Man behind early authentic field report on Sikh Genocide is in jail; will the world take notice?
Straight.com / by Gurpeet Singh
Gautam Navlakha has consistently spoken out on behalf of people being persecuted in India.
As we approach the first week of November, marking the 37th anniversary of the Sikh massacre in India, a scholar who helped document the tragedy is struggling for his release from an Indian jail.
Gautam Navlakha, who was arrested in April 2020 on trumped-up charges along with other prominent scholars and social-justice activists, is currently lodged in prison near Mumbai. His only crime is that he dared to question the powerful and has always stood up for minorities and the oppressed. Read more
By Radical Desi (Oct 24)
@desi_radical invites all media persons and scholars to our rally in support of jailed Indian journalist Gautam Navlakha, who was instrumental behind first authentic field report on #SikhGenocide on Sunday, October 31 at 5 pm outside Indian Visa office in Surrey (Canada)
All-India campaign by civil society, labour and farmers’ organisations / Popular actions
Chennai based group to honour Stan Swamy on Independence day
The Telegraph / by Pheroze L. Vincent
A Chennai-based group is hosting a series of discussions and cultural events that will culminate in music and satire webcast on Independence Day in honour of Father Stan Swamy.
The event, titled “Kelvi Koothu” in Tamil and “Dirge for Democracy” in English, has been organised by the Vettiver Collective, a group that agitates on social and environment issues by conducting unsponsored cultural events. Read more
Proposed popular actions to resonate Tilak’s Swaraj is My Birthright, Gandhi’s Do or Die?
Counterview / by Fr Cedric Prakash SJ
The institutional murder of 84-year-old Jesuit priest Fr Stan Swamy, who died on July 5, 2021 while still in judicial custody, has shaken the very foundations of democracy in India. The importance and the urgency to defend democracy and all that is precious in the Constitution of India against repressive and anti-people laws, is perhaps felt today, as never before…
On August 9, the National Campaign to Defend Democracy gained added momentum when 165 movements, platforms and organisations, representing thousands of citizens, gave a call for a country wide action to save our democracy Read more
All-India campaign by civil society, labour and farmers’ organisations on Independence Day
The Telegraph / by Animesh Bisoee
The National Campaign to Defend Democracy will take a pledge to to fight draconian laws, and uphold the right to question and show dissent
Over 160 civil society, labour and farmers’ organisations will as part of a nationwide campaign on Independence Day take a pledge to fight draconian laws, uphold the right to question and show dissent and oppose State actions that “deprive us of the freedoms of speech and opinion”.
The movement, named National Campaign to Defend Democracy and spearheaded by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (a conglomeration of human rights organisations) and trade unions, will also seek justice for Father Stan Swamy. Read more
PUDR report: Framed to Die – The Case of Stan Swamy
Marking a month since Stan Swamy passed away in judicial custody in a private hospital, a month in which no official inquiry, even the mandated magisterial inquest, has not been initiated, Framed to die: The case of Stan Swamy documents the manner in which Stan Swamy was framed, fettered, and finally forced towards a fatal illness under due process of law called Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Framed to Die argues that Stan’s experiences of persecution provide an understanding of many others, including the 15 accused in the Bhima Koregaon case. Beyond chronicling Stan’s persecution under law, Framed to Die documents why Comrade Stan was a dissenter and a true patriot and why the state feared and criminalized his dissent under the UAPA.
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. Read more
2020 Witnesses the Deliberate Destruction of Democratic Rights Organizations in India
The large scale destruction of lives and livelihoods in 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in India and its inept handling by the government has been accompanied by another sort of destruction, much more deliberate and calculated. It is the destruction of the democratic rights organizations (DROs) of India, as part of a vicious plan of the BJP government to irreparably shrink the democratic space for a future that we can only tremble to think about. Read more
A top peace activist, Modi govt ‘equated’ Navlakha with a terrorist
Counterview / by Priyanka Preet, Sandeep Pandey, Kushagra Kumar
Gautam Navlakha is a famed author, civil rights activists, human rights activist, journalist, an Editorial Consultant at the “Economic and Political Weekly”, probably the most internationally well known social sciences journal published out of India, the convenor of the International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir and the Secretary of the People’s Union for Democratic Rights. Read more
PUDR: Case a conspiracy to undermine Varavara Rao’s right to life / Access to Healthcare in Prison
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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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