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Activists protest in front of Maharashtra Sadan, New Delhi against arrests, raids

By Our Representative
A group of activists, intellectuals, lawyers, scientists, journalists, feminists, students, cultural groups and progressive citizens protest at Maharashtra Bhavan, New Delhi, against what they called “unlawful arrests” of five human rights activists, Sudha Bharadwaj, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonzalves, Arun Ferreira and Gautam Navlakha. Organized by the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), the participants condemned “the outrageous act” of Maharashtra Police, which raided the houses of Father Stan Swamy, Prof K Satyanarayana, Kranthi Tekula, KV Kumaranath, Anand Teltumbde and Susan Abraham.
Prominent participants in the protests were scientist-activist Gauhar Raza, Dr Sunilam (national convener, NAPM), Rakhi Sehgal (New Trade Union of India), Priya Pillai (Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS), Sideshwar Shukla (Centre of Trade Unions), former DGP (Uttar Pradesh) SR Darapuri, Shamshul Islam (Nishant Natya Manch), Mohit Pandey (Former President, Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union), among others.
Rakhi Sehgal and Priya Pillai, who were with Sudha Bharadwaj till the time she reached home at 3 am, narrated the whole incident of the arrest and the complete violation of laws by Maharashtra police. Despite the orders from HC the police arrested and kept her in custody till midnight.
The protesters called this situation as ‘undeclared emergency’ where culprits/criminals like representatives from Sanatan Sanstha roam freely and innocent people are being raided and arrested. Activists also demand release of all illegally arrested activists including Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen and Mahesh Raut who are behind the bars since June. Citizens warned the government to mend its ways and withdraw all the false cases imposed on the activists.
A memorandum submitted by the activists to the resident commissioner, Maharashtra Sadan, addressed to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis called for the release of human rights activists and withdrawal of “false and fabricated case against them”, even as calling upon the state to “immediately stop the simultaneous multi-city raids and imposition of false and fabricated accusations and charges against them.” It also demanded revocation of “false and fabricated charges” on the five activists (Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen and Mahesh Raut) “illegally arrested” in June 2018.

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