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Will Provide Clone Copies Once Received From FSL, But Trial Shouldn’t Be Stayed: NIA

Will Provide Clone Copies Once Received From FSL, But Trial Shouldn’t Be Stayed: NIA

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

Four years after arrests in the Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad Case, the National Investigation Agency has said that it will provide remaining copies of electronic evidence seized, but the trial in the case should go on.
Responding to pleas by lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj and journalist Gautam Navlakha to stay the proceedings or defer framing of charges until the clones copies are not provided, NIA claims they have yet to receive copies from the Forensic Science Laboratory.
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Also read: After Pegasus and Arsenal Reports, Can Bhima Koregaon Case Still Stand? (The Quint; July 21, 2021)

Switzerland: Petition demands immediate release of political prisoners in India

Switzerland: Petition demands immediate release of political prisoners in India

Berne; Oct 1, 2021 (Pic credits: Solifonds)

By SOLIFONDS and the Women’s Rights Group Zurich of Amnesty International Switzerland

Today, Friday 1 October, SOLIFONDS and the Women’s Rights Group Zurich of Amnesty International Switzerland handed over several hundred signatures for a petition for the release of political prisoners (BK16) to the Indian Embassy in Berne, Switzerland. However, no one from the embassy was willing to receive the petition.

Indian trade unionist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj has been in prison for over three years – without evidence and without a trial. Sudha Bharadwaj is also known in Switzerland because she struggled for the direct employment of contract workers at the Swiss cement company Holcim in India, as ruled by law. She and 15 other human rights defenders, intellectuals, lawyers and cultural workers were accused of being involved in the violence at Bhima Koregaon and of planning a conspiracy against the government. Forged documents, which forensic investigations revealed had been smuggled into the computers of accused persons by hackers, serve as “evidence”. A trial has not yet taken place.

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Another COVID-19 Outbreak in Byculla Prison Highlights Lessons That Haven’t Been Learnt

Another COVID-19 Outbreak in Byculla Prison Highlights Lessons That Haven’t Been Learnt


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

Another COVID-19 Outbreak in Byculla Prison Highlights Lessons That Haven’t Been Learnt

28/09/2021

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

Rights activists Shoma Sen and Sudha Bharadwaj are lodged in this prison.
On September 17, a local health post in Mumbai’s E ward was notified about a sudden increase in “fever” cases inside Byculla women’s prison. The cause of the fever was unknown, but the prison authorities had seen this pattern many times in the past year. The ward authorities set up a fever camp two days later, on September 19. The initial figures suggested three women were down with COVID-19. In subsequent camps, another 36 people – including six children under the age of six – tested positive. The jail, with close to 300 women prisoners, was soon sealed.
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43 inmates, including at least four children, test positive in Mumbai’s Byculla prison

26/09/2021

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The jail has not been declared a containment zone yet.
The number of inmates who contracted the coronavirus disease in Mumbai’s Byculla prison rose to 43 on Sunday. This includes at least four children, who continue to stay with their mothers…
The prison holds inmates like Elgar Parishad accused Sudha Bharadwaj, Jyoti Jagtap and Shoma Sen.
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Also read: Amid pandemic, India’s political prisoners struggle with failing health in unequipped jails (the Caravan, June 22, 2021)

Increasing spread of virus infection in Byculla prison is worrisome: Friends & Family of Sudha Bharadwaj

Increasing spread of virus infection in Byculla prison is worrisome: Friends & Family of Sudha Bharadwaj

By Friends & Family of Sudha Bharadwaj

Press Release
Friends and Family of Sudha Bharadwaj are extremely worried over the alarming and disturbing news of the rising Covid-19 infection in Byculla women’s jail forcing the authorities to seal the premise.
Last week, in a prison supervised phone conversation Koel Sen had with her mother Shoma Sen, former professor of English from Nagpur University, arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case and incarcerated for the last three years in Byculla prison without trial, it was informed that 20 inmates from the prison were infected, which appears to have now risen to 39!
Three women political prisoners, Shoma Sen, Sudha Bharadwaj and Jyoti Jagtap, all arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case for the past three years without trial and bail, are housed in the women’s prison of Byculla jail. Alarmingly, two out of the 20 infected are from the barrack that houses 40 senior women inmates, including 61-year-old Shoma Sen and 59-year-old Sudha Bharadwaj. The barrack of 40 senior citizen women inmates is fully vaccinated, however the virus infection of the two fully vaccinated women has sent fear and concern to all the women inside the prison and their family waiting for them in their homes.

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Human rights bodies must intervene to help Shoma Sen, Sudha Bharadwaj get medical bail

Human rights bodies must intervene to help Shoma Sen, Sudha Bharadwaj get medical bail

National Herald / by Satyaki Chakraborty

The situation has got precarious with COVID infection spreading in their barrack in Mumbai’s Byculla Jail. The Stan Swamy case should not be allowed to be repeated.
Bhima Koregaon accused activists Shoma Sen and Sudha Bharadwaj who are languishing in the Byculla Jail of Mumbai after being accused of conspiracy against the state by the National Investigating Agency(NIA), are facing a serious danger to their lives. At least 20 persons have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 at Byculla women’s jail, according to Koel Sen, daughter of activist Shoma Sen.
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Inmate found COVID-19 positive in barrack holding Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen

Inmate found COVID-19 positive in barrack holding Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

20 women, 5 children test Covid positive in Byculla women jail, 10 in male ward

25/09/2021

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

A prison official said that those who tested positive have been shifted to a nearby school. One of the prisoners, who is a senior citizen, has been shifted to a civic hospital. There are over 450 prisoners in Byculla prison.
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Inmate found COVID-19 positive in barrack holding Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen

23/09/2021

The Hindu / by Sonam Saigal

Both of them have tested negative on the RTPCR test, says DIG.
A senior citizen inmate, lodged in the same barrack as Sudha Bharadwaj and Shoma Sen at the Byculla jail, was found COVID-19 positive on Thursday.
Confirming it with The Hindu, DIG Yogesh Desai said, “One senior citizen who was given one dose of vaccination has tested positive and has been shifted to a temporary COVID Center next to the jail.”
He said Ms. Sen and Ms. Bharadwaj have tested negative on the RTPCR test.
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Days after special NIA court rejects Shoma Sen’s medical bail plea, daughter alleges two co-prisoners tested Covid-positive

23/09/2021

The Leaflet / by The Leaflet

More than 20 COVID cases reported in Byculla women’s jail.
At least 20 persons have allegedly tested positive for COVID-19 at Mumbai’s Byculla women’s jail, according to Koel Sen, daughter of activist Shoma Sen who is presently lodged in the jail. Earlier on Thursday, September 23, 2021, Koel reportedly spoke with her mother Shoma over an official call supervised by the jail superintendent, where she was informed of the same.
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Also read:
Inhumane prison conditions for Bhima Koregaon Human Rights Defenders (UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders / Aug 12, 2021)
Amid pandemic, India’s political prisoners struggle with failing health in unequipped jails (The Caravan / June 22, 2021)
‘Left to die’: Families of Bhima Koregaon accused demand their release, say jail conditions poor (The Print / June 12, 2021)

NIA court reject medical bail pleas of four accused / Court reject application seeking copy of draft charges

NIA court reject medical bail pleas of four accused / Court reject application seeking copy of draft charges

NIA Court refuses medical bail to four Bhima Koregaon accused; citing past precedent, two other accused activists seek laptops in jail

22/09/2021

The Leaflet / by Sabah Gurmat

Shoma Sen, Vernon Gonsalves, Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde had applied for bail.
On Tuesday, 21 September 2021, a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai rejected the bail applications filed on behalf of four of the senior citizens accused in the Bhima Koregaon case…
Notably, three of the Bhima Koregaon accused – Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Surendra Gadling – were also produced in-person at the special NIA court in Mumbai. The three argued before court by themselves.
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NIA Court rejects medical bail to Shoma Sen

22/09/2021

Sabrang / by Sabrang

She was arrested in June 2018, and has been in jail since then, with no relief.
… Further, as per media reports, the court has also rejected the applications filed by co-accused Sudha Bharadwaj, Hany Babu and Gautam Navlakha for a copy of the draft charges filed by National Investigation Agency (NIA) that has reportedly submitted a list of seventeen draft (proposed) charges against the 15 accused, including the serious charge of waging a war against the country, which is punishable with death or imprisonment for life (section 121 of the Indian Penal Code)…
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Special NIA Court Rejects Professor Shoma Sen’s Interim Medical Bail Plea In Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad Case

22/09/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

A special NIA court on Tuesday refused interim medical bail to Shoma Sen, a former professor at Nagpur University, who was arrested in the Bhima Koregaon – Elgaar Parishad caste violence case in 2018…
Meanwhile, the court has extended co-accused researcher Rona Wilson’s interim bail by three days…
Lastly, the court rejected an application filed by accused Gautam Navlakha, Hany Babu and Sudha Bharadwaj seeking a copy of draft charges submitted by NIA.
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NIA court reject medical bail pleas of four Bhima-Koregaon case accused

21/09/2021

The Hindu / by Sonam Saigal

The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Tuesday rejected the medical bail applications filed by senior citizens Shoma Sen, Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha and Vernon Gonsalves.
Special Judge D.E. Kothalikar rejected the pleas by relying on recommendations from the high-powered committee set up to decongest prisons owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The Legal Battle of Bhima Koregaon: The story so far

The Legal Battle of Bhima Koregaon: The story so far

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

The Special NIA Court has listed the pending applications on September 6, 2021
On July 5, 2021, 83-year-old activist and priest Father Stan Swamy passed away in a Mumbai private hospital while in judicial custody for his alleged involvement in the riots that took place in Bhima Koregaon post the Elgar Parishad event held on January 2018.
His death highlighted the state of undertrials in the Bhima Koregaon case, most of whom have been awaiting trial for the past three years.
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NIA seeks 2 weeks to reply on pleas of Bharadwaj, Navlakha seeking copies of devices

NIA seeks 2 weeks to reply on pleas of Bharadwaj, Navlakha seeking copies of devices

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

Jailed activists Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha had sought cloned copies of the electronic devices that investigators had seized from them
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) told the Bombay High Court on Friday that it will not press for proceeding with framing of charges before the special court in the Elgar Parishad case till the next hearing on pending petitions filed by the accused for cloned copies of electronic devices.
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Also read: Surendra Gadling’s Computer Was Attacked, Incriminating Documents Planted: Arsenal Consulting (The Wire, July 7)

Bombay High Court Reserves Order On Default Bail Plea Of Eight Accused In Bhima Koregaon

Bombay High Court Reserves Order On Default Bail Plea Of Eight Accused In Bhima Koregaon

Click to enlarge posters

Bombay High Court Reserves Order On Default Bail Plea Of Eight Accused In Bhima Koregaon

02/09/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday reserved for orders a petition filed by eight accused in the Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad caste violence case challenging cognisance of the charge sheet by a sessions judge in Pune and seeking default bail.
The accused have filed the appeal against the Sessions court’s order rejecting the default bail application under Section 167(2) of the Code of of Criminal Procedure read with Section 43-D (2) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
… The HC is likely to pronounce its judgement along a similar plea made co-accused Sudha Bharadwaj, on which order was reserved on August 4.
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HC reserves order on plea by eight accused

01/09/2021

Hindustan Times / by KAY Dodhiya

The Bombay high court reserved its orders in the petition filed by the eight Elgar Parishad accused who challenged the cognizance taken by the sessions judge of the charge sheet filed by Pune Police in November 2018.
The counsel for the accused argued that as the sessions judge had passed orders and not the special NIA court or a magistrate court as stipulated by the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) under which the accused were booked, the orders passed by the sessions judge were not valid and they were eligible for default bail.
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Bombay HC reserves verdict in plea by 8 accused challenging cognizance taken by Pune Sessions Judge

01/09/2021

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

The eight accused who have moved the Court are Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, P Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira.
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict in the plea filed by eight of sixteen accused in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon case challenging the decision of the Pune Sessions Judge to take cognizance of chargesheet against them.
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Also read:
8 accused move Bombay HC; claim chargesheet filed in haste only to defeat their right of bail (Bar & Bench, Aug 23)
Is Cognizance By Pune Sessions Court In Bhima Koregaon Case Void? Bombay High Court Reserves Judgment In Sudha Bharadwaj’s Plea For Default Bail (Live Law, Aug 4)