Laws, however stringent, cannot be allowed to trump basic rights.
n granting bail for six months to poet Varavara Rao in the Bhima Koregaon case on medical grounds, the Bombay High Court has affirmed the principle that even the stringent provisions of an anti-terrorism law are not invincible before a prisoner’s constitutional rights. Read more
Sharper Fights Ahead – Statement in view of VV’s Interim Bail
By Release the Poet Committee
People’s Poet Varavara Rao’s interim (medical) bail granted by Mumbai High Court is a small but vital breakthrough, which was long overdue, is indeed an outcome of people’s rejection of state atrocities – but leaves no space for any self-satisfaction for them, who are unceasingly fighting in defense of VV and other victims of Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case. Read more
Varavara Rao’s bail: Hope for other accused
The Times of India / by Shruti Ganapatye
With the Bombay high court granting bail to ailing activist Varavara Rao in the Bhima-Koregaon case on Monday, there is a renewed hope among other accused about similar relief coming their way.
Top lawyers, some of them representing the accused in the case, said though bail is difficult to secure in Unlawful Activitities Prevention Act (UAPA) cases, Rao’s case, where bail was granted on health grounds, has set a precedent. Read more
Video: VV Rao – Poet, Activist, Political Prisoner
en | 5:54 | 2021
By Karwan e Mohabbat
Varavara Rao is no stranger to being imprisoned, but the 82-year-old is also the conscience of our society-an intellectual we need to protect from the excesses of a state determined to destroy dissent. Watch video
Allegations of planting evidence in Bhima Koregaon case must be investigated
This is a fit case where the courts should intervene to ensure justice. If the charge of planting evidence is proved, then it is incumbent on the NIA to investigate and ascertain the identity of the culprit.
Boston is an American city that is known to numerous Indians. A degree from MIT is much sought after. A few years ago, my wife and I spent a few days there as my nephew, my sister’s son, was residing in that city. Police martyr Hemant Karkare’s daughter resides there now.
Soon, Boston will be known to policemen in India for something quite different. Read more
Frame Up Of Indian Political Prisoners Revealed – New edition of Colors of the Cage
Colors of the Cage: Memoirs of an Indian Prison
by Arun Ferreira
foreword by Naresh Fernandes
introduction by Siddhartha Deb
As Common Notions publishes the new edition of Colors of the Cage (2021) by political prisoner and human rights activist Arun Ferreira, news is breaking that makes it abundantly clear that, just like his earlier arrests, his current detention is based on falsehood and political repression …
In May 2007, Arun Ferreira was picked up at a railway station in western India, detained by the court, and condemned to prison for an expanding list of crimes: criminal conspiracy, murder, possession of arms, and rioting, among others added during his detention. In one of the most notorious prisons in India, he was constantly abused and tortured. Over the next several years as he began to write Colors of the Cage, each of the ten cases slapped against him fell apart. At long last, acquitted of all charges, he prepared to reunite with his family.
Ferreira refused to surrender hope and continued to fight for his freedom. He succeeded and walked out of the prison in 2014 and then used his prison experience to become a lawyer for other political activists. In 2018, he was arrested once again in what is shaping up to be a major frame up. His next hearing is February 28th. Read more
Family members of Bhima Koregaon accused, cyber experts raise questions on investigation following reports of ‘planted evidence’
TwoCircles.net / by Suprakash Majumdar
Besides demanding the release of all the accused, the speakers pointed out that the Arsenal report has raised some serious questions such as, “Why couldn’t the government and the forensic lab find evidence of hacking and if they did, why did they ignore it? Why did NIA not verify the authenticity of the files as they were the primary evidence in the case?” Read more
Chorus demanding release of activists grows
Sabrangindia / by Sabrangindia
Legal and tech experts shed light on future course of case in wake of Arsenal revelations of planted evidence.
Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy, a group of activists, organised a webinar to discuss the possible impact of the recent revelations made by Arsenal Consulting, an American digital forensics firm in the Bhima Koregaon case. Read more
Stan Swamy told NIA about planting of fake evidence, says his colleague
Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff
The statement came in the wake of a forensics report that found key evidence against the accused in the case was planted using a malware.
A colleague of human rights activist Stan Swamy, who was arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case in October, said on Tuesday that the jailed activist had told the National Investigation Agency at least four times that fake evidence had been planted on his computer, reported PTI.
Solomon, the director of Ranchi’s Bagaicha Social Centre where Swamy worked, made the statement at a press briefing. Read more
PRESS CONFERENCE Speakers Jedidiah Crandall: Associate Professor, Biodesign Center for Biocomputing, Security and Society; Associate Professor, School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering, Arizona State University Sandeep Shukla: Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Kanpur Adv. Mihir Desai: Senior Advocate Bombay High Court Lawyer, PUCL Father Solomon: Director, Bagaicha, Ranchi, Fr Stan Swamy’s colleague Sagar Abraham Gonsalves: Vernon Gonsalves’ son Watch @ YouTube
The NIA’s ‘No Malware Found’ Response to New Forensic Report Points to Ineptitude
Bhima Koregaon Conspiracy Case Must be Quashed in Light of Explosive Forensic Evidence
On February 10, 2021 the Bhima Koregaon defense team filed a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking the release of Rona Wilson and the quashing of all charges against him. The petition was filed in light of startling new evidence of a forensic analysis that establishes that the top 10 files used to implicate Mr. Wilson with conspiracy to assassinate the Prime Minister and several other charges were fabricated and had been planted on Mr. Wilson’s hard drive by a cyber attacker using the NetWire malware. The forensic analysis was conducted by one of the world’s leading forensic analysis firms, Boston-based Arsenal Consulting and the story was first reported by The Washington Post on February 10. …
On 14 February, the All India Kisan Sabha issued a statement condemning the raid on Newsclick. The statement is reproduced below.
… In the Bhima Koregaon case, evidences were manufactured to put innocent people in sedition cases and keep them in jail for years without trial. Read full statement
Feb 13th: #FreeBK16 #EvidencePlanted (posters) / Sudha Bharadwaj spends 900 days in detention
The Washington Post newspaper has published a report in which Arsenal Consulting, a digital forensics firm, exposes the “extremely dark” and “very organised” hacking of activist Rona Wilson’s laptop to plant incriminating evidence related to the Bhima Koregaon incident. Sixteen activists are facing charges under UAPA and have been lodged in jail without bail in Bhima Koregaon case. Some tweets and posters shared during the tweet storm today:
Dalit Camera: What kind of a country puts its intellectuals behind bars for something they didn’t do?
Dalit Camera: When the government doesn’t have an answer to the storm of questions raised against, it resorts to arresting those speaking the truth fearlessly. Shame!
NAPM India: National Alliance of People’s Movements demands the govt #FreeBK16 in light of #EvidencePlanted – it is draconian to jail #HumanRights activists based on fabricated evidence and no trial!
Elgar Parishad: After Armed Arsenal report it is evident that Elgar Parishad – Bhima Koregaon case is completely fabricated. We demand immediate release of BK 16
Jignesh Mevani: India’s prominent intellectuals are in jail for one simple reason: they can think and oppose an autocratic government! There is no legal basis, no trial, and even the evidence is planted! The world should take note!
Cedric Prakash: It is important that all the illegally incarcerated are freed immediately
COLLECTIVE: COLLECTIVE demands arrest of Sangh rioters Shambhaji bhide, Milind Ekbote. India will be a country of #Andolanjeevis, not bootlickers of imperialism.
Sudha Bharadwaj spends 900 days in detention
Civicus.org / by CIVICUS
▪ 13 February 2021 marks Sudha Bharadwaj’s 900th day in pre-trial detention
▪ Questions raised about validity of letters used to incriminate Sudha
▪ Indian authorities have limited the number of books she can receive
February 13 marks 900 days since Indian activist Sudha Bharadwaj was arrested and imprisoned. On this day, global civil society organisation CIVICUS calls on the Indian government to immediately release Bharadwaj and drop all charges against her.
Since 2018, Sudha and 15 other activists, writers and lawyers have been arrested under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). Read more
Left parties: Withdraw Bhima Koregaon Cases, Release All The Accused Immediately
Withdraw Bhima Koregaon Cases, Release All The Accused Immediately
By Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist-Liberation
A report by a US-based digital forensics firm reveals shocking evidence that malaware was used to plant a bunch of incriminating letters on the computer of Rona Wilson, one of the Bhima Koregaon accused. It is these letters that were made the basis for the Bhima Koregaon case, for which Wilson has been arrested and imprisoned under the draconian UAPA without bail or trial since 2018. Read full statement (fb)
Release All Bhima Koregaon Accused Unconditionally
Communistparty.in / by CPI
The National Secretariat of the Communist Party of India has issued the following statement today (on February 11, 2021) demanding unconditional release of all accused in Bhima Koregaon case. Read full statement
Drop Cases against Bhima Koregaon Accused
Communist Party of India (Marxist) / by CPI-M
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demands the dropping of cases against activists arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case and asks the Maharashtra Government to set up an SIT to enquire into the developments exposed by the credible reports of international experts as to how evidence was manufactured and planted in the computer of one of the activists Rona Wilson. Read full statement
For four months, Fr. Stan Swamy, SJ has been wrongly imprisoned in India. Multiple efforts to secure his release have been denied by the courts, even though he is 83 years old and suffers from Parkinson’s disease…
Join us in urging the United States to: condemn the incarceration of Fr. Stan Swamy, ask the Indian Government to release him immediately, and ask the Indian Government to stop arbitrary arrests of innocent citizens. Read more
At Elgar Parishad 2021, calls for freedom for the ‘Bhima Koregaon 16’
At Elgar Parishad 2021, calls for freedom for the ‘Bhima Koregaon 16’
Scroll.in / by Aarefa Johari
On Saturday morning, people entering Pune’s Ganesh Kala Krida auditorium were greeted by dozens of police officials at every gate, multiple security checkpoints with metal detectors, repeated bag-checks and body pat-downs, and police sniffer dogs roaming around the compound. Read more
Arundhati Roy calls for resistance against RSS
The Indian Express / by Chandan Haygunde
Roy read out her speech in Hindi titled “Ek Ladai Mohabbat Ki”. She alleged that the RSS is leading the “Bramhanwadi (castiest)” forces and has taken control of the country through Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Author Arundhati Roy on Saturday called for a united fight against “Bramhanical” and “capitalist” forces in the country and that the struggle should be named as “Satya Shodhak Resistance (SSR)” against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Read more