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The 16 activists arrested in relation to the Bhima Koregaon case are victims of witch-hunt

The 16 activists arrested in relation to the Bhima Koregaon case are victims of witch-hunt

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.
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May Be An Irregularity, Not An Illegality: Maharashtra Govt On Special NIA Court Not Taking Cognizance Of Case

May Be An Irregularity, Not An Illegality: Maharashtra Govt On Special NIA Court Not Taking Cognizance Of Case

May Be An Irregularity, Not An Illegality: Maharashtra Govt On Special NIA Court Not Taking Cognizance Of Case

23/07/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

The Maharashtra Government and the National Investigation Agency on Friday continued their arguments opposing Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad accused Sudha Bharadwaj’s default bail application.
The State submitted that in her entire petition Bharadwaj hasn’t averred at a single place that she was “denied justice” because a sessions court, and not a special court under the NIA Act, took cognisance of the chargesheet against her and and other accused on February 21, 2019.
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If Court is not empowered to take cognizance, does not mean proceedings can be set aside: NIA to Bombay High Court

23/07/2021

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

An affidavit stating the same was filed before the High Court in the petition filed by eight accused in the Bhima Koregaon case challenging the order refusing bail.
Merely because a court is not empowered by law to take cognizance and yet does so in good faith does not mean that the proceedings should be set aside on that ground alone, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) submitted before the Bombay High Court in the Bhima Koregaon case.
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Cognizance Of Chargesheet Vitiated As Pune Judge Wasn’t Special Judge Under NIA Act? / 8 Accused Seek Bail

Cognizance Of Chargesheet Vitiated As Pune Judge Wasn’t Special Judge Under NIA Act? / 8 Accused Seek Bail

By LawBeat (July 15):
BombayHighCourt bench led by Justice SS Shinde to hear Lawyer-Activist Sudha Bharadwaj, accused in the #BhimaKoregaon – #ElgaParishad case seeking default bail contending that the trial judge was not authorised to take cognisance of the 2019 charge sheet against her.


Produce papers showing Pune judge was competent to pass orders, HC tells Maharashtra

08/07/2021

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

In a petition seeking default bail, activist Sudha Bharadwaj said that Sessions Judge KD Vadane was an additional judge and not a designated special judge.
The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra government to produce documents to show that the judge who granted an extension to the Pune Police to file the chargesheet in the Bhima Koregaon violence case and took cognisance of it was authorised to do so, PTI reported.
… The court posted the matter for next hearing on July 15.
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Cognizance Of Bhima Koregaon Chargesheet Vitiated As Pune Judge Wasn’t Special Judge Under NIA Act? Bombay High Court To Examine

08/07/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

The Bombay High Court on Monday said that the Court’s records were consistent with lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj’s RTI replies, according to which Additional Sessions Judge (Pune) Kishore Vadane was not appointed as a Special Judge under the NIA Act in 2018/2019.
“Record is the same as you had annexed under RTI,” Justice SS Shinde heading the division bench said at the beginning of the hearing.
The court also asked the State if it had anything additional to show that the judge was assigned the case back then.
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Judge who extended chargesheet deadline not special judge under NIA Act, reveals Sudha Bharadwaj’s lawyer

06/07/2021

The Free Press Journal / by Staff Reporter

Trade unionist, human rights lawyer and activist Sudha Bharadwaj through her advocate Yug Chaudhry claimed that the special judge, who extended the time to file chargesheet into the Bhima Koregaon violence case, and also took cognisance of the chargesheet, was not a special judge under the National Investigation Agency Act.
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Sudha Bharadwaj’s Bail Plea: Bombay High Court To Verify If Pune Sessions Judge Was Competent To Take Cognizance Of Chargesheet

06/07/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

The Bombay High Court said it would verify with the Registry if Additional Sessions Judge Kishor Vadane was a Special Judge under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act in 2018/2019 and if he was authorised to take cognisance of the Pune police’s charge sheet against the accused in the Bhima Koregaon Elgar – Parishad Case.
A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar heard Bharadwaj’s plea seeking bail in default Under Sections 439, 482 and section 167(2)(a)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Code read with section 43 D(2)of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. She has challenged two orders of Judge KD Vadane.
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8 accused in Bhima Koregaon seek bail as judge who rejected bail was not authorised

06/07/2021

The Hindu / by Sonam Saigal

Eight accused in the Bhima Koregaon caste violence case moved the Bombay High Court on Tuesday seeking bail on the ground that the special judge at Pune who rejected their default bail was not authorised to do so. Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira filed the petition through advocate R. Sathyanarayanan.
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Also read: Bombay High Court Seeks Reply On Sudha Bharadwaj’s Plea For Default Bail In Bhima Koregaon Case (Live Law, June 2021)

Bhima Koregaon: Marking three years since the first arrest

Bhima Koregaon: Marking three years since the first arrest


Click to enlarge posters

The Leaflet / by Nihalsing B Rathod

Recalling the first set of arrests made in the questionable Bhima Koregaon violence case almost exactly three years ago, Nihalsing B Rathod, in this first of a three-part series, recollects the personal horrors of trying to track Surendra Gadling in the immediate aftermath of his arrest, details the events leading to the arrest of five more activists in August 2018, and explains how basic tenets of criminal law were violated by the Pune Police in making these arrests.

The morning of June 6, 2018, gave me a horrific memory that perhaps will never fade. Early in the morning, I received a phone call that police were at the house of Advocate Surendra Gadling again. The memory of the raid of April 17, 2018, was still fresh.
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Mahesh Raut, Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor test Covid positive at Taloja jail

Mahesh Raut, Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor test Covid positive at Taloja jail

Bhima Koregaon case: 3 accused test Covid positive at Taloja jail

03/06/2021

Sabrangindia / by Sabrangindia

Mahesh Raut, Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor have tested positive after an RT-PCR drive was conducted at Taloja.
After Father Stan Swamy tested positive for Covid-19 at Holy Family Hospital, an RT-PCR test drive was conducted at Taloja jail for all inmates. The Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case accused Mahesh Raut, Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor have tested positive.
According to Republican Panthers Jatiya Antachi Chalwal activist Harshali Potdar, who was also questioned by the NIA in the Bhima Koregaon matter, the three accused persons have been quarantined in a very congested room in the Central jail. Despite testing positive, neither medical treatment of any kind has started, nor they have been given a medical diet to follow.
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Co-inmates of Stan Swamy who attended to him test negative

03/06/2021

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

Stan Swamy, the 84-year old Jesuit priest arrested in the Elgaar Parishad case, requires assistance to complete his daily chores in jail.
Days after Father Stan Swamy tested positive for Covid-19, two of his co-inmates who were attending to him, tested negative at Taloja Central Jail in Navi Mumbai on Wednesday.
One of his co-accused, Arun Ferreira, and another inmate usually help him in jail.
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Should the BK16 be left to die? / Crowded Jails & COVID: BK16 Accused’s Kin Share Fears

Should the BK16 be left to die? / Crowded Jails & COVID: BK16 Accused’s Kin Share Fears

Should the Bhima Koregaon 16 be left to die?

17/05/2021

Rediff.com / by Jyoti Punwani

Consider this:
In 2019, Father Stan Swamy, accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, had to undergo an emergency appendicitis operation because he had insisted on working till the very last day. The doctor wondered how the then 82-year-old Jesuit priest had borne the pain so long.
In the seven months that he has spent in Taloja jail, not once has Father Stan complained, except to ask for a straw and a sipper because Parkinson’s disease doesn’t allow him to have a steady grip on his cup.
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Crowded Jails & COVID: 16 Bhima Koregaon Accused’s Kin Share Fears

17/05/2021

The Quint / by Mekhala Saran

“Please allow us to take care of them,” beseech their family and friends.
“It looks like once you are a prisoner, there is no value for your life,” said Dr Jenny Rowena, a Delhi University professor and wife of Dr Hany Babu, an undertrial prisoner, at a press conference, organised by friends and family of the 16 accused in the Bhima Koregaon case.
Dr Babu is currently COVID-positive and admitted in Mumbai’s JJ Hospital with an acute eye infection that has affected his vision. Spreading to his cheeks and forehead, the infection has caused his eyes to bulge out.
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Also read/watch video: Bhima Koregaon, COVID-19 and custodial apathy in jails / Video + Press Release (May 15)

Bhima Koregaon, COVID-19 and custodial apathy in jails / Video + Press Release

Bhima Koregaon, COVID-19 and custodial apathy in jails / Video + Press Release

Video: Press Conference demanding immediate release of BK16 prisoners

15/05/2021

By Insaf

en + hindi l 1h20min l 2021
Watch video here


Press Release: Covid-19 a virtual death sentence, new persecution tool against Bhima-Koregaon accused

15/05/2021

sabrang / by sabrangindia

Friends and families of undertrial prisoners narrate the worsening condition in Taloja and Byculla prisons, stressing a single fact – jail authorities must allow unconditional bail for all political prisoners!
Families and friends of the 15-accused in the Bhima Koregaon (hereafter called BK-15) case vehemently demanded the immediate release of undertrial prisoners from crowded jails, while talking about jail conditions during a press conference on May 15, 2021.
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Press Release: Bhima Koregaon, COVID-19 and custodial apathy in jails

15/05/2021

By Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy

Press Release
On May 15th, several family members of the 15 prisoners accused in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgaar Parishad case addressed the press via an online press conference. Some of the arrestees have spent three years behind bars and continue to await trial. Even as the COVID-19 pandemic rages with greater intensity, several among those incarcerated have contracted the virus. Most of the arrestees are over the age of 60 and most suffer severe comorbidities. Despite the rapidly deteriorating health of the incarcerated, particularly most recently in the case of Prof. Hany Babu basic medical attention has been denied to them. Demanding that those imprisoned be released on bail in light of the looming threat of the pandemic, Prof. Babu’s wife Jenny Rowena, Adv. Surendra Gadling’s wife Minal Gadling, Fr. Stan Swamy’s friend Fr. Joseph Xavier, Mahesh Raut’s sister Monali, activist Harshali Potdar of Republican Panthers Jatiya Antachi Chalwal and friend of Sudhir Dhawale, Adv. Sudha Bharadwaj’s friend Smita Gupta addressed the press.

Harshali told us of conditions within Taloja Jail from Sudhir Dhawale who informed her that majority of the staff including cleaners and cooks inside prison have tested positive for COVID-19. The hospital inside Taloja is currently treating 60-65 people for the virus. No testing facilities are available inside jail. Instead, the jail is testing people who are fit in order to show that there are no cases. Eight persons inside Sudhir Dhawale and Vernon Gonsalves’ barrack have tested positive. Yet the prison staff have refused to test them. Sudhir Dhawale despite being over the age of 45 has been denied the vaccine as he does not have an Aadhaar card. Despite the fact that his documents have been confiscated by the police, being denied the right to be vaccinated while in the custody of the state raises the question, “whose responsibility is it now?” The letters being sent by them are reaching the family with a delay of over a month and video calls are not available. Despite the Prison Act 1894 that ensures that prisoners are entitled to basic medical facilities. However, in Taloja, there are no doctors, nurses, lab technicians, etc. but only three ayurvedic practitioners. Right to proper food and water, right to intermingle with other prisoners, communication with family members and lawyers through letters and calls, speedy trials, etc. – all of these rights are being violated.

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Farmers’ groups attempt to ‘broaden’ struggle / Jailed activists join farmers protests [full statement]

Farmers’ groups attempt to ‘broaden’ struggle / Jailed activists join farmers protests [full statement]

Farmers’ groups along Delhi border attempt to ‘broaden’ struggle

11/01/2021

Counterview / by Harsh Thakor

A protracted war of resistance appears to be unfolding on the border of Delhi, whee protesting farmers have intensified their struggle against the three agricultural laws. A massive tractor march was planned as a precursor to a similar rally on the Republic Day. Farmers are being mobilized under the guidance of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) and other organisations in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
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Their full statement (click to enlarge)

Several Elgaar Parishad accused on day-long hunger strike in support of protesting farmers

23/12/2020

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

Three other accused in the case, Sudha Bharadwaj, Jyoti Jagtap and Shoma Sen, are lodged separately at Byculla women’s jail.
To show solidarity with protesting farmers, some of the arrested accused in the Elgaar Parishad case who are lodged at Taloja Central Jail observed a day-long symbolic hunger strike on Wednesday.
The accused, including Mahesh Raut, Anand Teltumbde, Surendra Gadling, Hany Babu, Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Rona Wilson, said in a statement issued through their lawyers that since they cannot join the farmers on the ground, they want to show solidarity with their cause through a hunger strike on December 23, which is observed as National Farmers’ Day.
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Jailed activists join farmers protests, symbolic hunger strike in solidarity

23/12/2020

Indie Journal / by Indie Journal

The activists have criticised the Central Government for bringing in the farm laws.
On farmers’ day, today, several intellectuals and activists detained in the Bhima Koregaon case will be undertaking a day-long symbolic hunger strike, in solidarity with the farmers protesting against the farm laws. The activists have criticised the Central Government for bringing in the farm laws, calling it a “sinister plot to make farmers slave of the corporate giants”.
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Also read: FARMERS’ UNION EXPLAINS WHY IT IS DEMANDING JAILED ACTIVISTS’ RELEASE (Dec 14)