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Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

By Our Representative 

Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was "no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence."
Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Addressed by family members of the political prisoners, academics, as well as social activists, it was highlighted how cases were sought to be fabricated against progressive individuals, democratic activists and intellectuals, who spoke out against "corporate loot of Indian resources, suppression of basic democratic rights, militarisation against Dalits, religious minorities, Adivasi and the majority of the people of India."
Moderating the media meet, Delhi University professor Saroj Giri said, there is a need to understand the pain of the families of political prisoners, even as engaging in legal struggle for the release of these prisoners. Also, one needs to highlight the causes for which they were fighting for and engaging in mass people’s democratic struggle.
Prof Giri, speaking on activists incarcerated in Bhima-Koregaon conspiracy, said that most of them have been vocal against the brute state repression on adivasi people in mineral rich regions of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra etc., in the interest of corporate loot of resources and they have been incarcerated to silence the voices against such loot and repression.
Referring to a series of aerial bombings conducted by state forces on the Chhatisgarh-Telangana border villages of Bijapur and Sukma on 11th January, 2023, using helicopters and drones, he said, "These aerial bombings in civilian areas go against various international charters and conventions relating to internal conflict."
Nargis Saifi, wife of Khalid Saifi, accused of conspiring is the Delhi Riots 2020, said that the effort through these imprisonments was to silent activists and all democratic voices. According to her, "When Muslim women break stereotypes and fight in people’s struggles at the forefront, the government reacts by assuming that there must be some secret instigator who organised them."
Jenny Rowena, wife of imprisoned Delhi University professor Hany Babu, said, "Hany was wrongfully accused to be a part of the organisation called Elgaar Parishad without any evidence due to his activism in the universities for the rights of the other backward classes (OBCs).
Elgaar Parishad took oath to unite Dalits, Bahujans, Muslims and Adivasis for anti-fascist struggle
She added, "Elgaar Parishad took an oath against fascism and the need to unite Dalit, Bahujan, Muslim and Adivasi organisations in the struggle against fascism" one reason why it was "alleged to be a conspiratorial organisation funded by Maoists without any evidence."
Prof Giri read out a letter from Father Joseph Xavier, spokesperson for the Father Stan Swamy Legacy Committee of Jesuits, which stated, the Arsenal report has highlighted that the incriminating information was planted onto the laptops and electronic devices of Fr Stan and others accused in the Bhima Koregaon case.
The letter noted, thousands of adivasis are in jail under UAPA and the cause for such incarcerations stems from the greed of big corporates like Adanis, Ambanis, Jindas and Tatas etc., who are aided by the state in the plunder of India’s natural wealth. It added, any struggle against crony capitalists and the democratic demand of the extension of the Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 is met with brutal state repression.
Vasantha, partner of Delhi University professor GN Saibaba, regretted that Prof Saibaba was granted acquittal in October 2022 by the Bombay High Court, but continues to remain incarcerated without any bail, as the decision of the High Court was contested immediately in the Supreme Court. Saibaba, who is 90% disabled, has seen his health deteriorate even further in custody, she added.
Laxman Yadav, another Delhi University professor, stressed on the need to find common points of unity among all the oppressed and exploited peoples of India and struggle unitedly. He added, the people fighting for democratic rights are behind bars, whereas the violators of these rights are in power.

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