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Bombay HC Seeks Maha Govt’s Reply on Pleas of Activists Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen

Bombay HC Seeks Maha Govt’s Reply on Pleas of Activists Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen

Bombay HC seeks NIA, MHA and Maharashtra’s response to Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen’s challenge to their UAPA prosecution

04/05/2021

The Leaflet / by The Leaflet

The Bombay High Court Tuesday asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the state of Maharashtra to file their respective responses to the petitions filed by Rona Wilson and Professor Shoma Sen, accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, challenging the decision of the Maharashtra Government granting sanction to prosecute them under the stringent anti-terrorism Unlawful Activities (Prevention) (UAPA) Act.
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Bombay HC Seeks Maha Govt’s Reply on Pleas of Activists Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen

04/05/2021

News 18 / by pti

A bench of Justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale also directed the NIA, which is conducting a probe into the case, to file its reply to Sen’s petition.
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Maharashtra government to file its replies to petitions filed by activists Rona Wilson and Shoma Sen, seeking quashing of charges against them in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case. A bench of Justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale also directed the NIA, which is conducting a probe into the case, to file its reply to Sen’s petition.
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Prof Shoma Sen claims evidence forged, planted on digital devices; moves Bombay HC challenging UAPA charges

15/04/2021

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

Sen was arrested for her involvement in connection to the violence in Bhima Koregaon case and has been in judicial detention since then without bail.
Bhima Koregaon accused Shoma Sen has filed a petition before the Bombay High Court challenging the charges slapped against her by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Sen, in her plea, contended that the prosecution’s case against her is built on evidence which was planted on digital devices belonging to a co-accused Rona Wilson.
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Prof Shoma Sen challenges prosecution under UAPA; says evidence against her is unfounded, forged and planted on co-accused’s digital devices

14/04/2021

The Leaflet / by The Leaflet

An accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, Professor Shoma Sen, has petitioned the Bombay High Court challenging her prosecution under the stringent anti-terrorism Unlawful Activities (Prevention) (UAPA) Act.
Sen, a former Head of Department of English at Nagpur University, alleged that that the case against her had been built entirely on unfounded, forged, hearsay evidence that was planted on digital devices belonging to a co-accused-Rhona Willson, which (devices) were “illegally” seized by the police in complete violation of all safeguards and procedures mandated under applicable law.
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Also read: Bhima Koregaon Accused Rona Wilson Moves Bombay High Court Seeking SIT Probe Into The Report That ‘Incriminating Materials Were Planted On His Laptop’ (Live Law, Feb 2021)

Andhra govt, Centre ‘collude’ to repeat Bhima Koregaon type case against rights activists

Andhra govt, Centre ‘collude’ to repeat Bhima Koregaon type case against rights activists


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

Andhra govt, Centre ‘collude’ to repeat Bhima Koregaon type case against rights activists

11/04/2021

Counterview / by Counterview Desk

In a comprehensive statement, running into about 3,500 words, India’s premier human rights organisation, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), even as condemning the recent “unprecedented attack” on rights activists by the Andhra Pradesh government, with the Centre’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) and stood in “solidarity”, has said that the main aim of the “witch hunt” is to silence dissent.
Signed by Ravi Kiran Jain and Dr V Suresh, respectively President and General Secretary of PUCL, the statement, drawing a parallel with the Bhima Koregaon case, said, this time too the NIA cover was used to level the allegation that the activists were all supporters and “front organisations” of Maoists.
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NIA Raids 33 Activists in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

10/04/2021

The Leaflet / by The Leaflet

On 31st March & 1st April 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided the homes of at least 33 human rights and civil liberties activists, members of women’s groups, Dalit organizations, labor unions, and social and cultural movements in 31 locations spread across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The NIA alleged that the activists were all supporters and “front organizations” of Maoists. These raids resemble the ones carried out in the Bhima Koregoan case….
In the past few years, the NIA has frequently stepped in to take control of UAPA cases in states which are not governed by the BJP.
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Also Read: NIA takes over Andhra probe against activists (Hindustan Times, March 2021)

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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Indian legal system produces unlawful laws

Indian legal system produces unlawful laws


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

Pakistan Today / by Shazia Cheema

The laws based on personal agenda to maintain and retain power have paved the way for civil unrest.
Law and order have always perceived as a relative situation although it meant to serve the purpose of maintaining order and peace, it has been observed that laws are not always enough to keep harmony in society. Law made by man for man has a coherent tendency to create craves between state and society.
The textbook example of that is Indian laws named UAPA, TADA, and POTA. These three laws created for the safety of society have been immensely used to subjugate the population of India and have been criticised by the civil society that named these laws as “Draconian Laws”.
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S.M. Mushrif: Secularists should challenge UAPA in Supreme Court

S.M. Mushrif: Secularists should challenge UAPA in Supreme Court

Frontline / by Ziya Us Salam

(Print edition: April 9, 2021)
Interview with S.M. Mushrif, former Inspector General of Police, Maharashtra.
… In the light of Bhima Koregaon and the anti-Citizenship [Amendment] Act protests in Delhi and elsewhere, arbitrary arrests have been made under the UAPA. Many professors, students, poets have been incarcerated for long. Is the law supposed to safeguard the common man or frighten him?
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5,128 Cases Under UAPA Since 2015, 72% Rise in Last Five Years

5,128 Cases Under UAPA Since 2015, 72% Rise in Last Five Years

5,128 Cases Under UAPA Since 2015, 72% Rise in Last Five Years

11/03/2021

News Click / by News Click

According to the data, 30 cases were lodged on charges of sedition in 2015 followed by 35 in 2016, 51 in 2017, 70 in 2018 and 93 in 2019.
As many as 5,128 cases under the stringent anti-terror law UAPA and 229 on charges of sedition have been lodged across the country in a five-year period from 2015, the Parliament was informed on Wednesday.
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UAPA: 72% Rise in Arrests Between 2015 and 2019

10/03/2021

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

Data revealed by the home ministry earlier showed that just 2.2% of the cases under the Act ended in court convictions.
There has been a 72% increase in the number of arrests made under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in 2019 in relation to those made in 2015, according to data provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the Lok Sabha.
According to The Hindu, the MHA revealed that as many as 1,948 persons were arrested under the UAPA in 1,226 cases that were registered across the country in 2019. Between the years 2015 and 2018, 897, 922, 901 and 1,182 cases were registered and 1,128, 999, 1,554 and 1,421 people were arrested, Union minister of state for home G. Kishan Reddy said in a written reply.
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Over 72 per cent rise in UAPA cases since 2019, what does the Act entail?

10/03/2021

Edex Live / by Edex Live

In July 2019, the ambit of UAPA was expanded. It was amended allowing the government to designate an individual as a terrorist without trial.
The Ministry of Home Affairs told the Lok Sabha that there has been over 72 per cent increase in the number of persons arrested under the anti-terror law UAPA.
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VV Rao’s Bail: Leading Newspapers Urge Courts to Protect the Fundamental Right to Liberty

VV Rao’s Bail: Leading Newspapers Urge Courts to Protect the Fundamental Right to Liberty

Varavara Rao’s Bail: Leading Newspapers Urge Courts to Protect the Fundamental Right to Liberty

27/02/2021

The Leaflet / by Manya Saini

Poet-Activist Varavara Rao’s extended judicial custody amid severe medical concerns has brought into question the rights of accused persons awaiting trial. Leading newspapers have pressed upon the need for judicial reform and argued that courts must come forward to protect the fundamental rights of citizens that are threatened by draconian laws like sedition and UAPA.
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Justice lives: Rao and Ravi granted bail

25/02/2021

The Telegraph / by editorial board

The momentum generated by these verdicts needs to be taken forward to kindle an informed debate on judicial reform.
A fair investigation is one of the prerequisites of justice. The infirmities in two separate investigations that were exposed and castigated by the courts in two recent judgments merit attention. The Bombay High Court granted conditional bail to the poet, Varavara Rao, infirm and an accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, observing that the National Investigation Agency had kept him in custody without framing charges for an extended period of time.
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Bail as right: On bail to Varavara Rao

22/02/2021

The Hindu / editorial

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.
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Statement by Pen International

23/02/2021

By Pen International


Sharper Fights Ahead – Statement in view of VV’s Interim Bail

22/02/2021

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.
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Varavara Rao’s bail: Hope for other accused

22/02/2021

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.
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Video: VV Rao – Poet, Activist, Political Prisoner

22/02/2021


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.
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How UAPA curtails personal liberty, undermines fair trial

How UAPA curtails personal liberty, undermines fair trial

Hindustan Times / by Gautam Bhatia

To stop UAPA from continuing to be the tool of repression that it has become, it is vital that the courts either strike down — or substantially read down — this section, and ensure that years in jail do not become an automatic consequence of the police’s (read: the State’s) decision to charge inconvenient opponents under this law.
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Colin Gonsalves interview: Policemen who pursue malafide cases should face crippling fines

Colin Gonsalves interview: Policemen who pursue malafide cases should face crippling fines

Scroll.in / by Smitha Nair

The noted lawyer speaks about the need for a legal framework to make the state pay for violating civil liberties by way of wrongful prosecutions.
The recent spate of FIRs invoking sedition charges against journalists for allegedly sharing unverified information on social media about the death of a protestor during the farmers’ tractor rally on January 26 has prompted a former Supreme Court judge to call for an interventionist approach by the apex court to deal with the “rampant abuse of the criminal justice system”.
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Process Has Become Punishment In Case Of Varavara Rao: Anand Grover (video)

Process Has Become Punishment In Case Of Varavara Rao: Anand Grover (video)


en | 15:50min | 2021

The Logiacl Indian / by Navya Singh

81-year-old poet, activist Varavara Rao has spent 149 out of 365 days in the hospital. The activist’s lawyers and family have urged that he should be granted bail on medical grounds as his health condition continues to deteriorate.
The Logical Indian’s Navya Singh spoke to Senior Lawyer Anand Grover who represents Varavara Rao in the case to get more details.
Watch video