The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha
While out on temporary bail in August, the rights activist sang a song written by Kabir Kala Manch’s Ramesh Gaichor for his friends and colleagues about the sordid conditions in prison.
Mumbai: Surendra Gadling, a human rights lawyer from Nagpur, has always considered courtrooms his stage. Between serious arguments, he would casually break into songs of cultural and political resistance. He would be commonly found invoking political theories and remembering shahirs from the Dalit community amid serious legal arguments. His court appearances usually attracted an eager audience from among his peers and junior lawyers.
Video: The Prison Song of Surendra Gadling
hindi | 11min | 2021
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. The song was recorded by one of Gadling’s colleagues and was made available to The Wire after obtaining his consent.
Also read: India’s Jail Stats: 7 In 10 Undertrials, 1 In 3 Dalit/Adivasi (IndiaSpend / Oct 2021)
Maharashtra: Activists, Lawyers Added to ‘Union War Book’, Listed as ‘Enemies of the State’
The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha
While the exercise is carried out on the Union home ministry’s directive, the discretion of adding names and profiling people is entirely that of the state.
Even as several human rights activists and lawyers in Maharashtra face harassment, arrests and police cases, the state police has made things worse by adding them to the list of “enemies” as mentioned under the Union home ministry’s “Union War Book”.
In a detailed district-wise operation, the state’s home department along with the intelligence department has identified many human rights activists, lawyers, and academics and has begun the work of profiling them, almost like criminals, adding them to the ‘Union War Book’.
City lawyer representing Bhima Koregaon case accused allege breach of privacy, writes top Maha officials
Nagpur Today / by Nagpur Today
A Nagpur-based lawyer Nihalsing B Rathod has sent a legal notice to high-ranking police officials of the state government and the Additional Chief Secretary alleging his profiling, surveillance and breach of privacy at the hands of the state police.
Rathod is representing some of the accused in the Bhima Koregaon case and was allegedly subject to surveillance last year by Pegasus spyware. He was informed by Whatsapp that his phone had been bugged using Pegasus.
Maharashtra is adding activists to a secret list of the enemies of state
Newslaundry / by Prateek Goyal
A lawyer, a college professor and the wife of an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case haven been added to the Union War Book suspect list.
On July 7, at around 11 am, Nihal Singh Rathod, a human rights lawyer, received a call from a constable at the Pratap Nagar police station in Nagpur, Maharashtra. She had been directed by the police’s Special Branch to collect information about Rathod, the constable told him. No problem, Rathod said.
Frontline / by Anupama Katakam
The arrests and incarceration of 16 activists, known as the BK-16, on specious charges relating to the Bhima Koregaon violence case is part of the Central government’s systematic and methodical targeting of people who dissent and fight against oppression and for the causes of sections of society that a majoritarian government has no space for …
A look at the profile of each victim clearly indicates why the current regime feels threatened by their work.
The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha
The telephone numbers of more than 60 women – homemakers, lawyers and school teachers, journalists, scientists, civil servants and even friends of politicians – figure in the leaked database of probable surveillance targets selected by an Indian agency that uses Pegasus spyware, a count by The Wire has established.
The names of some of these women have already been published in earlier stories; the identities of others have been withheld at their request.
Also read: Leaked Data Shows Surveillance Net in Elgar Parishad Case May Have Crossed a Line (The Wire, July 18, 2021)
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.
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.
New online platform maps Pegasus spread
The Hindu / by Special Correspondent
It was launched by the Forensic Architecture, the Amnesty International and the Citizen Lab to document attacks against human rights defenders.
An online database about the use of the spyware Pegasus was recently launched by the Forensic Architecture, the Amnesty International and the Citizen Lab to document attacks against human rights defenders.
New investigation shows global human rights harm of NSO Group’s spyware
Amnesty International / by Amnesty International
A new interactive online platform by Forensic Architecture, supported by Amnesty International and the Citizen Lab, maps for the first time the global spread of the notorious spyware Pegasus, made by cyber-surveillance company NSO Group.
‘Digital Violence: How the NSO Group Enables State Terror’ documents digital attacks against human rights defenders around the world, and shows the connections between the ‘digital violence’ of Pegasus spyware and the real-world harms lawyers, activists, and other civil society figures face.
Feminist Dissent / by Nayantara Sahgal
From a speech given on January 24, 2021
Keeping quiet is not an option. We must speak, write, paint, sing, dance for the freedom to dissent, and for our human rights.
Let me take a moment to explain why I am especially glad and proud to be releasing this book about Sudha Bharadwaj. I grew up to the sights and sounds of revolution. My family fought for freedom under Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership and my father died of his 4th imprisonment during British rule. The only mantra I learned was ‘Ishvar Allah tere nam, sabko sammati de Bhagvan’ (one of Gandhi’s favourite devotional hymns about the oneness of god). And the slogan of that long hard struggle for freedom was Inquilab Zindabad (long live the revolution).
Also read: Sudha Bharadwaj Speaks – A Life in Law and Activism (PUCL, Jan 2021)
Access PDF copy of the book here
Bombay HC Faults Lawyer’s Article Critical of Judiciary in Stan Swamy’s Bail Case
The Wire / by The Wire Staff
The article by one of the lawyers appearing for Hany Babu, another accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case, severely criticised the Bombay high court for refusing to grant bail to Stan Swamy.
The Bombay high court on Thursday, June 3, took exception to a lawyer writing an opinion piece in a newspaper criticising the handling of the bail plea of Father Stan Swamy by the court, and instead asked lawyers to repose faith in the judiciary.
A bench headed by Justice S.S. Shinde, while hearing Hany Babu’s interim medical bail plea in relation to the Bhima-Koregaon case, instructed lawyers not to write opinion pieces in cases in which they appear. Both Hany Babu and Stan Swamy are undertrials in the case.
‘Keep Faith In Us’: Bombay High Court Takes Objection To Lawyer’s Article Criticizing Handling Of Stan Swamy Bail Case
Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim
The Bombay High Court, while hearing a plea for interim medical bail for DU Associate Professor Hany Babu, took an exception to a recent editorial written by a lawyer criticizing the Court’s handling of the bail plea of octegenarian Father Stan Swamy. Both Hany Babu and Stan Swamy are undertrials in the Bhima Koregaon case.
The court witnessed dramatic scenes on Thursday after Justice SS Shinde, heading the division bench exchanged words with Advocate Yug Mohit Chaudhry regarding the editorial written by his junior.
The Hans India / by Hans News Service
Bengaluru: All India Lawyers’ Association For Justice (AILAJ) on Saturday issued a statement demanding the release all the jailed activists, advocates and political prisoners.
article14 / by Mani Chander
Police and investigative agencies currently claim unfettered access to your WhatsApp, private emails or chats with your doctor, lawyer or psychologist. Can they force you to unlock your phone and disclose passwords? In the absence of clear laws, they do what they wish.
Seize All You Can? The Bhima-Koregaon Case
Recent cases indicate that investigating agencies often search and seize records without demonstrating probable cause, necessity or proportionality.