Elgar Parishad case a conspiracy to undermine Varavara Rao’s right to life, says rights group
Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff
The Peoples Union of Democratic Rights (PUDR) pointed out that Rao has still not been granted bail, but was only allowed the right to proper medical care.
The Peoples Union of Democratic Rights on Thursday demanded the immediate release of Telugu poet and activist Varavara Rao, who was arrested two years ago in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case. The group said the Centre’s ongoing inquiry into the Elgar Parishad conclave of 2017 was a conspiracy that has sought to undermine the 80-year-old’s right to life and was “taking away his human right to dignity”. Read more
Why did Varavara Rao Petition Courts for Access to Basic Healthcare in Prison?
The Leaflet / by Megha Katheria
While state apathy and inefficiency may cost Varavara Rao his life, his shifting to Nanavati Hospital does little to assure that no other prisoner will meet the same fate in the future.
THE Bombay High Court has ordered the Maharashtra Government to shift the 81-year-old poet and activist Varavara Rao to Nanavati Hospital for treatment. The state has also been warned against shifting him out of Nanavati without informing the court. This comes at the end of a long legal battle fought by P Hemalatha, Rao’s wife, spanning over three months only to secure basic treatment for him as he is seriously ailing. Read more
CDRO: Release of all those arrested in the fabricated Bhima Koregaon case
Countercurrents / by Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisation (CDRO)
CDRO is shocked to hear the news of the arrest of Father Stan Swamy in connection with the infamous Bhima-Koregaon (BK) case. We note with disgust that Father Stan Swamy is the latest victim of the witch hunt operation carried out by the BJP-government in the name of BK case. It is a well-known fact today that the NIA, in the BK case, could not find any convincing material implicating the incarcerated activists and proving several alleged trumped-up charges including “criminal conspiracy to assassinate the Prime Minister”. Read more
In Solidarity with Varavara Rao: Statements & Visuals
The PUDR said that it had become a standard procedure for the NIA to refuse bail to the poet as he did not suffer from a life-threatening disease.
The People’s Union for Democratic Rights on Monday expressed shock at the deteriorating health condition of poet Varavara Rao, and called for him to immediately be released. Rao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad case, is lodged in Taloja jail in Mumbai and his family has accused the authorities of neglecting his condition. Read more
AN APPEAL FROM PEN INTERNATIONAL AND PEN DELHI
By Pen International and Pen Delhi
Poet Varavara Rao has been held in jail since 2018 and has been consistently denied bail. Varavara Rao is 81 years old. His health is deteriorating. He is old. He is frail. He is ill. When he speaks with his loved ones what he says does not make much sense. Those taking care of him are concerned. At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is raging and the government has ordered the decongestion of jails to prevent the infection from spreading, there is an even greater risk to Varavara Rao’s health. Read full statement
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) expresses grave concern over the deteriorating health condition of several jailed political and human rights activists. Some of them have been reported to have contracted Covid-19 in jail. The deplorable conditions in the overcrowded jails, which lack even basic facilities has contributed immensely to their deteriorating health condition. Many of them have co-morbidities and have been on medications since long. Read full statement
Letter by Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury – Leader of Congress Party in the Lok Sabha
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Click to enlarge posters
Open Letter to Maharashtra CM Seeks Interim Bail for Political Detenues
New Delhi: Marking the 45th year of the Emergency in India on June, civil rights groups have written an open letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, drawing his attention to the “deplorable and abysmal condition of jails and quarantine facilities in Maharashtra”, especially in the light of the raging COVID-19 pandemic, where several political activists are incarcerated. Read more
Denying bail in Elgaar Parishad case to political prisoners is callous: PUCL
‘In COVID-19 times, especially when Maharashtra has emerged as the State with the highest number of cases, differentially treating bail petitions by political prisoners is gross injustice’.
The denial of bail to all accused in the Elgaar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case was “patently callous”, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) said on Monday, and urged that the health and safety of political prisoners be treated with the same urgency as other prisoners. Read more
PUDR: The Lessons of Bhima Koregaon Case: No Bail, Only Jail
Kractivism / by PUDR
With the surrenders of Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha on April 14, 2020 in Mumbai and Delhi respectively, the NIA, the investigative agency, has ensured the arrest of all 11 prominent human rights activists in the infamous Bhima Koregaon case under the draconian UAPA. The recent rejection of the bail applications of Varavara Rao, Anand Teltumbde, Shoma Sen and Sudha Bharadwaj, and the sudden transfer of Gautam Navlakha by the NIA, raise significant questions about the rights of political prisoners amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more
PUDR expresses apprehensions over the health status of Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha …
Both Prof. Anand Teltumbde and Mr. Gautam Navlakha were interrogated by the NIA and have been sent to judicial custody. It has come to light that one of the officers of the NIA, Mumbai has tested positive for Covid-19 in this period. Anand Teltumbde was subsequently tested for suspected exposure and his report is negative for Covid-19. Read full statement
IN PARALLEL WITH THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC, WE NOW HAVE A PANDEMIC OF ARRESTS
The Wire/ by Pamela Philipose
Lockdown – the word that best describes our present physical and mental state – has now acquired a vicious new meaning. As if in parallel to the COVID-19 pandemic, we now have a pandemic of arrests, with prison gates clanging shut on those marked by the state as anti-nationals. Read more
Protest and Solidarity Statements by various organisations and networks
CONDEMN THE STATE TERROR IMPOSED BY THE FASCIST REGIMES OF INDIA AND NEPAL
By Nepalese intellectuals, writers and journalists
A joint Statement by Nepalese intellectuals, writers and journalists, demanding immediate release of Varvara Rao, Prof. Saibaba, cultural activist Maila Lama and other social activists and political prisoners.
Along with the Corona terror, we are facing state terror imposed by the fascist regimes. Nepalese revolutionary cultural- activist Maila Lama is kept in jail along with other political prisoners and the KP Oli government is ridiculing the question of the survival of the political prisoners. Read full statement
STOP THE POLITICAL PERSECUTION OF TELTUMBDE AND NAVLAKHA!
FREE THE BHIMA-KOREGAON-11 NOW!
By India Civil Watch
India Civil Watch – International (ICW-I) strongly condemns the incarceration of Dr. Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha, two of India’s foremost public intellectuals and courageous defenders of political freedoms, human rights and civil liberties. Dr. Teltumbde is also widely respected as a leading Dalit scholar, author of thirty books, who has lectured across the world on the annihilation of caste and the Dalit struggle, neoliberal capitalist plunder, and the rise of Hindutva politics. Read full statement
NAPM CONDEMNS CONTINUED OPPRESSION OF CIVIL LIBERTIES AND TARGETING OF DISSENT
Kractivism / by National Alliance of People’s Movements
Reaffirming our faith in the Constitution on Ambedkar Jayanti Selfless services of doctors, health and sanitation workers and spontaneous relief efforts from ordinary citizens and civil society raises hope for India
April 14/15, 2020: As the country paid homage to Babasaheb Ambedkar on his 129th birth anniversary, Prof Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha, two of India’s finest public intellectuals and activists were taken in custody by the Indian State for their ideas and lifelong commitment to the democratic values and the ideals enshrined in the Constitution. What could be the greater irony for us as a Republic ? Read full statement
STATEMENT ON THE ARRESTS OF ANAND TELTUMBDE AND GAUTAM NAVLAKHA
By Political Science Association
As the nation was celebrating the birth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar, his grandson-in-law Anand Teltumbde was being arrested by the National Investigation Agency along with fellow activist Gautam Navlakha, under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention)Act (UAPA). Read full statement
ACTIVISTS DETAINED FOR PEACEFUL DISSENT
By Human Rights Watch
Counterterrorism Law Politicized in Bhima Koregaon Case
New York: Indian authorities on April 14, 2020 detained two rights activists who have been critics of government policies, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should immediately drop all charges under a counterterrorism law against Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha for allegedly inciting caste-based violence along with other activists during a demonstration in Maharashtra state in 2017. Read more
WSS CONDEMNS THE ARRESTS OF ANAND TELTUMBDE AND GAUTAM NAVLAKHA AND DEMANDS THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS
By Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS)
Today, with undeniable irony, we have witnessed the surrender/arrests of Prof. Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Both Prof. Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha are known to us through their activism, writing and relentless pursuit of democratic principles. They have also remained steadfastly opposed to Brahmanical Hindutva fascism in all its manifestations. Read full statement
WOMEN DEMAND END OF TARGETING OF DISSENTS AND MINORITIES
By AIDWA, NFIW, AIPWA
We, the undersigned women’s organisations express strong concern and register our protest against the violations of civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution, by the Narendra Modi-led Union government and other state governments led by the BJP. Recent developments show that the government has been targeting intellectuals and activists as well as prominent journalists who have been questioning the government’s faulty policies. This is a serious attack on their democratic, civil and legal rights. FIRs, arrests, imprisonment without evidence have become the new norm. Read more
SOLIDARITY WITH GAUTAM NAVLAKHA, ANAND TELTUMBDE, AND ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS ARRESTED IN BHIMA KOREGAON CASE
By CPI-ML Liberation
The arrest of activists and scholars Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) over ridiculously trumped up charges in the Bhima Koregaon case on Ambedkar Jayanti, 2020, is a day of shame for India’s democracy. The fact that both of them, senior citizens above 60, will be incarcerated in cramped, overcrowded jails during a pandemic that poses a threat to the lives of the elderly, is especially shameful. Read full statement
CONDEMN ARREST OF TELTUMBDE & NAVLAKHA
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) strongly condemns the arrests of Anand Teltumbe and Gautam Navlakha on completely trumped up charges in the Bhima Koregaon issue. It is a matter of concern that the hon’ble Supreme Court did not postpone their arrests in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read full statement
PROTEST THE ARRESTS: DEMAND RELEASE OF THE 11 ARRESTED IN THE BHIMA KOREGAON CASE
Press Release by Peoples Union of Democratic Rights (PUDR )
The attempt to browbeat rights activists, Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde to ‘surrender’ to the National Investigation Agency, amidst a nation-wide lockdown on account of Covid-19, marks a deep and scathing new low in the political history of contemporary India.
For over two years now, the Bhima Koregaon case, as it has come to be known, has been the mainstay for the State resorting to arrests of democratic rights activists, lawyers and journalists across the country – those who have been tirelessly raising issues of grave human rights violations in the dirty war being waged by the State in the forests at the heart of the country. Read full statement
PROTEST AGAINST THE FACIST ONSLAUGHT ON DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS ACTIVISTS
Countercurrents / Press Release by Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisation
On 14th April,2020, Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha surrendered and were arrested by the NIA, pursuant to order of the Supreme Court rejecting interim protection. This order paved the way for the arrest of two more scholars under the draconian laws for their exercise of the right to free speech and dissent. We believe the arrest of these two intellectuals not only infringes their constitutionally protected rights but is a larger reflection of the fast ceding of the political, social and public space in the country. Read full statement
CLAMPDOWN ON DISSENT CONTINUES DURING THE VOVID-19 PANDEMIC
Press Release By Amnesty International India
Responding to reports that human rights defenders, Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha have surrendered before the National Investigative Agency (NIA).
Avinash Kumar, Executive Director of Amnesty International India, said:
“The clampdown on dissent in India continues. Even during a pandemic, the Government of India is targeting those critical of the government. When hard-won rights to expression and peaceful protest are weakened, everyone stands to lose.” Read more
AI-India Video: Bhima Koregaon 9: Heroes Who Fight For Your Rights
Gautam Navlakha is a Delhi-based veteran journalist, author, civil liberties, human rights and peace activist best known for his fierce and sustained critique of the Indian state’s militarism against its own citizenry in three broad zones – the northeastern states, Kashmir valley, and the central Indian forested zone in Chhattisgarh. …
WhatsApp has revealed that the messaging app was used to spy on at least two dozen journalists and human rights activists, likely by the Indian government.
In a bombshell revelation, WhatsApp has revealed that the messaging app was used to spy on at least two dozen Indian journalists and human rights activists earlier this year, The Indian Express reported on Thursday. Read more