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Top activists still undertrial prisoners: Whither uproar around Israeli spyware to 'fix' them?

Counterview Desk 

The civil rights network Campaign Against State Repression (CASR)*, in a statement to mark the anniversary (June 6) of the first arrest in the Bhima Koregaon ‘conspiracy’ case after a series of raids in April 2018, has said that over the last five years, despite multiple reports like the one brought out by Arsenal Consulting, a US based forensic agency, suggesting how malware was used to "support" the state's onslaught, most arrested activists are “made to languish in jails without trial.”
Seeking their unconditional release, the statement says, there is a need for unity to fight the allegedly “Brahminical Hindutva fascist onslaught” which continues to suppress “any democratic resistance against the imperialist backed corporate loot of people’s resources under the cover of suppressing the Maoist movement.”


June 6th became a day of one of the most audacious attack by the Brahmanical Hindutva Fascist state on the Democratic rights and political activists and began new era of rampant use of UAPA and conspiracy cases, which was, although known to the working class, the peasantry and the oppressed, have been largely unknown to the urban democratic movement. 
June 6th, 2018 marks the first arrest in the infamous Bhima Koregaon ‘Conspiracy’ case, after series of raids in April 2018. The police arrested Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen and Mahesh Raut. Firstly, the police version was that these were arrested for organising a “Maoist funded” Elgaar Parishad program, cleverly omitting the fact that the two convenors of the event were retired prominent judges. Not few days later, intelligence agency started vile propaganda that there was a plot to assassinate PM Modi, which was carried on by corporate media for days.

But what was Elgaar Parishad event?

On 31st December, 2017, almost 200 Left and Dalit organisations organised a conference to mark the 200th Anniversary of the Victory of Bhima Koregaon Battle, fought by oppressed Mahar Soldiers against the Brahmanical Peshwa Army and defeating it. The conference, held near Pune, was an attempt to organise the oppressed and exploited masses of the country, thereby forging broader solidarity to defeat rising Brahmanical Hindutva fascism. 
One of the convenors and Retired Supreme Court judge gave call to lakhs of people attending the program and the whole country to bury the ‘New Peshwai’ represented by Brahmanical Hindutva Fascist BJP-RSS. On 1st Jan, 2018, the people attending the program were targeted with a coordinated brutal fascist attack by more than 2 thousand armed Militia led by Hindutva terrorists, Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote. People were attacked, mainly the ones from oppressed caste and working class background, their properties damaged and hundreds injured. 
Instead of taking action against the Bhide and Ekbote, against whom first FIR was registered in Pimpri, Maharashtra, the police started combings and raids in working class and Dalit bastis of Mumbai and targeted the activists of Bombay Electricity Contract Workers Union. Several activist of the union were picked up and later with raids on residence of Kabir Kala Manch activists in April, 2018, the infamous Bhima Koregaon ‘Conspiracy’ case was in its inception.
Not long after the first arrests, to suppress the rising movement for the defence and release of these five activists, yet another round of raids and arrest were carried out, taking prominent activists and intellectuals like Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Gautam Navlakha. Sudha Bhardawaj and Varavara Rao into custody. Followed by this, were the arrests of Anand Teltumbde, Fr. Stan Swamy, Hany Babu, Ramesh Gaichor, Sagar Gorkhe and Jyoti Jagtap. After facing long incarceration, on 5th July 2021, Father Stan Swamy, an octogenarian was murdered in custody through deliberate medical negligence.
Since then, five years have passed and multiple reports like the one brought out by Arsenal Consulting, a US based forensic agency, have suggested that the malwares and incriminating documents were planted on the activists arrested in Bhima Koregaon Case, particularly Rona Wilson. Much uproar also took place when it was revealed that these very political prisoners were targeted with an Israeli manufactured spyware called Pegasus. 
Yet, despite all the things pointing towards the innocence of the prisoners and the malicious designs of the state in the BK case, there has been utter disregard to the civil liberty of these activists, who are made to languish in jails without trial, without even the charges being framed against them. Their incarceration without trial is yet another example of process itself becoming punishment under draconian laws like UAPA. 
Their incarceration without trial is yet another example of process itself becoming punishment under draconian laws like UAPA
This kind of utter disregard for civil liberties by the institutions, including the judiciary has granted impunity to the ever growing fascist state machinery to unleash yet another series of conspiracy cases on the oppressed people in the name of Delhi Riots Conspiracy case and Hathras Conspiracy Case, in a bid to suppress any or all democratic assertion and fermenting oppressed and exploited unity of the country.
It is also important to remember that the activists jailed in Bhima Koregaon case have been vocal against the state’s genocidal operations like Salwa Judum and Operation Green-Hunt which has been constantly unleashed on people in different names at different times, in a bid to suppress any democratic resistance against the imperialist backed corporate loot of people’s resources under the cover of suppressing the Maoist movement. 
These people were put behind bars to eliminate any possibility of democratic resistance and campaign against the then launched Operation SAMADHAN-Prahar, a brutal extension of Operation Green-Hunt, against which they all fought. These activists were arrested to suppress the idea of broader unity of the oppressed and exploited people against the onslaught of Brahmanical Hindutva fascism and the imperialist exploitation of the people and resources of the country.
Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) reaffirms its resolve to honour the struggle of Father Stan Swamy and all the jailed activist to build unity of oppressed and exploited to counter the fascist upsurge, brute state repression and the plunder of the country. We call upon the people of the country, democratic progressive forces and individuals to build a strong movement to ensure the release of Bhima Koregaon and all other political prisoners.

We demand:

  1. Immediately and unconditionally release all the activists incarcerated in Bhima Koregaon Case.
  2. Immediate action against the Hindutva terrorist Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote.
  3. Repeal the undemocratic and anti-people UAPA and other draconian laws.
  4. Release all political prisoners.
*AIRSO,AISA, AISF, APCR,BASF, BCM, Bhim Army, Bigul Mazdoor Dasta, BSCEM, CEM, CRPP, CTF, Disha, DISSC, DSU, DTF, Fraternity ,IAPL, Karnataka Janashakti, LAA,Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, Mazdoor Patrika, Mehnatkash Mahila Sangathan, Morcha Patrika, NAPM, NBS, Nowruz, NTUI, People’s Watch, Rihai Manch, Samajwadi Janparishad, Smajwadi lok manch, Satyashodak Sangh, SFI, United Against Hate, WSS,Y4S



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