Skip to main content

'Vilification' campaign against arrested rights defenders: Week-long protests begin

By Our Representative 
Several well-known civil rights organizations, endorsing a call initiated by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) to conduct protest actions from August 28 to September 5, against “deterioration” in civil liberties in the recent past, have regretted that the 12 “renowned” lawyers, professors, academics, writers and activists remain imprisoned under “fabricated charges” for the violence at Bhima Koregaon, while the actual perpetrators “walk freely.” 
In a joint statement, they said, the protest call, given to mark August 28 as the day when two years ago, five human rights activists – Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferriera and Vernon Gonsalves – were arrested in the Bhima Koregaon Conspiracy Case – would end on September 5, which is the third anniversary of the assassination of Gauri Lankesh, the “fearless journalist”, in Bangaluru.
In their call, the organizations noted that two dozen anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)-National Register of Citizens (NRC) protestors were also “falsely” arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Protection) Act (UAPA) in Delhi and Assam “for conspiracy and several others under stringent sections of IPC and other special laws.”
In UP, they said in the statement, anti-CAA-NRC protestors are being “subjected to illegal processes of auctioning of their personal properties to pay for the damages to public property caused during protests”, adding, this apart, “scores of intellectuals, activists, trade unionists and others are continually being summoned, examined in the Delhi riots case and the Bhima Koregaon case and then subjected to vilification campaign.”
The organizations further said, they “support of Prashant Bhushan”, top Supreme Court lawyer, who has been convicted under the Contempt of Court Act, as also “numerous journalists, who are facing charges or have been arrested, for pointing out problems with government policies and their implementation.”

'End politics of religious majoritarianism': JMM

Meanwhile, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM), in a separate statement, said, it endorses the PUCL call, pointing out, one of those who are being harassed is Stan Swamy, who has been struggling for adivasi rights for decades in Jharkhand, even as the Hindutva “perpetrators” of the Bhima-Koregaon remain at large.
“The Central government, contrary to the constitutional values of secularism and equality, is taking the country towards religious majoritarianism and is coming down heavily on anyone who questions its communal agenda and anti-people policies”, JMM said.
Even as calling for “immediate release” of activists arrested in the Bhima-Koregaon case and withdrawal of cases, JMM demanded repeal of “anti-people” laws such as UAPA and National Security Act (NSA) and IPC sections such as 124A (sedition), asking the Central government to immediately end its politics of religious majoritarianism.
It announced its plans to submit memorandum to the President and Chief Justice of India for the immediate release of human right activists “falsely implicated” in the Bhima-Koregaon case, hold protest marches at state and district headquarters, do social media campaign, and hold joint meeting with all non-BJP political parties.

Comments

TRENDING

Nobel laureates join international figures, seek release of Bhima Koregaon accused activists

Nobel laureates Olga Tokarczuk,  Wole Soyinka Counterview Desk  As many as 57 top international personalities, including Nobel laureates, academics, human rights defenders, lawyers cultural personalities, and members of Parliament of European countries, have urged the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India to ensure immediate release of human rights defenders in India “into safe conditions”.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Russia, China to call the shots in Middle East, as Muslim nations turn into house of cards

By Haider Abbas* Only a naive would buy that the ‘situation of ceasefire’ between the State of Israel and Hamas would continue, as if the foiled attempt to demolish Al Aqsa this time, is not be repeated, if not in any near future then in sometime to come. Israel already has spurned the ‘ceasefire’ by storming Al Aqsa after the Friday prayers on May 21.

Hunger, lack of food security behind India's 'slip' in UN's sustainable development rank

By Dr Gian Singh*  According to a report released by the United Nations on June 6, 2021, India's ranking of achieving Sustainable Development based on the 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 193 countries in the 2003 agenda, which was 115th last year, has slipped to 117th position this year. India ranks not only the lowest among the BRICS countries -- Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa but also below the four South Asian countries -- Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Collapse of healthcare system? Why 90% of Covid patients treated at home survived

By Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey* Well known Hindustani classical singer Padma Vibhu shan Channulal Mishra, chosen as one of the proposers of Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, lost his wife and elder daughter to Covid in private hospitals in Varanasi. Younger daughter has accused Medwin Hospital of charging Rs 1.5 lakh for treatement of her sister and not being able to explain the cause of death. Pandit Channulal Mishra has asked for a probe into his daughter’s death from the Chief Minister. The family has also asked for the CCTV footage of the ward where deceased daughter was admitted for a week.

Rooted in mistrust? Covid-19’s march into rural India is a very different ball game

By Sudhir Katiyar* As the Covid-19 virus penetrates rural India, the rural communities are responding very differently from their urban counterparts who rushed to the hospitals. The rural communities are avoiding the public health facilities and any mention of the disease. The note argues that this supposedly irrational response is based on a deep-seated mistrust of the state by the rural communities. It can not be resolved with routine Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measures suggested in the Government of India SOP for tackling Covid-19 in rural areas.

Courageous, in-depth attempt to confirm common spiritual values of Christ, Buddha

By RB Sreekumar, IPS*  All religions, both theistic and atheistic designed conceptual and practical architecture, for holistic and comprehensive elevation and enlightenment of humanity. PK Vijayan, in his novel “Nirvana of Jesus Christ” (Notion Press, 2020) through creative imagination portrayed personality evolution of the two progenitors of God-centric and sagaciously logical major religions – Jesus Christ of Christianity and Gautama Buddha of Buddhism.

Why hasn't Govt of India responded to US critique of freedom of religion under Modi?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* About two weeks ago, on May 12, 2021, the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken released in Washington the ‘2020 International Religious Freedom Report.’ This official annual report of the US Government details the status of religious freedom in nearly 200 foreign countries and territories and describes US actions to support religious freedom worldwide. Mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, this report highlights the fact that ‘religious freedom is both a core American value and a universal human right’.

Covid fear? Cremation rituals gone upside down, Dalits asked to do Brahminical rituals

By Abhay Jain, Sandeep Pandey*  As Covid consumes human life in a very conspicuous way we are confronted with additional problem of disposing of human corpses. Cremation grounds are lit with continuous pyres, graveyards are running out of land and now Ganga has become a mass grave potentially polluting its water.