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Collapse of 2 ‘Urban Naxal’ cases shows panic & police overreach are worse than Maoist insurgency

Collapse of 2 ‘Urban Naxal’ cases shows panic & police overreach are worse than Maoist insurgency

The Print / by Praveen Swami

With cases against Navlakha & Purkayastha collapsing, it’s time to take stock of whether dirty war against Maoists is justified, or just perpetuates a brutal cycle of violence.
… What I want to look at though, is this whole business of Urban Naxals, a term that led both men and many others to jail. Exactly, what is an Urban Naxal? How serious is the Maoist threat in our cities? Is there even a threat? Or, is this one of those moral panics which lead countries into irrational policy responses from time to time, like the infamous Red Scare which paralysed the US in the 1950s?
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Also read:
NewsClick Raids and Arrests: Demolishing the Myth of the ‘Urban Naxal’ Nomenclature (The Wire / Oct 2023)
‘Urban Naxal’ is a label to terrorise intellectuals: Prabhat Patnaik (The Telegraph / Feb 2023)
#UrbanNaxal is Sangh Parivar’s favourite word-weapon to throttle Dalit, minority resistance (The Leaflet / Oct 2018)
What makes an Urban Naxal? (MR online / Sep 2018)
From ‘tukde tukde gang’ to ‘urban Naxal’: How media trials enable the government to stifle dissent (Scroll.in / Sep 2018)

Fadnavis prepares to fight the phantom of ‘urban naxals’

Fadnavis prepares to fight the phantom of ‘urban naxals’

Campaign, 2020

Deccan Herald / by Jyoti Punwani

Maharashtra, under Eknath Shinde and Devendra Fadnavis, is set to have a new ‘public security’ law where even peaceful expressions of dissent will be targeted.
… ‘Urban Naxals’ has been a favourite bogey of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre, and was used as a label against the Leftist intellectuals arrested for the January 1, 2018 violence at Bhima Koregaon in Maharashtra.
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Also read:
‘Urban Naxal’ is a label to terrorise intellectuals: Prabhat Patnaik (The Telegraph / Feb 2023)
Maharashtra: Activists, Lawyers Added to ‘Union War Book’, Listed as ‘Enemies of the State’ (The Wire / Jul 2021)
From ‘tukde tukde gang’ to ‘urban Naxal’: How media trials enable the government to stifle dissent (Scroll.in / Sep 2018)

NewsClick Raids and Arrests: Demolishing the Myth of the ‘Urban Naxal’ Nomenclature

NewsClick Raids and Arrests: Demolishing the Myth of the ‘Urban Naxal’ Nomenclature


Girish Karnad, Sep 2018 #MeTooUrbanNaxal

The Wire / Ajay K. Mehra

The current crackdown is transparently part of the same politics that resulted in the invention of ambiguous phrases like ‘tukde-tukde gang’ and ‘Urban Naxal’.
The search and seizure operation at the residences of 46 journalists associated with NewsClick and the arrests of two people are transparently part of the same politics that resulted in the invention of the still ambiguous phrases ‘tukde-tukde gang’ and ‘Urban Naxal’.
A new category of dissenters, deprecated as anti-nationals, is ‘Urban Naxal’.  This came into use since the Elgar Parishad case in 2018. A meeting of human rights activists, lawyers and others in Pune on December 31, 2017, known as the Elgar Parishad and meant to commemorate the bicentenary of the Bhima Koregaon battle, turned into a pretext to round up a number of ‘leftist’ activists under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
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Also read:
From ‘tukde tukde gang’ to ‘urban Naxal’: How media trials enable the government to stifle dissent (Scroll.in / Sep 2018)

NIA claims fact-finding conducted by Gautam Navlakha was sponsored to further terrorist activities

NIA claims fact-finding conducted by Gautam Navlakha was sponsored to further terrorist activities

poster campaign 2020

by Bar & Bench – Live Threads / @lawbarandbench (Aug 9, 2023)
NIA arguments in bail hearing of Bhima Koregaon accused Gautam Navlakha will continue on August 24, 2023.


NIA claims fact-finding conducted by Gautam Navlakha was sponsored to further terrorist activities

09/08/2023

The Leaflet / by Sarah Thanawala

The National Investigation Agency has also claimed that the perception of resistance from members of the banned organisation Communist Party of India (Maoist) against Navlakha was deliberately created. 
On Wednesday, a division Bench of the Bombay High Court comprising Justices A.S. Gadkari and Shivkumar Dige continued hearing the bail application filed by journalist and human rights activist Gautam Navlakha.
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NIA emphasises charges of conspiracy and common intention to further terrorist activities against Gautam Navlakha

08/08/2023

The Leaflet / by Sarah Thanawala

The National Investigation Agency argued that the individual roles of the accused persons in the Bhima Koregaon case should not be looked into in isolation from the larger conspiracy.
On Monday, a division Bench of the Bombay High Court comprising Justices A.S. Gadkari and Shivkumar Dige continued hearing the bail application filed by journalist and human rights activist Gautam Navlakha.
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Gautam Navlakha part of urban naxal movement which arranges manpower, funds for rural naxal struggle: NIA to Bombay High Court

08/08/2023

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

Responding to Navlakha’s claims that he was not involved in any violent acts for seeking bail in the Bhima Koregaon case of 2018, ASG Devang Vyas argued that Navlakha was assigned a role in the larger conspiracy.
Human rights activist and journalist Gautam Navlakha was part of an urban movement to arrange for logistics for the rural naxal movement, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) told the Bombay High Court on Monday while opposing Navlakha’s bail application.
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Probe agency opposes Gautam Navlakha’s bail plea, says ‘Part of Urban Naxals’

08/08/2023

India Today / by Vidya

The National Investigation Agency opposed the bail plea of Elgar Parishad case accused, Gautam Navlakha, in the Bombay High Court.
Opposing the bail plea of Gautam Navlakha, an accused in the Elgar Parishad case, the National Investigation Agency told the Bombay High Court that Navlakha was part of “Urban Naxals” to arrange logistics for Naxal movements in rural areas.
Read more


Also read:
‘Urban Naxal’ is a label to terrorise intellectuals: Prabhat Patnaik (The Telegraph / Feb 2023)
From Anti-National to Urban Naxal: The Trajectory of Dissent in India – How the term Urban Naxal came to being (Newsclick / Sep 2018)


Gautam Navlakha

Gautam Navlakha has a tremendous archive of writings from the 1980s to the present, documented by The Friends of Gautam Navlakha.
To read some of his recent writings and a full list of his articles with Economic & Political Weekly, the NewsClick newsportal and the platform Sanhati visit: Gautam Navlakha – Journalist, Human Rights Defender, Political Prisoner

‘Urban Naxal’ is a label to terrorise intellectuals: Prabhat Patnaik

‘Urban Naxal’ is a label to terrorise intellectuals: Prabhat Patnaik

Poster campaign, Jun 2020

The Telegraph / by Subhoranjan Dasgupta

Neo-fascist regime working towards ‘destruction of thought’
The government is reportedly planning a crackdown against “Maoist intellectuals operating front organisations in the cities in the guise of NGOs and civil rights organisations”, months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for the eradication of “Naxalism”, whether “the ones with guns or the ones with pens”.
But who are these so-called “Urban Naxals” and why does the government consider them so dangerous? Social scientist PRABHAT PATNAIK explains in this interview with SUBHORANJAN DASGUPTA, professor of human sciences.
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Also read:
From Anti-National to Urban Naxal: The Trajectory of Dissent in India – How the term Urban Naxal came to being (Newsclick / Sep 2018)

Maharashtra: Top Cop Accuses Decades-Old Cultural, Rights Orgs of Working as ‘Naxal Fronts’

Maharashtra: Top Cop Accuses Decades-Old Cultural, Rights Orgs of Working as ‘Naxal Fronts’

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

At the recent police conference attended by PM Modi, Gadchiroli DIGP Sandip B. Patil claimed in a paper that 15 cultural and rights organisations are actually “active frontal organisations of Naxals.” Behind this claim is little evidence.
In 2017, the artiste couple Shital Sathe and Sachin Mali publicly announced their decision to split from the cultural outfit, Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) after 15 years of association.
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Also read:
UAPA – CRIMINALISING DISSENT AND STATE TERROR – Study of UAPA Abuse in India, 2009-2022 (PUCL / Sep 2022)
Kabir Kala Manch: A History of Revolutionary Singing and State Repression (ritimo / April 2022)
The Security Playbook Used To Erode Democracy In Modi’s India & How The Tide Might Turn (article 14 / March 2022)
Maharashtra: Activists, Lawyers Added to ‘Union War Book’, Listed as ‘Enemies of the State’ (The Wire / Jul 2021)
From ‘tukde tukde gang’ to ‘urban Naxal’: How media trials enable the government to stifle dissent (Scroll.in / Sep 2018)

»By Targeting Elgaar Parishad, Modi Was Getting Back at Justice Sawant«

»By Targeting Elgaar Parishad, Modi Was Getting Back at Justice Sawant«

Graphic by Arun Ferreira & Vernon Gonsalves

NewsClick / by Ajaz Ashraf

On the fifth anniversary of the Elgaar Parishad, on 31 December, NewsClick spoke to former Justice BG Kolse Patil, one of its organisers, on how controversy overtook the event.
Few outside Maharashtra had heard of the Marathi word Elgaar, let alone understood its meaning, until 2018. Elgaar was the name given to a meeting of people, or Parishad, convened at the Shaniwarwada Fort ground, Pune, on 31 December 2017, a day before lakhs of Ambedkarites were to visit Bhima Koregaon village from around the country. The date 1 January 2018 was special, for it marked the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima Koregaon, which the Ambedkarites frame as their victory over the army of Peshwa Baji Rao II (1775-1851).
Read more


Also Read:
Let’s Remember the Lesson of Bhima Koregaon: Down with the New Peshwai (Sanhati│ by Sudhir Dhawale │ March 2018)
Why peoples’ coalitions are uniting against Hindutva — the ‘new Peshwai’ (Dailyo.in │ by Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves │ Jan 30, 2018)

How the term Urban Naxal came to being

How the term Urban Naxal came to being


Girish Karnad, Sep 2018 #MeTooUrbanNaxal

The rise of ‘Urban Naxals’, a term ‘not used by Govt’

13/10/2022

The Indian Express / by Vidhatri Rao

BJP has used it for AAP, Modi has attacked Cong over the same, and now it figures in PM’s Gujarat speeches.
Speaking after laying the foundation stone of the country’s first bulk drug park in Gujarat’s Bharuch district Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought up the issue of “Urban Naxals”…
The BJP has been using the term regularly since it first became popular after high-profile arrests of activists in July and August of 2018 in the Elgar Parishad case. Probing alleged links of the arrested activists to the violence at Bhima Koregaon in Pune that followed the Elgar Parishad event, police called them Urban Naxals.
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How the term Urban Naxal came to being

11/10/2022

Deccan Herald / by DH Web Desk

The term ‘Urban Naxal’ is based off a Maoist strategy
PM Narendra Modi on Monday cautioned the people of Gujarat against ‘Urban Naxals’ trying to enter the state in a veiled attack on the Aam Aadmi Party, blaming ‘Urban Naxals’ of obstructing development projects in his home state. The term was coined by filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri’s May 2017 essay in right-wing magazine Swarajya, who went on to direct films like The Tashkent Files and The Kashmir Files. It came to be used in political circles in the wake of the Elgar-Parishad case, where left-wing dissenters who were critical of the Modi government were arrested in connection with violence in Maharashtra’s Bhima-Koregaon in 2018.
Read more


Also read:
Constitutional Conduct Group: Open Letter to Citizens of India (Constitutionalconduct.com / Nov 2021)
Amit Shah asks CRPF to take ‘effective action’ against urban Naxals, facilitators (Hindustan Times / Nov 2019)
From Anti-National to Urban Naxal: The Trajectory of Dissent in India – How the term Urban Naxal came to being (Newsclick / Sep 2018)

Surendra Gadling seeks time to reply to ED’s notice / ED Wants to Probe Elgar Parishad Case

Surendra Gadling seeks time to reply to ED’s notice / ED Wants to Probe Elgar Parishad Case

Surendra Gadling seeks time to reply to ED’s notice to record his statement

31/07/2022

The Leaflet / by Sarah Thanawala

Arun Ferreira files application to seek production of order on the seizure of emails; Gautam Navlakha gives rejoinder to NIA’s arguments against his bail application
On July 28, the Enforcement Directorate (‘ED’) approached the special National Investigation (‘NIA’) court, presided by Special Judge Rajesh Kataria, seeking permission to record human rights lawyer and Dalit rights activist Surendra Gadling’s statement for his alleged connection with money laundering.
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ED moves NIA Court to question accused Surendra Gadling in money laundering case

30/07/2022

Bar & Bench / by Satyendra Wankhade

The Special NIA Court has granted time to Gadling to respond to ED’s application by August 10.
A special court in Mumbai on Friday granted Surendra Gadling – one of the accused in the Bhima Koregaon case — time to reply to the application filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking to record his statement in connection with a money laundering case registered by the agency last year in which he is allegedly a prime suspect.
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ED To Investigate Bhima Koregaon Accused For Money Laundering, Seeks Permission To Record Surendra Gadling’s Statement

30/07/2022

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

Over four and a half years after the Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad caste violence incident, the Enforcement Directorate is pursuing money laundering proceedings against certain civil liberties activists accused in the case.
The ED has approached the Special Court in Mumbai seeking permission to record accused Advocate Surendra Gadling’s statement under section 50(2) of the PMLA Act regarding an ECIR registered last year.
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Now, ED Wants to Probe Elgar Parishad Case, Accuses Surendra Gadling of ‘Money Laundering’

29/07/2022

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

The central agency has sought permission from a court in Mumbai to investigate into the enforcement case information report (ECIR) registered against the activist in March 2021.
The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday, July 28, moved an application before a special court seeking permission to question Surendra Gadling, one of the activists jailed in the Elgar Parishad case, in connection with an enforcement case information report (ECIR) registered against him in March 2021.
The Nagpur-based human rights activist has already been in jail for four years and will now be probed by ED in a “money laundering” case.
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Enforcement Directorate seeks to record Surendra Gadling’s statement

29/07/2022

The Indian Express / by Sadaf Modak

The ED approached a special court stating that the investigators want to record his statement in jail and sought permission for it. The court issued notice to Gadling to reply to ED’s plea. It is likely to be heard on Friday.
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Constitutional Conduct Group: Open Letter to Citizens of India

Constitutional Conduct Group: Open Letter to Citizens of India

Constitutionalconduct.com / by former civil servants of the All India and Central Services

Dear fellow citizens,
We are a group of former civil servants of the All India and Central Services who have worked with the Central and State Governments in the course of our careers. As a group, we have no affiliation with any political party but believe in impartiality, neutrality and commitment to the Constitution of India…
It would be pertinent to recall here that the term “fourth-generation warfare” is normally employed in relation to a conflict where the state is fighting non-state actors, such as terror groups and insurgents. Civil society now finds itself placed in this company. Earlier, the term “Urban Naxal” was being used to denigrate individual human rights activists. Clearly, under the New Doval Doctrine, people like Father Stan Swamy would become the arch enemy of the Indian state and the prime concern and target of its security forces.

Read full statement