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GN Saibaba, others called new generation freedom fighters, victims of state terror

By Our Representative 

A Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) meeting on 28th October at the Gandhi Peace foundation on, ‘Dangerous Brain: Saibaba and Others', held to scrutinise the Supreme Court judgement suspending Bombay High Court's acquittal order of Prof GN Saibaba, Hem Mishra, Prashant Rahi, Vijay Tirki and Mahesh Tikri, has demanded that the Apex Court should uphold the Bombay High Court’s order granting acquittal to Saibaba and others.
Seeking compensation to family of Pandu Narote, CASR sought initiation inquiry into the custodial death of Narote and hold the officials responsible. Other demands put forward by CASR -- which is a network of several civil rights groups -- included repeal the anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and release all political prisoners.
Addressing meeting, senior advocate Colin Golsalves talked about the two judgements on GN Saibaba and Umar Khalid, explaining how the Indian courts are giving judgements politically and not legally. He said that no court has the right to reject acquittal without quashing the order.
On Umar Khalid's case, he said that he has been booked for making provocative speech. But in the Rangarajan case, it has been established that unless violence is being done, any speech even against government is not a crime. Umar Khalid was arrested for Delhi riots, but the MP and MLA who instigated violence in Delhi riots are free, he added.
He called who are in jail are the “new generation freedom fighters”, underlining, “We are in a new emergency which is more dangerous than Indira Gandhi’s. The judgements of Supreme Court prove this. Today the biggest terrorist force in our country is the government itself.”
Delhi University Professor Apoorvanand said that the Constitution orders that it is the responsibility of the state to ensure the freedom of all citizens. But it is the first time that the SC reversed an order in a case where the accused has been acquitted.
Citing the case of Jyoti Jagtap, he said that she has been denied bail because she criticized the government through their songs, means that there is no space in this democracy for criticism of the government. The same is true of Umar Khalid. All these cases must be seen in continuity.
In the Bhima Koregaon case, too, he said, the two Hindutva leaders accused were not arrested and instead activists were attacked. In the CAA-NRC case the duty of the police was to find out who were the writers and who planned the riots but instead the Delhi police arrested those who were involved in the anti CAA-NRC protest.
He pointed out that on 28th October, the Prime Minister said that we have to end all kinds of Naxalism, be it Naxalism of gun or of pen. Today we need to realise that the urban Naxal conspiracy of the government is not only against the jailed people but against all the people of the nation for whom these people are raising their voice. It is our responsibility is to make this message reach the masses, he added.
Scholar and activist Sharjeel Usmani said that the best of people of the country are in jail today. GN Saibaba is in jail because he stood against the Operation Green Hunt. Many press conferences have been held for him and most people try to awake emotions by talking about his health but the matter is not about is ill health or about the slogan "long live revolution" but this regime is actually against all those who speak.
Muslims are permanent minority in this country but apart from them there is another minority, i.e., the people who are conscious and critical of the state’s actions, he said. The rule of the majority by suppressing the minority is not democracy but hooliganism. We must keep on fighting.
Delhi University Professor Saroj Giri talked about the arrest of Hany Babu, Anand Teltumbde, Arun Ferreira, Siddiqui Kappan etc. He said that we must see it as a pattern this pattern is not dependent on what Supreme Court bench or who the CJI is but it depends on the state machinery including the security apparatus like NIA.
Muslims are permanent minority, but there is another minority, i.e., the people who are critical of the state’s actions
Referring to the case of Saibaba, he explained how the state machinery works. It is not about any party or organisation, but the whole state character. Even if any other government wins the election, this crackdown will continue. We cannot understand the whole picture if we see the ruling BJP only.
Delhi University Professor Manoranjan Mohanty was not able to attend the programme physically, but he sent his message. It said, according to the SC judges, the brain seems more dangerous to the rulers than actual actions. This judgement goes to encounter the basic practices and laws that have taken human civilization from the stage of oppression to that of better human conditions.
The message added, in the past also, rulers have labelled such people as anti-nationals, terrorists, rebels. Now it has become general scenario by the politicians, state agencies and even the Judiciary. He appealed to all democratic forces to join hands against this state repression.
Delhi University Professor Laxman Yadav quoted the last letter of Bhagat Singh which said that every drop of the blood was for the revolution. But today, in the era of Amrit Mahotsav, the word "revolution" is enough for someone to go to jail.
He said that it is difficult for those and their families who are in jail but more than their private loss, this is a bigger loss to the society and to the nation. Professors lawyers, artists etc. are behind jail and those who must be in jail are ruling us, they are getting promotion so that they can give more hate speeches.
He said that it is not only about BJP but about the tendency which oppresses workers, farmers, Dalit, minorities and Adivasis. There is no use of good judges, good students or good people, in general, if they do not speak against injustice. He added, yesterday those who were in jail are our leaders of today. Those who are in jail today are fighting on behalf of all the people.
Labour rights activist Nodeep Kaur said that the activists are being labelled as Maoists or Naxalites, so we must talk about who Maoists are. Maoists are people who started their struggle on some basic structural questions, and rather than addressing such fundamental questions, the state is using “Maoist” tag to attack all who are critical of the state. She said that there is no democracy left today.
She added, all the four pillars of democracy have fallen. The state is waging a war against people. Talking about Chief Justice of India UU Lalit, she added, he fought in favour of all those who have been accused of murder and rioting. We have to overthrow this system, only then we can establish an equitable society.

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