Skip to main content

Absolute falsehood meant to discredit us, say activists on Maharashtra police linking them with Maoist extremism

Stan Swamy, Sudha Bharadwaj, Anand Teltumbde
Counterview Desk
Referring to a series of media briefings by Maharashtra police, seeking to implicate several senior activists -- who were either arrested or their houses were simultaneously raided on August 28 -- for their "Maoist" links, three of them, Father Stan Swamy, Sudha Bharadwaj and Anand Teldumbde, have gone public to term it as "absolute fabrication".

Stan Swamy's statement

In his open statement, Swamy, those house was raided in Ranchi, Chhattisgarh, says that "powerful interests" within the government have not only have foisted a case of sedition against me in Jharkhand but now have included him in a false case that links me with banned organizations at national level in order to "discredit" him.
According to Stan Swamy, "Maharashtra police held a press conference in Mumbai on August 31, 2018. Additional Director-General (law and order) of Maharashtra police Mr. Parambir Singh told the media that in relation to the incident of Bhima-Koregaon, initially a FIR was lodged on January 8, 2018. According to him the name of Stan Swamy was added in the aforesaid FIR on August 23 along with the names of Arun Fereira, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalvez, Sudha Bhardwaj, Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde.
He continues, "In the same press conference, ADG Parambir Singh talked about a letter allegedly written by Adv. Sudha Bhardwaj.
"This letter, according to Maharashtra police, mentions that for the work of Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee (PPSC) Stan Swamy had been appointed by comrade Prashant. It is also mentioned in the aforesaid letter that Sudha Bharadwaj had asked Stan Swamy to provide some funds for the activities of CPI (Maoist), but Stan Swamy did not make any definite commitment in this regard.
"I would like to make it clear on my part with regard to the content of the said letter that Sudha Bhardwaj never asked me for any fund for the activities as mentioned in the letter. It is nothing but complete concoction and absolute falsehood that is being propagated by the Maharashtra police. Sudha Bhardwaj has also repeatedly denied the veracity of the said letter and has said that it is a fabricated letter.
"Further, I believe that the possible reason behind this concoction of the case against me along with Sudha Bhardwaj is that I have been the convener of PPSC formed in December, 2015. I wish to make it clear that PPSC was formed purely to help under trial prisoners and it has no link whatsoever with any banned organizations.
"I have also filed a PIL in the Jharkhand High Court at Ranchi for the speedy trial of the under trial prisoners, languishing in the jails of Jharkhand. Taking serious note of my PIL, Hon’ble Jharkhand High Court on January 8, 2018 ordered the state of Jharkhand to provide all relevant and necessary information from all the jails of Jharkhand which must reveal the reasons for undue delay in the trial of these under trial prisoners. Still the proceedings in said PIL are going on in Jharkhand High Court.
"In addition to this PIL, I have been raising awareness among Adivasi and Dalit people for their rights guaranteed under the Indian Constitution especially the rights of the adivasi community provided in the Fifth Schedule and their right of self governance through Gram Sabhas as provided in PESA Act; I have also tried to make them aware of the judgment of the Supreme Court that ‘the owner of the land is also the owner of the subsoil minerals.’ I have also raised voice against the formation of Land Bank that intends to take over the 'commons' such as roads, rivers, ponds, burial grounds, community forest lands etc which are traditionally used by the community.
"I fear that these activities of mine have angered the powerful interests within the government that they not only have foisted a case of sedition against me in Jharkhand but now have included me in a false case that links me with banned organizations at national level in order to discredit me together with other intellectuals, legal professionals and social activists raising our voices for the rights of poorest of poor people in the state of Jharkhand and all over India."

Sudha Bharadwaj's statement

Earlier, Sudha Bharadwaj, who was arrested in an early morning swoop in Delhi, made the following statement through her advocate Vrinda Grover on August 31, referring to the letter purportedly written by her suggesting her Maoist links, said, "It is a totally concocted letter fabricated to criminalize me and other human rights lawyers, activists and organisations."
In her statement, she said, "It is a mixture of innocuous and publicly available facts and baseless fabrication. Various legal and democratic activities such as meetings, seminars, protests have been sought to be delegitimised by alleging that they are funded by Maoists.
"A number of human rights lawyers, activists and organisations have been deliberately named to cast a stigma over them, to obstruct their work and incite hatred against them.
"There is an effort to delegitimise IAPL an association of lawyers whose president is Retd J. Hospet Suresh and which has been active in speaking up against attacks on lawyers.
"I categorically state that I have never given Rs. 50, 000 to hold any programme in Moga. Nor do I know any Ankit from Maharashtra or Com Ankit who is in touch with Kashmiri separatists.
"I know Gautam Navlakha, a senior and respected human rights activist whose name has been mentioned in a manner to criminalize and incite hatred against him.
"I know Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group well and have never solicited any funds for them least of all from any banned organisation. I categorically state that their work has been absolutely legitimate and legal.
"I know Advocate Degree Prasad Chouhan a dalit human rights activist who is active in PUCL and works with the Human Rights Law Network. Totally baseless allegation has been made against him.
"There has been an effort to criminalize and incite hatred against various lawyers activists and organisations who have exposed HR violations in Bastar, Chhattisgarh.
"I once again declare that this is a fabricated letter, which I had refuted when it was flashed on Republic TV on July 4, and which has not even been brought before either the Pune Court nor the CJM Faridabad while seeking to whisk me away to Pune."

Anand Teldumbde's statement

Referring to a news item in "The Hindu", Dr Anand Teltumbde has said it is total falsehood to say that that he has been going abroad for meetings to collect funds for Maoists. The news item published in "The Hindu" under the heading “Activist held meets abroad: police”, according to him, says:
"The arrested accused claimed they needed to stoke violence and tension and maximize the death of a Dalit youth during the Bhima Koregaon riots, Mr Singh claimed, while reading out from a purported letter written by Mr Anand Teltumbde to Mr Wilson in January this year. According to Mr. Singh the letter said, 'It is time we carried out a big strike as is being suggested by VV (Varavara Rao) and Surendra', referring to 80 vehicles burnt on the instruction of Mr Rao."
Denying the allegation, Dr Teltumbde said, "I am stunned to see such white lies being spread by the police to malign me. I state that while I know Rona since his JNU days and thereafter off and on as an activist, but never had I written to him even an email, leave apart letter. It is distressing that the state stoops to such lows to malign a defenceless citizen like me, who even in the face of it could not be connected with such bizarre activities.
"I have been an alumnus of IIM Ahmadabad, and had my entire career in corporate world ending with Managing Director and CEO of a holding company. Even, thereafter, when IIT Kharagpur invited me to join its faculty, I taught Business management for over five years. This year I launched India’s first Big Data Analytics programme in management. Can any sane person link up this background of mine with the bizarre stories police is churning out through so called letters.
"Already, in having a raid on my house in the campus they have ruined my image before my students and jeopardized their careers as they in some way are linked with my own reputation. My family, my vast friend circle, my corporate contacts, everything is devastated with this false campaign the police launched for whatever intension.
"I heard from some journalists that the police spokesman in his press conference yesterday referred to my foreign visits that I collected money. I am a reputed scholar and go on invitations of universities abroad, and all these tours are well documented. Such kind of deliberate falsehood and fabrication by the state agent is dangerous for this country’s future to say the least."

Comments

TRENDING

#MeToo moment in Hyderabad Urdu varsity? Two girl students seek action against authorities

Counterview Desk
Has the #MeToo movement reached Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU)? It would seem so if a recent letter by newly-appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed to MAANU vice-chancellor Dr Aslam Parvaiz is any indication. Seeking reinstatement of two girl victims of “sexual harassment and humiliation”, the letter specifically names head of the department of the Media Centre for Journalism, suspecting, the problem could be much deeper.
Text of the letter: It is a matter of utmost perturbation for me to receive the two representations from the girls studying in the MCJ (Media Center for Journalism) regarding their sexual and subsequently, mental and social harassment at the hands of Prof Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, the HOD, MCJ.
We do not know, how many girls have been exploited by him and preferred to be silent for saving their family’s honour; however, there are two brave girls who stood to the depraved advances and misuse by Prof Ehtesham and came up with written complai…

"Ineligible" funding of Sardar Statue in Gujarat: CAG tells Central PSUs, it's not a heritage CSR activity

By Our Representative
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its recent report on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), has qualified public sector undertakings’ (PSUs') funding the 182-metre world’s highest Sardar Statue, currently being constructed in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam as an “ineligible” corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

"Highly irregular" for PSUs to fund Sardar Statue under Corporate Social Responsibility

Counterview Desk
In a letter to I Srinivas, secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, former secretary (economic affairs), Ministry of Finance, EAS Sarma, has raised questions on the funding of the Sardar Patel statue in South Gujarat by Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSUs) relying on the Comptroller and Auditor General report (No 18/2018).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”

Bank account frozen, raid on Amnesty office: Govt of India "treating" human rights NGOs like criminal enterprises

By Abhirr VP*
Amnesty India’s bank accounts have been frozen by the Enforcement Directorate, effectively stopping its work. Amnesty India is thus the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society in the country. The accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen earlier this month.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

60 ex-civil servants seek release of CAG reports on Rafale, demonetisation before 2019 polls

Counterview Desk
As many as 60 retired civil servants have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to expedite the release of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal. The letter, signed mainly by former Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service officers, regrets that the status of the audit is "unclear”. According to them, “An impression is gaining ground that CAG is deliberately delaying its audit reports on demonetisation and Rafale deal till after the May 2019 elections so as not to embarrass the present government”.