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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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Calls discontinued, only visits for kin of Elgar Parishad accused

Calls discontinued, only visits for kin of Elgar Parishad accused

The Times of India / by Shishir Arya

Kin of two Elgar Parishad accused lodged in Taloja and Byculla jails in Mumbai say the facility to call inmates has been discontinued abruptly from this month. Phone calling that was allowed since July as a post Covid measure came as a small luxury. At times, even video calls could be made. Visits were stopped due to the pandemic.
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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.
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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.
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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”.
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Also read: FARMERS’ UNION EXPLAINS WHY IT IS DEMANDING JAILED ACTIVISTS’ RELEASE (Dec 14)

Gadling in jail. Reason? As lawyer-activist he has been ‘unpleasant’ to India’s topcops

Gadling in jail. Reason? As lawyer-activist he has been ‘unpleasant’ to India’s topcops

Counterview / by Nilkantha Mandal, Sandeep Pandey, Kushagra Kumar

Surendra Gadling, now in jail in the Bhima-Koregoan violence case, is a human rights lawyer and Dalit rights activist based in Nagpur. He is known for taking up cases of extra-judicial killings, police excesses and atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis in Gadchiroli and Gondia districts of Maharashtra.
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The cost of voicing dissent: UAPA against G.N. Saibaba, Gautam Navlakha, Father Stan Swamy and others

26/12/2020

Countercurrents / by Kunal Pant

In 2016, a Supreme Court Judge asked the state of Maharashtra, “Do you want to extract a pound of flesh?” The statement was directed against the state for contesting the bail plea of Delhi University Professor G. N. Saibaba. Saibaba was arrested in 2014, a justification for which was to prevent him from committing what the police called “anti-national activities.”
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Law is No Longer About Justice But is Reimagined as a Tool of Terror and Harassment

Law is No Longer About Justice But is Reimagined as a Tool of Terror and Harassment

The Leaflet / by Shiv Visvanathan

Each citizen, as Havel once said about totalitarianism, must become iconic of protest from body language to symbolism. When indifference and prejudice becomes a monstrosity of legal indifference, civil society must reinvent democracy as a new politics of caring, says Shiv Visvanathan.
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Stan Swamy’s Crime Is His Solidarity with the Marginalised

Stan Swamy’s Crime Is His Solidarity with the Marginalised

The Leaflet / by Annie Domini

In light of the state’s attack on eminent activists who fight for the right of marginalised and oppressed, those who express solidarity must raise their voices loudly and actively writes Annie Domini.
If you look at the body politic of the country without saffron-tinted glasses, if you truly see, you will find a very very sick organism indeed. An organism that’s cannibalising on its own heart, brain and lungs to feed a massive belly of unrestrained State power.
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Media reports about the new 10,000 page chargesheet in the Bhima Koregaon case

Media reports about the new 10,000 page chargesheet in the Bhima Koregaon case


Drawing by Arun Fereirra

Chargesheet in Elgar Parishad case: CPI Maoist documents, letters on ‘anti-fascist front’ cited by NIA

14/10/2020

The Indian Express / by Deeptiman Tiwary

The agency last week submitted its first chargesheet in the case, which was filed in connection with the violence on January 1, 2018, in Pune.
Literature on 50 years of Naxalbari, CPI Maoist press releases, a guide on encrypted data communication on GSM network, a mini manual of “urban guerrilla”, “information literature related to weapon, bomb, mortar” and letters discussing issues like raising a militant “anti-fascist front” in the wake of attacks on Dalits and minorities — these are among key evidences cited by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against activists such as Stan Swamy, Hany Babu, Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde in the Elgar Parishad case.
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Milind Teltumbde organised weapons training in forests: NIA claims in its charge sheet

14/10/2020

National Herald / by IANS

Absconding accused Milind Teltumbde had organised arms training in the Korchi forest area of Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli for three activists of the banned organisation Kabir Kala Manch, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) claimed in its charge sheet filed in the Bhima Koregaon case last week. The three activists were Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor and Jyoti Jagtap…
The NIA also claimed that Delhi University Associate Professor Hany Babu, who was arrested from his residence in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida in July this year, was in contact with Paikhomba Meitei, Secretary I&P Military Affairs KCP (MC), an organisation banned under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
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NIA chargesheet says Stan Swamy received Rs 8 lakh for CPI-Maoist activities

13/10/2020

ANI / by Nishant Ketu

Stan Swamy, who was arrested last week from Ranchi in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon case, possessed Maoist propaganda material and received Rs eight lakh to carry out activities of the banned CPI-Maoist, NIA has said in its chargesheet.
The NIA said it among the documents seized from Swamy’ residence were “guide of encrypted data communication on GSM network”, “an essential underground handbook”, “letter between comrades for using encryption, “mini-manual of urban guerilla”.
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This is what NIA’s Bhima Koregaon chargesheet says about Stan Swamy

13/10/2020

India Today / by Kamaljit Kaur Sandhu

Stan Swamy is a Jharkhand-based Jesuit priest. He has been booked for criminal conspiracy under the Unlawful (Activities) Prevention Act (UAPA). Here’s what the NIA chargesheet says about him.
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Gautam Navlakha Was In Touch with ISI Lobbyist, Says NIA Chargesheet

13/10/2020

News 18 / by Arunima

The NIA in its Elgar Parishad investigation has found a link between Pakistan’s ISI and the CPI-Maoist. The agency in its chargesheet has called activist Gautam Navlakha the link between the two.
The agency filed its first chargesheet in the special NIA court in Mumbai last week against eight people. Besides Navlakha, it named Hany Babu, Stan Swamy, Anand Teltumbde, Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor, Jyoti Jagtap and Milind Teltumbde under several sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Prevention Activities Act.
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NIA raises objection over Surendra Gadling’s interim bail after his mother’s demise

NIA raises objection over Surendra Gadling’s interim bail after his mother’s demise

The Free Press Journal / by Bhavna Uchil

Gadling’s mother passed away mid-last month in a Nagpur government hospital due to COVID-19. Thereafter, Gadling, who is lodged in Taloja prison, through advocate R. Sathyanarayan sought temporary bail to attend a memorial function scheduled on 22 September.
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