Press Release: Covid-19 a virtual death sentence, new persecution tool against Bhima-Koregaon accused
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. Read more
Press Release: Bhima Koregaon, COVID-19 and custodial apathy in jails
By Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy
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.
Farmers’ groups along Delhi border attempt to ‘broaden’ struggle
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. Read more
Their full statement (click to enlarge)
Several Elgaar Parishad accused on day-long hunger strike in support of protesting farmers
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. Read more
Jailed activists join farmers protests, symbolic hunger strike in solidarity
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”. Read more
Lawyers who defended activists in the Bhima Koregaon case risked being branded anti-national, but they believed that they were innocent and it was necessary to uphold the rule of law and constitutional values, says Nihalsing B Rathod. Read more
For those dividing Indians to rule them, adivasis are clearly not farmers / Video: Protesting farmers
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) decided to mark December 10, International Human Rights Day, by remembering several prominent activists arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), especially those arrested in the name of Bhima Koregaon, and the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act…
Mahesh Raut, one of the youngest of those arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case, is a graduate of TISS and was a PM Rural Development Fellow in Gadchiroli. Read more
Video: Protesting Farmers Demand Release of Arrested Intellectuals and Activists
hindi | 11:30min | 2020
The Wire / by Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta
Why do farmers wish to broaden the scope of their protest?
Farmers protesting at the border on International Human Rights Day demanded the release of all activists who have been arrested. The Wire‘s Political Affairs Editor Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta spoke to the farmers to find out why they wished to broaden the scope of their protest. Watch video
Sign Petition: Land Rights Activist Mahesh Raut Needs to be Free
On 6th June 2018, Mahesh Raut, a land and adivasi rights activist, was arrested in relation to the Elgar Parishad case through the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The police charged Mahesh just as he was filing a petition to protect citizens whose lands are mined against their will. Members of Socialist Party (India) recently released a petition seeking signatories in support of Mahesh in the name of freedom of speech. Read more
A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now. Read more
One of the Accused in the Bhima Koregaon case: A profile of Mahesh Raut
The Polis Project / by The Polis Project and maara
Mahesh Raut is a land rights activist working with Gram Sabhas in the mining areas of Gadhchiroli. He is a former Prime Minister Rural Development (PMRD) Fellow. As part of his work, he visited local villages and interacted with local communities. In addition to being one of the conveners of Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vilas Andolan, a national organization that fights the displacement of marginalized communities, Raut is also a member of Bharat Jan Andolan, a human rights NGO. Read more
Stan Swamy’s Crime Is His Solidarity with the Marginalised
In light of the state’s attack on eminent activists who fight for the right of marginalised and oppressed, those who express solidarity must raise their voices loudly and actively writes Annie Domini.
If you look at the body politic of the country without saffron-tinted glasses, if you truly see, you will find a very very sick organism indeed. An organism that’s cannibalising on its own heart, brain and lungs to feed a massive belly of unrestrained State power. Read more
Why is Right to Health denied to political dissidents?
The callousness with which these political dissidents are being treated goes against the Supreme Court’s directive, given right at the beginning of the lockdown.
The last few days have shown that the Right to Health, defined by the Supreme Court in more than one judgment as an integral part of the Right to Life, is being denied to the jailed intellectuals awaiting trial in the Bhima Koregaon case. Read more
Video: Revisiting the Bhima Koregaon Conspiracy Case