas towards dalits’ and ‘atrocities of dalits in today’s India’ etc.
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Kabir Kala Manch incited hatred, passion at Elgar Parishad: Bombay High Court


India Today / by Vidya

Jyoti Jagtap was an active member of the KKM which, during its stage play at the Elgar Parishad conclave on December 31, 2017, gave not only “aggressive but highly provocative slogans”, the court said.
The Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) admittedly performed and incited hatred by performing on an agenda in the Elgar Parishad event, the judgment passed by the division bench of Justices AS Gadkari and MN Jadhav of the Bombay High Court observed while rejecting the bail plea of one of the accused, Jyoti Jagtap.
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Also read:
Kabir Kala Manch: A History of Revolutionary Singing and State Repression (ritimo / April 2022)

And a place Sudhir Dhawale calls home

And a place Sudhir Dhawale calls home

Sudhir Dhawale / by Ajaz Ashraf

It is more a face than a place this Bhima Koregaon accused can refer to as home; one who stayed against all odds and continues to share his goal—to unite progressive forces to socially transform India.
Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in,” wrote poet Robert Frost. His profound observation defines the relationship between Sharad Gaikwad and Sudhir Dhawale. They are not related; they did not know each other until 2004, when the politics of protest brought them together. Yet when Sudhir had nowhere to go, it was Sharad who rented a room for his friend to reside in. 
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Also read:
And prayers to Lord for Arun Ferreira ( / Aug 2022)
And Vernon’s letters to his son ( / July 2022)
And comrades admire Jyoti Jagtap ( / July 2022)
And the letters of Rona Wilson ( / June 2022)
And Allah’s call to Hany Babu ( / June 2022)
And Ma can’t sing with Sagar ( / June 2022)
And he waits for Shoma Sen ( / May 2022)
And she waits for Gautam Navlakha ( / May 2022)

The Importance of Anand Teltumbde’s Thoughts in a Republic of Caste

The Importance of Anand Teltumbde’s Thoughts in a Republic of Caste

The Wire / by M.S. Sriram

Anyone engaging seriously with Teltumbde’s work will know his beliefs are antithetical to the crimes he is being accused of.
As an email circulates to support a campaign to name Professor Anand Teltumbde in the list of world’s top thinkers to be listed in Prospect magazine, it is time to take note of his important work: Republic of Caste (2018) and put it in perspective. This is more important in the context of the campaign to have a “har ghar tiranga” for the Amrit Mahotsav of Azaadi. If the 75th year of this nation’s freedom cannot be celebrated with a free man and a free mind, the flying of the flag is but symbolic.
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