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Bhima Koregaon, COVID-19 and custodial apathy in jails / Video + Press Release

Bhima Koregaon, COVID-19 and custodial apathy in jails / Video + Press Release

Video: Press Conference demanding immediate release of BK16 prisoners

15/05/2021

By Insaf

en + hindi l 1h20min l 2021
Watch video here


Press Release: Covid-19 a virtual death sentence, new persecution tool against Bhima-Koregaon accused

15/05/2021

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.
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Press Release: Bhima Koregaon, COVID-19 and custodial apathy in jails

15/05/2021

By Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy

Press Release
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.

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Sudha Bharadwaj’s 3 Co-Prisoners Tested COVID Positive: Daughter Moves HC Seeking Release

Sudha Bharadwaj’s 3 Co-Prisoners Tested COVID Positive: Daughter Moves HC Seeking Release

Sudha Bharadwaj’s 3 Co-Prisoners Tested COVID Positive: Daughter Moves Bombay HC Seeking Release On Medical Grounds

14/05/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

It is said that Sudha Bharadwaj is kept in a barrack with 50-60 prisoners, sharing only 3 bathrooms, with no possibility of social distancing and sanitary co-existence.
The Bombay High Court on Thursday sought lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj’s latest medical report from the Maharashtra Government on a plea seeking her interim release on medical bail from Byculla women’s prison.
The petition filed by her daughter Maaysha Singh, invoking Article 226 of the Constitution, states that the sixty-year-old Bharadwaj, who has diabetes and a history of pulmonary tuberculosis, is very unwell.
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Bombay High Court calls for medical report of Bhima Koregaon accused Sudha Bharadwah in plea seeking bail on medical grounds

13/05/2021

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

The vacation bench directed the Maharashtra government to produce Bharadwaj’s latest medical report by Monday. Bharadwaj is presently lodged at the Byculla women’s prison.
The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra government to submit by May 17, the latest medical report of Bhima Koregaon accused, advocate Sudha Bharadwaj in a plea seeking her release from prison on medical grounds (Maaysha Singh v. State of Maharashtra & Anr).
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HC asks Maharashtra to submit Bhima Koregaon accused Sudha Bharadwaj’s medical report

13/05/2021

The Print / by pti

According to her counsel, Sudha Bharadwaj was kept in a ward of the prison with 50 other women under extremely unsanitary conditions, and with just three toilets for all of them.
The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra government to produce the latest medical report of lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj, an accused in the Elgar-Parishad Maoists links case, who is is currently lodged at the Byculla women’s prison here.
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Video: Prisoners in a Pandemic – Viral hate and a raging contagion

Video: Prisoners in a Pandemic – Viral hate and a raging contagion

Video: Prisoners in a Pandemic – Viral hate and a raging contagion

11/05/2021

By United Against Hate

hindi + en | 1h40min | 2021

Watch video at United Against Hate fb page here

In the light of Covid-19 outbreak and deteriorating health of civil and human rights defenders in prisons, United Against Hate is organising a conversation addressing the issue, demanding immediate release of political prisoners. The dreadful conditions in overcrowded jails, which lack proper sanitation, hygiene and medical facilities, are conducive to spread of a virus like COVID-19 and have contributed immensely to their deteriorating health condition. Umar Khalid, GN Saibaba, Siddique Kappan, Akhil Gogoi, Jyoti Jagtap, Varvara Rao have already contracted COVID-19 behind bars. Khalid Saifi and Sudha Bhardwaj have also been unwell, as was reported by their families. It must be noted that many of them have comorbidities and have been on medications even before their arrests. It has been long since the arrests of these voices of dissent who fought for democracy, for rights of the people and for freedom from the repressive state. Their only crime is fearlessly speaking the bitter truth to power.


Sign Petition: Covid-19 is a virtual death sentence for political prisoners! Release them now! (CJP, May 2021)


Also read: In India and Around the World, Prisoners’ Rights Violated During Pandemic: Report (The Wire, March 2021)

Release Sudha Bharadwaj! / Health of Trade Unionist Sudha Bharadwaj deteriorates in Jail

Release Sudha Bharadwaj! / Health of Trade Unionist Sudha Bharadwaj deteriorates in Jail

Update by Bar & Bench (May 13):
#BombayHighCourt directs State to file medical report of #elgarparishadcase accused Sudha Bharadwaj in her application for interim bail on medical grounds +++
The medical report will be filed by the State on May 17, the application will be heard on May 21. Bench of Justices KK Tated and Abhay Ahuja heard the plea today +++
Update by ayesha arvind (May 13)
Daughter of #SudhaBharadwaj has approached #BombayHC seeking interim medical bail for the activist. HC calls for her medical report on May 17. Bharadwaj will be taken to JJ hospital today. #NIA says there’s no urgency in the matter. Next date of hearing- May 21 +++
Her counsel says #SudhaBharadwaj is in a ward with 50 other women, incarcerated in extremely unsanitary conditions. No possibility of social distancing. Says state must file reply soon. HC- state working on only 15% strength. Will have to give them at least 4 weeks to file reply +++

Video: Release Sudha Bharadwaj!

01/05/2021


hindi | 3:07min | 2021

By ground xero

Kaladas, a cultural activist and a long term associate of Sudha Bharadwaj discusses her current medical condition and the political reasons for her arrest. He appeals to all comrades to support her immediate bail and medical treatment.
Demand immediate of Sudha Bharadwaj. Demand immediate release of all political prisoners.
Watch video


Click to enlarge
Bhilai (Chhattisgarh, May 1, 2021)

Health of Trade Unionist Sudha Bharadwaj deteriorates in Jail

02/05/2021

tnlabour.in / by tnlabour.in

Workers demand her immediate release and proper medical treatment
Trade Union leader and Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj’s health condition has deteriorated in Byculla Jail in Maharashtra. She has been complaining of body aches and diarrhoea in the past week. Her union members and family sent messages today saying she is having difficulty breathing. Even though these are typical symptoms of COVID and the jail has over 40 COVID positive patients, she is not being treated as per covid protocol. The Jail authorities claim that her RT-PCR for covid is negative.
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Health of Trade Unionist Sudha Bharadwaj Deteriorates in Jail: Workers Demand Release

01/05/2021

Ground Xero / by Ground Xero

Workers demand her immediate release and proper medical treatment
Trade Union leader and Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj’s health condition has deteriorated in Byculla Jail in Maharashtra. She has been complaining of body aches and diarrhoea in the past week. Her union members and family sent messages today saying she is having difficulty breathing. Even though these are typical symptoms of COVID and the jail has over 40 COVID positive patients, she is not being treated as per covid protocol. The Jail authorities claim that her RT-PCR for COVID is negative.
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Maharashtra’s Prisons Are Feeling the Brunt of a Crisis That Could Have Been Averted

Maharashtra’s Prisons Are Feeling the Brunt of a Crisis That Could Have Been Averted

Maharashtra’s Prisons Are Feeling the Brunt of a Crisis That Could Have Been Averted

02/05/2021

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

Despite several directions from the Supreme Court and high court to decongest its overcrowded prisons in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state government has neglected the issue.
… The total prison capacity of Maharashtra’s jails is 24,032. As of March 31 this year, 35,124 prisoners were languishing across different Central and district prisons. In April, the number must have further increased. This alarmingly high number – 11,000 more than the actual capacity or 146% occupancy – continues even after the state was directed to work towards decongesting prisons over a year ago.
… Cultural and anti-caste activist Jyoti Jagtap, who was arrested last year for her alleged role in the Elgar Parishad case, is among those who have been infected and has been kept at a temporary centre. Her lawyers have been struggling to establish contact with her to know her medical condition. The temporary set-ups lack basic telephone facilities and many prisoners’ families have complained of their inability to check on the health and well-being of those incarcerated. Meanwhile, advocate and academic Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in the same case and Jagtap, has started showing symptoms.
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‘Jail chief has no authority to comment on health of inmate´

02/05/2021

The Hindu / by Special Correspondent

Civil rights activists respond to reports of Byculla jail superintendent’s statement on Sudha Bharadwaj.
Several civil rights activists on Saturday said “the jail superintendent is no authority to give an opinion on the clinical condition of a jailed person” while responding to news reports on the Byculla jail superintendent’s comments on the health of Sudha Bharadwaj, one of the accused in the Elgaar Parishad case.
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Sudha Bharadwaj’s health deteriorating, say kin, friends / Release Sudha Bharadwaj!

Sudha Bharadwaj’s health deteriorating, say kin, friends / Release Sudha Bharadwaj!


May1, 2021 in Bhilai

Sudha Bharadwaj’s health deteriorating, say kin, friends

01/05/2021

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

Family members and friends of lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, lodged in jail in connection with the Elgaar Parishad case, said on Friday that the activist’s health is deteriorating.
Bharadwaj is lodged in Byculla women’s jail in Mumbai, which has seen over 40 new Covid-19 cases this month. Jail officials said that Bharadwaj had last week tested negative for Covid-19.
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Release Sudha Bharadwaj!

01/05/2021

Click to enlarge
Bhilai (Chhattisgarh, Mai 1, 2021)

Sudha Bharadwaj, currently in Byculla jail, has been showing covid like symptoms

By Chhotubhai Vasava:
Sudha bharadwaj is ill in byculla jail fatigue, lack of appetite, loose motions and now she has also lost her sense taste and smell. She has applied for medical checkup. none done. She needs to be treated immediately +++

By N S:
Sudha Bhardwaj ill in byculla jail. Not getting treatment. Please please my lords in the Supreme Court take suo Moto cognisance and release all the bk 16 on bail +++

By Kavita Krishnan:
This is so awful. In Modi’s India we worry about our friends dying of Covid-19 – but also have to worry about friends imprisoned indefinitely on false pretexts, getting Covid-19 in prison, remaining undiagnosed and untreated.
Free Sudha Bharadwaj and ensure the best treatment +++

By The Polis Project:
Sudha Bharadwaj, one of the BK 16, is displaying COVID symptoms. She is not being provided medical treatment despite request +++

By ABA Justice Defenders Program:
Alarming reports that human rights lawyer @Sudhabharadwaj has been denied access to medical attention amid a severe #COVID19 crisis. We urge authorities to immediately allow access to adequate medical care and grant pre-trial bail to all #BhimaKoregaon defenders +++

#ReleaseSudhaBharadwaj
#DeCongestPrisons
#bhimakoregaon16


Also read: RELEASE SUDHA BHARADWAJ AND OTHERS FRAMED IN BHIMA KOREGAON CASE
CALL FOR INDEPENDENT TIME-BOUND PROBE INTO HACKING CLAIMS (April 24, 2021)

Release Sudha Bharadwaj And Others Framed in Bhima Koregaon Case, Demand Friends & Family

Release Sudha Bharadwaj And Others Framed in Bhima Koregaon Case, Demand Friends & Family

By Sudha Bharadwaj’s Family & Friends

RELEASE SUDHA BHARADWAJ AND OTHERS FRAMED IN BHIMA KOREGAON CASE
CALL FOR INDEPENDENT TIME-BOUND PROBE INTO HACKING CLAIMS

Press Note
US cyber forensics firm, Arsenal Consulting has released a second report reaffirming the planting of ‘incriminating documents’ into Rona Wilson’s (a co-accused in the case) computer through use of an external malware. Crucially, one of the incriminating documents relied upon by the prosecution against Sudha Bharadwaj was found on Rona Wilson’s computer. In its report Arsenal Consulting has claimed that this document was remotely planted.

This report only substantiates what Family and Friends of Sudha Bharadwaj have consistently and independently maintained since the first raid in her house on 28th August 2018 that she is innocent and has been incarcerated for nearly three years on the basis of fabricated evidence.

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Sudha Bharadwaj, currently in Byculla jail, has been showing covid like symptoms

Sudha Bharadwaj, currently in Byculla jail, has been showing covid like symptoms


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

38 inmates of Byculla jail test positive

21/04/2021

The Hindu / by Special Correspondent

Jyoti Jagtap, accused in the Bhima-Koregaon violence case, and Indrani Mukerjea, prime accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, have tested positive for COVID-19 among 38 other inmates in Byculla jail.
A prison official, requesting anonymity, said Sudha Bharadwaj and Shoma Sen, also accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case, have been vaccinated but have fever and an upset stomach.
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Byculla Jail: 40 Female Inmates Reportedly COVID-19 Positive

21/04/2021

she the people / by Tanvi Khauri

Byculla Jail COVID-19: The deadly wave of coronavirus raging through Maharashtra, making it the worst-affected state in India, has reportedly reached Mumbai’s Byculla Jail. 40 inmates, including former media executive Indrani Mukerjea, have tested positive for the virus, as per reports. Media quoted authorities saying they have been shifted to a quarantine facility.
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Bombay High Court Takes Suo Motu Cognisance Of Covid-19 Surge In Prisons

17/04/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

The Bombay High Court on Friday took Suo Motu cognisance of the surge in Covid-19 cases in various prisons across Maharashtra based on newspaper reports.
One hundred and ninety-eight prison inmates tested positive in 47 prisons across the State as of April 14, 2021, according to the reports. Additionally, eighty-six staff members have also tested positive.
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Al report slams India / Excerpts: US State Dept Report Records Increasing Use of UAPA in India

Al report slams India / Excerpts: US State Dept Report Records Increasing Use of UAPA in India


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

Amnesty International report slams India

08/04/2021

Pakobserver / by News Desk

The London-based rights watchdog, Amnesty International has slammed India for its clampdown on civil liberties in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir as well as punitive lockdown in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, use of force against the anti-CAA (Citizenship (Amendment) Act) protests, farmers’ protests and handling of Delhi riots.
… On arbitrary arrests and detentions, the Amnesty International said that seven human rights activists – Father Stan Swamy, Jyoti Raghoba Jagtap, Sagar Tatyaram Gorkhe, Ramesh Murlidhar Gaichor, Hany Babu, Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde – were arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for their alleged involvement in violence during the Bhima Koregaon celebrations near the city of Pune in 2018.
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Full report: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT 2020/21: THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S HUMAN RIGHTS (April 2021)


Excerpts: US State Dept Report Records Increasing Use of UAPA by Indian Government

05/04/2021

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

The report cites the conditions in which the incarcerations of a pregnant Safoora Zargar, and ageing activists Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj and Stan Swamy progressed.
The US state department released the 2020 human rights report last week, accompanied by renewed rhetoric of putting emphasis on human rights at the heart of American diplomacy.
From the India chapter, here are excerpts from the report on the use of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) from its section on ‘Arrest Procedures and Treatment of Detainees’.
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March 8: Solidarity with Shoma, Sudha & Jyoti & Other Women Human Rights Defenders

March 8: Solidarity with Shoma, Sudha & Jyoti & Other Women Human Rights Defenders

by Smashboard

This International Women’s Day, back our right to peaceful protest! Stand with these brave women attacked & arrested on trumped up charges in India – only for defending democracy.

Click to enlarge

by Gabbar:
On the International Women’s day let’s remember human rights activists Sudha Bharadwaj, professor and activist Shoma Sen and Jyoti Jagtap, who along with 13 others are behind bars in the fake Bhima Koregaon conspiracy case +++

Click to enlarge

Rally against state violence against women in India held in Surrey

07/03/2021

Countercurrents / by Indians Abroad for Pluralist India (IAPI)


On the eve of International Women’s Day, South Asian activists came together to raise their voices against gendered repression in the world’s so called largest democracy.
Organized by the Indians Abroad for Pluralist India (IAPI) on Sunday, March 7, the rally was held outside the Indian Visa and Passport Application Center in Surrey (Canada).
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