On the evening of 11 July, the 81-year-old poet Varavara Rao called his wife, Hemalatha, from the overcrowded Taloja Central Prison in Maharashtra, sounding incoherent and delirious, according to a press release circulated by his family …
Families and lawyers of others who have been imprisoned in connection to the Bhima Koregaon case have pointed out they are barely able to communicate with the inmates during the pandemic. At least four of the 11 undertrial prisoners have pre-existing medical conditions that make them vulnerable to the novel coronavirus. Read more
Prisoners ‘dumped’ at quarantine facility: Nearly 300 Taloja jail inmates
Mumbai Mirror / by harmeen Hakim & Shruti Ganapatye
Prisoners and rights activists say decongestion exercise an eyewash.
“We’re living like animals here.” Khyamuddin Sayyed minced no word in the letter he sent his lawyer, Amrish Salunkhe, on June 14 from his temporary prison in a Kharghar school. Read more
Chhattisgarh PUCL Calls for the Immediate Roll Back of the Undeclared Emergency
By People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Chhattisgarh
Release All Political Prisoners!
Repeal Draconian Laws!
Stop Gagging the Media!
June 25th, 2020: On this day in 1975, the then-Indian Government imposed the State of Emergency in India, suspending all fundamental rights and commencing one of the darkest periods of Indian democracy. Today, after a span of forty-five years, we the people of India find ourselves in a similar situation, living in a de facto state of emergency, which has not been officially declared, where scores of ordinary citizens to who dared to criticize the government are being arbitrarily arrested under draconian laws meant only for rarest cases of international terror. The Chhattisgarh chapter of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties is observing this day as the Anti-Emergency Day –to demand the release of arrested human rights workers, and to renew our pledge to uphold the Constitution of India, with all its promises of freedom and equality, in its true spirit. …
We are herewith releasing the full text of the letter addressed to the Home Minister, Amit Shah by CPI(M) Polit Bureau Member, Brinda Karat. This pertains to the inhuman treatment of human rights activists arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case. The letter was sent today. Read more
NEW DELHI: Over 300 prominent citizens appealed for the release of 11 jailed activists, including Varavara Rao and Sudha Bhardwaj, who are yet to get bail despite prisons being overcrowded and some inmates testing COVID positive. Read more
To dissent is not a crime! Concerned citizens call for the release of activists on humanitarian grounds
We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about the health of 11 respected fellow citizens:
1. Mr. Varavara Rao
2. Ms. Sudha Bhardwaj
3. Ms. Shoma Sen
4. Mr. Anand Teltumbde
5. Mr. Gautam Navlakha
6. Mr. Arun Ferreira
7. Mr. Vernon Gonsalvez
8. Mr. Surendra Gadling
9. Mr. Mahesh Raut
10. Mr. Sudhir Dhawale
11. Mr. Rona Wilson
These activists, many of them eminent scholars, writers and poets, have worked for the welfare of India’s poorest and most marginalised people over decades. Yet they have been turned into politcal prisoners and incarcerated. They have not been granted bail despite the fact that in the prisons of Maharashtra where they are being detained, some inmates have died and many others have tested positive for COVID-19. Read more
Things Getting Really Bad in Overcrowded Maharashtra Prisons
Even after 2 deceased inmates were found COVID-19 positive, testing is not being done in Taloja where rights activists, mostly 60+, arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case have been lodged. Read more
OF 269 PRISON INMATES WHO TESTED POSITIVE IN MAHARASHTRA, 115 RECOVERED
The Hindu / by Sonam Saigal
As of June 13, 17, 695 screenings and 1681 swab tests were conducted in 10 Central Prisons in Maharashtra and in the Additional Director General, Prisons (ADGP) office of which 269 tested positive, 115 recovered and four died, the Bombay High Court was informed on Monday. Read more
The Day Justice Hosbet Suresh Was Threatened With Arrest
The police’s relentless pursuit of human rights activists in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence did not spare judges either.
The Bhima Koregaon case, in which 11 prominent human rights activists, lawyers and academics languish behind bars, that too during a pandemic, has now become the template for similar arrests taking place in different parts of the country 2014 under the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah regime. Read more
Though there is a mountain of evidence to prove their innocence, the 9 activists arrested, allegedly for their role in the Bhima Koregaon violence still remain in jail. And the witch-hunt only continues, resulting in the arrests of Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde, also charged with UAPA for the same case. While it is very evident that the case against Anand Teltumbde is fabricated, he was asked to surrender amidst the deadly pandemic along with Gautam Navlakha. We demand the immediate release of all the 11 activists. Watch video
Poster campaign: Rise in rage against state repression!