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Feb 13th: #FreeBK16 #EvidencePlanted (posters) / Sudha Bharadwaj spends 900 days in detention

Feb 13th: #FreeBK16 #EvidencePlanted (posters) / Sudha Bharadwaj spends 900 days in detention

Feb 13th TWEET STORM: #FreeBK16 #EvidencePlanted

13/02/2021

Tweets by various groups and individuals

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!
Boston South Asian Coalition: Arsenal Consulting, a reputed Forensic firm has exposed the conspiracy that maliciously planted evidence to arrest
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

12/02/2021

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

Activist Sudha Bharadwaj’s plea against NIA to withdraw ‘defamatory’ remarks rejected

Activist Sudha Bharadwaj’s plea against NIA to withdraw ‘defamatory’ remarks rejected


Poster, Aug 2020

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

Bharadwaj had filed a plea in December, seeking access to unredacted copies of statements of witnesses recorded under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The NIA, in its reply, had opposed the plea and alleged that access to statements was sought to cause harm to the witnesses.
A special court on Friday rejected an application by law professor and activist Sudha Bharadwaj that sought directions to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to withdraw “defamatory” allegations made against her in a written reply filed by the agency.
Read more

Key evidence against jailed activists planted using malware, says forensic report [read report] / Video: Planted Evidence?

Key evidence against jailed activists planted using malware, says forensic report [read report] / Video: Planted Evidence?

They were Accused of plotting to overthrow the Modi government – The evidence was planted, a new report says

10/02/2021

Washington Post / by Niha Masih and Joanna Slater

Key evidence against a group of Indian activists accused of plotting to overthrow the government was planted on a laptop seized by police, a new forensics report concludes, deepening doubts about a case viewed as a test of the rule of law under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
An attacker used malware to infiltrate a laptop belonging to one of the activists, Rona Wilson, before his arrest and deposited at least 10 incriminating letters on the computer, according to a report from Arsenal Consulting, a Massachusetts-based digital forensics firm that examined an electronic copy of the laptop at the request of Wilson’s lawyers.
Read more


Computer of Rona Wilson was compromised, malware planted from outside: US Forensic Firm report

10/02/2021

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

The report was prepared by a foreign digital forensics consulting company appointed by the lawyers of Rona Wilson, accused in the Bhima Koregaon case.
… Massachusetts-based firm Arsenal Consulting was appointed by Wilson’s lawyers to analyse the electronic evidence seized from his home by the Pune Police in 2018.
Read more


Read Arsenal Consulting’s full report here


Video: Planted Evidence?

10/02/2021


en | 23:20min | 2021

NDTV / by Sreenivasan Jain

In this episode of Reality Check, a new report suggests crucial evidence on which the investigating agencies built the case against activists in the Bhima Koregaon case may have been planted.
Sreenivasan Jain in conversation with Mark Spencer, Head of Arsenal Consulting; Joanna Slater, Washington Post; Vrinda Grover, Advocate Supreme Court; Geeta Bhatt, Political Analyst; N Venugopal, Varavara Rao’s nephew.
Watch video


Key evidence against jailed activists planted using malware, says forensic report

10/02/2021

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The report found that an attacker used malware to infiltrate activist Rona Wilson’s laptop before his arrest, and deposited at least 10 incriminating letters.
Key evidence against a group of activists and intellectuals, who have been arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case, was planted using a malware on a laptop seized by police, a new forensics report has found, The Washington Post reported.
Read more


Incriminating Letters Were ‘Planted’ on Rona Wilson’s Laptop: US Digital Forensics Firm

10/02/2021

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

Investigating agencies have used these letters to implicate Wilson and 15 other rights activists arrested in the ongoing Elgar Parishad case of 2018.
For at least 22 months before the Pune Police had raided activist Rona Wilson’s residence in New Delhi and arrested him, a cyber attacker had allegedly gained access to his laptop and planted at least 10 incriminating letters on it.
Read more


Also Read:
Prison-rights activist Rona Wilson’s hard disk contained malware that allowed remote access (The Caravan, Mar 2020)
13 letters leaked by Pune police show why it’s hard to believe claims about a Maoist conspiracy (Scroll.in, Sep 2018)

Books sent by families of Hany Babu, Gautam Navlakha returned by jail authorities, again

Books sent by families of Hany Babu, Gautam Navlakha returned by jail authorities, again

Books sent by families of Hany Babu, Gautam Navlakha returned by jail authorities, again

28/01/2021

India Now / by India Now

A Mumbai court has refused to interfere with the order of Taloja Central Jail officials, refusing to accept a courier with books for Elgar Parishad accused Hany Babu and Gautam Navlakha.
A Special Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai has refused to interfere with the order of Taloja Central Jail officials, refusing to accept a courier with books for Elgar Parishad accused Hany Babu and Gautam Navlakha.
Read more


Jail officials cannot refuse books sent for prisoners, but should check content: Mumbai Court

28/01/2021

The Indian Express / by Sadaf Modak

The observation was made in the detailed order passed by the special court earlier this month allowing lawyer activist Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in the Elgaar Parishad case, access to five books per month at Byculla women’s jail where she is lodged.
A special court has said that jail authorities cannot refuse to accept books sent for prisoners though they are expected to go through the contents to ensure there is no “objectionable material”.
Read more

Evidence against Sudha Bharadwaj ‘too poor’ to be admissible, says lawyer / A Peek into her Life and Journey

Evidence against Sudha Bharadwaj ‘too poor’ to be admissible, says lawyer / A Peek into her Life and Journey

Evidence against Sudha Bharadwaj ‘too poor’ to be admissible, says lawyer

25/01/2021

The Telegraph / by Basant Kumar Mohanty

Writers, activists and academics seek her release from jail, urge intelligentsia to break their silence.
Yug Chaudhary, lawyer of activist Sudha Bharadwaj who has been in custody since her arrest in the Bhima Koregaon case in 2018, on Sunday said the purported evidence against her lacked “sanctity” and was “too poor” to be admissible.
At a webinar, writers, activists and academics demanded that Bharadwaj be released from jail and urged the intelligentsia to follow her example and break their silence as the country’s institutions were no longer reliable.
Read more


A Peek into the Life and Journey of Sudha Bharadwaj

24/01/2021

The Leaflet / by People’s Union for Civil Liberties

Through a series of interviews with Sudha Bharadwaj, PUCL shows the grim reality of the people fighting in tribal areas for the land they own. The book titled ‘A LIFE IN LAW AND ACTIVISM: SUDHA BHARADWAJ SPEAKS’ shows her journey into fighting for the rights of people, her cases and the story of the people affected by these laws…
The following are edited excerpts from the book.
Read more


Sudha Bharadwaj on Why She Joined the Trade Union Movement and Became a Lawyer

24/01/2021

The Wire / by Santanu Chakraborty and Darshana Mitra

“We have to bring the Constitution to life. That’s where the lawyers and peoples’ organisations have to work together.”
The following is an excerpt from Sudha Bharadwaj Speaks: A Life in Law and Activism published by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties. Bharadwaj, a lawyer, trade unionist and rights activist, was arrested in 2018 in the Elgar Parishad case. The book is based on a long interview of Bharadwaj conducted before her arrest by two young lawyers, Santanu Chakraborty and Darshana Mitra.
Read more


‘My mother misses home often’, says Sudha Bharadwaj’s daughter during book release

24/01/2021

The Print / by The Print Team

A book titled ‘Sudha Bharadwaj Speaks: A Life in Law and Activism’, based on a long interview just before Bharadwaj’s arrest in 2018, was released Sunday.
A new e-book based on a long interview with human rights lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, who has been under arrest for more than two years now, was released Sunday.
The book, titled Sudha Bharadwaj Speaks: A Life in Law and Activism, is based on an interview conducted by lawyers Santanu Chakraborty and Darshana Mitra just before Bharadwaj was arrested in the infamous Bhima Koregaon case in 2018. It was released at a webinar by author Nayantara Sehgal.
Read more


PDF copy: Sudha Bharadwaj speaks – A Life in Law and Activism

24/01/2021

By People’s Union for Civil Liberties

Sudha Bharadwaj speaks – A Life in Law and Activism

Publisher: Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)
Edition: January 2021
Language: English
Sudha Bharadwaj’s interview by: Darshana Mitra and Santanu Chakraborty
Pictures credit: PUCL
Cover Design / Layout: Vinay Jain
Paperback: 316 pages

Access a free PDF copy of the book here:
Sudha_Bharadwaj_speaks (2,1 MB)

Please download and share widely!
#RepealUAPA

Book release: Sudha Bharadwaj speaks – A Life in Law and Activism [PDF copy]

Book release: Sudha Bharadwaj speaks – A Life in Law and Activism [PDF copy]

PDF copy: Sudha Bharadwaj speaks – A Life in Law and Activism

24/01/2021

By People’s Union for Civil Liberties

Sudha Bharadwaj speaks – A Life in Law and Activism

Publisher: Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)
Edition: January 2021
Language: English
Sudha Bharadwaj’s interview by: Darshana Mitra and Santanu Chakraborty
Pictures credit: PUCL
Cover Design / Layout: Vinay Jain
Paperback: 316 pages

Access a free PDF copy of the book here:
Sudha_Bharadwaj_speaks (2,1 MB)

Please download and share widely!
#RepealUAPA


Video – Book Release: Why is the state afraid of Sudha Bharadwaj?

24/01/2021


en + hindi | 2h 53min | 2021

By People’s Union for Civil Liberties and more than 100 other organizations

Topic: Why is the state afraid of Sudha Bharadwaj?
Sudha Bharadwaj, a renowned human rights lawyer, trade unionist, is one of 16 activists incarcerated in the infamous Bhima Koregaon case for more than 2 years. A long interview conducted with Sudha over several days before she was arrested is now being published as an online book “Sudha Bharadwaj Speaks – A Life in Law and Activism”, and will be released at this webinar by the well-known writer, Nayantara Sahgal. Sudha’s daughter, Maaysha, her lawyer Yug Chaudhary, social activist Harsh Mandar, historian Uma Chakravarti amongst other coworkers & colleagues, will also share their experiences and memories of working with her.
Watch video @ PUCL Facebook (videos)

Programme – click to enlarge
Sudha Bharadwaj allowed access to 5 books per month from outside jail

Sudha Bharadwaj allowed access to 5 books per month from outside jail

Sudha Bharadwaj allowed access to 5 books per month from outside jail

14/01/2021

Hindustan Times / by Charul Shah

The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Tuesday allowed access to books from outside the prison, to activist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj.
The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Tuesday allowed access to books from outside the prison, to activist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj. The court has, however, asked the prison authorities to check the contents, if they are objectionable, before allowing the same.
Read more


NIA Court Allows Sudha Bharadwaj’s Application Seeking Access To Five Books A Month From Outside

14/01/2021

Live Law / by Nitish Kashyap

The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Tuesday allowed access of five books a month to lawyer and activist Sudha Bharadwaj, who is a accused in the caste based violence that took place on the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 2018.
Special Judge DE Kothalikar directed the Superintendent of Byculla District Prison to grant the access of books to Sudha Bharadwaj with the condition that the said books will be examined by him.
Read more

Consider Varavara Rao’s age, health while arguing against bail plea: Bombay HC to NIA [read order]

Consider Varavara Rao’s age, health while arguing against bail plea: Bombay HC to NIA [read order]

Consider Varavara Rao’s age, health while arguing against bail plea: Bombay HC to NIA [read order]

14/01/2021

Sabrang / by Sabrang India

The court further extended his hospital stay while taking on record his medical reports filed by the hospital.
The Bombay High Court commented, during the hearing of Dr. Varavara Rao’s bail plea, that the government and the NIA should take into consideration his age and ailing condition while arguing against the plea. The next hearing is scheduled for January 19, as per court’s orders. It is expected that on the next date, parties will make submissions with regards to the bail plea.
Read more


Consider Varavara Rao’s age and health: Bombay HC tells NIA on activist’s medical bail plea

13/01/2021

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The NIA presented two fresh reports from Nanavati Hospital on Rao’s health to the court.
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said that the National Investigation Agency and Maharashtra government should keep in mind the age and health condition of poet-activist Varavara Rao while making submissions on his bail plea, PTI reported. A bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale was hearing the plea moved by Rao’s wife Hemlata, seeking relief on medical grounds.
Read more

Online events: The incarceration of Stan Swamy – Repeal UAPA – Release BK16 arrestees – Book Release

Online events: The incarceration of Stan Swamy – Repeal UAPA – Release BK16 arrestees – Book Release

By twenty initiating movements/organisations

Online programmes:
• On 15 January: HUNDRED DAYS of the incarceration of Father Stan Swamy and the brutal face of the Indian State
• On 20, 21, 22 January: Repeal UAPA, the draconian legal tool to indefinitely put dissenters behind bars, using the bogey of national security and extremism.
• On 24 January: “Why does the Indian State fear Sudha Bharadwaj”. The Release of a PUCL published book on Advocate, activist, trade unionist, lawyer and mother Sudha Bharadwaj.

Join us on Facebook Live

Dear Friends,
SALAAM!
During the last 20 months since the 2019 elections, we have all witnessed the depths to which the present ruling party can descend to crush, subvert, deny, undermine and weaken the institutions, structure and processes of rule of law and constitutional democracy. Brazenly and with impunity, the government has used the law and the police agencies to stifle and silence democratic voices of dissent through false prosecutions and persecution of rights defenders and undemocratic measures to curb the lawful activities of organisations. What is most distressing is the near-total abdication of their constitutional duties to safeguard constitutionally mandated fundamental rights and crushing of dissent by constitutional institutions, including the Supreme and High courts.
As happened in the emergency period and other times in our history as an independent nation, citizens are now standing up to say “Enough is enough” and are fighting to safeguard the Indian Constitution, rule of law and democracy.

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Farmers’ groups attempt to ‘broaden’ struggle / Dec 23: Jailed activists join farmers protests [full statement]

Farmers’ groups attempt to ‘broaden’ struggle / Dec 23: Jailed activists join farmers protests [full statement]

Farmers’ groups along Delhi border attempt to ‘broaden’ struggle

11/01/2021

Counterview / by Harsh Thakor

A protracted war of resistance appears to be unfolding on the border of Delhi, whee protesting farmers have intensified their struggle against the three agricultural laws. A massive tractor march was planned as a precursor to a similar rally on the Republic Day. Farmers are being mobilized under the guidance of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) and other organisations in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Read more


Their full statement (click to enlarge)

Several Elgaar Parishad accused on day-long hunger strike in support of protesting farmers

23/12/2020

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

Three other accused in the case, Sudha Bharadwaj, Jyoti Jagtap and Shoma Sen, are lodged separately at Byculla women’s jail.
To show solidarity with protesting farmers, some of the arrested accused in the Elgaar Parishad case who are lodged at Taloja Central Jail observed a day-long symbolic hunger strike on Wednesday.
The accused, including Mahesh Raut, Anand Teltumbde, Surendra Gadling, Hany Babu, Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Rona Wilson, said in a statement issued through their lawyers that since they cannot join the farmers on the ground, they want to show solidarity with their cause through a hunger strike on December 23, which is observed as National Farmers’ Day.
Read more


Jailed activists join farmers protests, symbolic hunger strike in solidarity

23/12/2020

Indie Journal / by Indie Journal

The activists have criticised the Central Government for bringing in the farm laws.
On farmers’ day, today, several intellectuals and activists detained in the Bhima Koregaon case will be undertaking a day-long symbolic hunger strike, in solidarity with the farmers protesting against the farm laws. The activists have criticised the Central Government for bringing in the farm laws, calling it a “sinister plot to make farmers slave of the corporate giants”.
Read more


Also read: FARMERS’ UNION EXPLAINS WHY IT IS DEMANDING JAILED ACTIVISTS’ RELEASE (Dec 14)