Skip to main content

No difference between BJP, Congress, Trinamool or AIADMK in imposing "anti-democratic" sedition law: PUCL

By Our Representative
People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), India's premier human rights organization, has said that there is little difference between political party in power in Indian states seeking to impose “coercive, anti-democratic, sedition provision of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to silence dissent and crush criticism.”
In a statement, issued against the backdrop of sedition being applied on Amnesty International India, which organized a programme on Kashmiri families in Banguluru, PUCL has said, whether it is BJP government invoking sedition provisions against Dr Binayak Sen in Chhattisgarh or the AIADMK government invoking sedition laws against peaceful, anti-nuclear protestors in Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu, the trend is not very different.
Among those who suffered because of the archaic sedition law, says PUCL, include cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, arrested in Maharashtra, or the case launched by the Trinamool government in West Bengal against academics.
In the last one year, the PUCL says, sedition was imposed on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students Union leader Kanhaiya Kumar in Delhi, Tamil folk singer Kovan in Tamil Nadu for criticising the government’s liquor policy, and against Hardik Patel for rallying the pro-quota struggle involving Patels or Patidars in Gujarat.
Underling that the latest to join this long list of “infamous” sedition cases is the one against Amnesty International India, launched by the Congress government in Karnataka. It adds, “In all these cases, what weighed were political considerations of the ruling parties and governments dealing a death blow to the rule of law and functioning of the criminal justice system.”
Condemning the actions of the Bengaluru police in foisting the sedition case against Amnesty and unnamed staff for holding a meeting on August 13 on “human rights abuses in Kashmir in which families of victims”, PUCL regrets, “That the Karnataka police chose to register a FIR highlights the dangers of arming the state with such draconian laws like the sedition law.”
The August 13 event was held against the backdrop of the Amnesty report “Denied: Failures in accountability for human rights violations by security force personnel in Jammu and Kashmir”. Says the report, “The report focused on the travails of families of persons who lost their loved ones due to excesses by security forces. The report is in the public domain.”
“Families of victims of State violence were present to narrate in first person, the situation in Kashmir and the difficulties in claiming justice and accountability in cases where innocent people are killed in encounters or enforced disappearances”, PUCL says.
Pointing out that video films of testimonies of other victim families were shown, apart from a panel discussion, a musical performance and a skit, PUCL says, the FIR for sedition against Amnesty is part of the witch hunt into the finances /funding of the organisation, carried out by right wing, majoritarian groups to “stifle dissent, prevent discussion and control debate.”
Saying that there is a “visible pattern across the country, from the incidents in JNU, Hyderabad Central University, Allahabad University, or the witch hunt against Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand, Indira Jaisingh and Anand Grover of Lawyers Collective, Greenpeace and now Amnesty”, PUCL notes, in each of these cases efforts are made to disrupt meetings and thereafter to harass the organisers by slamming cases against them.
Insisting that “seldom is any action initiated against the individuals who disrupt meetings”, PUCL says, in the latest incidence involving Amnesty, the police as “informed and were present at the meeting”, yet the disruptors were “not removed by the police present in the venue.”

Comments

TRENDING

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

Not just Indian women engineers, men too face sexual harassment at workplace: US study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent research, carried out jointly by two US-based non-profit organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Center for WorkLife Law (WLL), based at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has found that 45% of women engineers as against 28% of men engineers complained that it was perceived as “inappropriate when women argued at work, even when it was work-related.”

Poser to Modi: Why is Gujarat not fulfilling Constitutional obligations to minorities?

Counterview Desk
In an open letter, Mujahid Nafees, convener, Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), a Gujarat-based civil rights organization, has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi on infringing upon MCC activists’ constitutional right to protest. Nafees says, they had no other demands except that the Gujarat government should move towards fulfilling the constitutional obligations towards minorities and international treaties to which India is a signatory.