The national lockdown enforced due to the coronavirus outbreak has prevented the families from meeting the imprisoned activists.
A couple of weeks ago, Koel Sen received a call from a constable at the Byculla Jail in Mumbai, informing her that the facility to meet prisoners would be suspended soon, in view of the coronavirus outbreak in India. Read more
Court rejects bail pleas of Shoma Sen and Varavara Rao
A special court on Tuesday rejected the temporary bail pleas filed by civil activists Shoma Sen and Varavara Rao – accused in the Elgar Parishad case, on the grounds of the coronavirus pandemic.
Special NIA judge RR Bhosale observed while rejecting the bail pleas that the charges against the accused under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) are serious and the UAPA was not covered under the government notification for release of prisoners. Read more
Varavara Rao, Shoma Sen file for bail on medical grounds citing coronavirus outbreak
Others seek directions to jail authorities for permission to talk on phone since prison visits are stopped.
Citing the spread of coronavirus, poet P Varavara Rao and retired professor Shoma Sen, among the nine persons accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, have sought temporary bail on medical grounds from a special court. The court Monday heard the arguments on their bail pleas. An order in the matter is likely to be passed Tuesday. Read more
ACTIVISTS SAY THEY ARE VULNERABLE TO COVID-19
Mumbai Mirror / by David Delima
While Varavara Rao says he has respiratory problems, Shoma Sen says she has high blood pressure; a special court to pass order today … Activist and lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj, who has been in jail since August 2018, had also filed an application for bail, but the National Investigation Agency stated it had not received a copy of her application. Read more
“COVID-19 outbreak an occasion to look at overcrowded prisons in country.”
A group of activists and intellectuals has sought bail or parole for political prisoners lodged in various jails.
In a letter to the Central and State governments, eminent persons such as writers Arundhati Roy, K. Satchidanandan and Meena Kandasamy, journalist B.R.P. Bhaskar and academics Dilip Menon and Benjamin Zachariah pointed out that the COVID-19 outbreak was also an occasion to look at the overcrowded prisons in the country. Read more
INTELLECTUALS APPEAL FOR RELEASE OF PRISONERS
Kashimr Times / by KT News Service
New Delhi: About two dozen intellectuals, writers and academics of the country have made an urgent appeal to the government to ease the over-crowded prisons in view of the outbreak of Covid19 and also in keeping with the recent Supreme Court directive. They have sought release on bail or parole of at least some of the prisoners including political detenues from across the country. Read more
ACADEMICS SEND OPEN LETTER SEEKING BAIL FOR VARAVARA RAO, SUDHA BHARADWAJ
The New Indian Express / by Prajanma Das
The Supreme Court has already directed the state governments to consider granting bail to remand prisoners, accused of committing crimes punishable with a maximum of seven years imprisonment.
Former Delhi University Professor GN Saibaba, Poet Varavara Rao, Dr Shoma Sen, Sudha Bharadwaj and several others including Padma and Veeramony in Tamil Nadu are in prison — either awaiting trial or are political prisoners of the state. Read more
Sign Global Solidarity Statement for Dr. Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha
Signatories include eminent public figures such as Noam Chomsky, Gayatri Spivak, Sukhadeo Thorat, Cornel West, Angela Davis, Kshama Sawant, Ramachandra Guha, Prakash Ambedkar and Arundhati Roy. Sign statement here
Statement for Dr. Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha:
We, the undersigned (organizations and individuals) protest the impending arrest of Professor Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha and strongly condemn the attempt to malign their status as two of India’s foremost civil rights activists and public intellectuals today. …
On the International Women’s days let’s remember human rights activists Sudha Bharadwaj and Shoma Sen who along with 7 others have been behind bars since June-August 2018 in the fake Bhima Koregaon conspiracy case. Let’s strengthen the campaign for their release and demand prosecution of Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide who attacked dalit bahujans at Bhima Koregaon on 1st January 2018.
Who is Sudha Bharadwaj?
Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj is a 2019 honoree of the Harvard Law International Women’s day exhibition and is sitting in a jail cell in Pune. How did these conflicting positions come about?
Sudha spent the first part of her life as an American citizen. In the next 30 years of her life, she worked tirelessly in Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha (CMM) as a trade unionist and eventually as a lawyer after the CMM, hamstrung in their legal battles by unscrupulous lawyers, found in her the courage and integrity needed to challenge powerful opponents in the courtrooms. Read more
Who is Shoma Sen?
A reputed academician, a Dalit and Women’s Rights activist, a teacher and dissenter, Shoma Sen is all of the above and more. Born and raised in Mumbai, she moved to Nagpur with her partner and daughter with a strong resolve to protect and promote democratic rights of the most marginalised people in the society. Read more
A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Friday remanded nine people accused in the Elgar Parishad case in judicial custody till March 13.
The nine accused in the case – Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen and Vernon Gonsalves – were produced the special judge, DE Kothalikar, on Friday. Read more
Special NIA court begins hearing of Elgar Parishad case
A special NIA court heard the Elgar Parishad case for the first time on Friday, a day after the accused were moved from Pune to Mumbai.
Individuals accused in the Elgar Parishad case were produced before a special NIA court in Mumbai on Friday. Initially investigated by Pune City Police, the case was recently handed over to the central agency amidst protests by political parties like the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). All of the accused had been shifted to a Mumbai jail from Pune prior to the court hearing. Read more
Maharashtra Govt to Set Up a SIT, Conduct Parallel Probe
The decision comes days after the National Investigation Agency took over the case in which nine human rights activists and lawyers have been incarcerated for over 20 months.
Mumbai: The Maharashtra state home department will soon be setting up a special investigation team headed by senior IPS officials to investigate the ‘urban naxal’ case. The decision comes days after the National Investigation Agency took over the case in which nine human rights activists and lawyers have been incarcerated for over 20 months. Read more
Case Transferred to Special NIA Court Mumbai From Pune
The Additional Sessions Court, Pune on Friday allowed National Investigation Agency’s application seeking transfer of the trial in Bhima Koregaon case to Special NIA Court Mumbai.
Firstly, the Central Government passed an order on January 24, 2020 directing NIA to take up the investigation in the case. Pursuant to this, NIA filed an application before the trial court. Read more