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Waging war against civil society: 152 Andhra-Telangana activists named in bogus UAPA case

A Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) note following a press conference at the Press Club of India:
Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) held a press conference titled “Indian Democracy and Suppression of Democratic Voices" on 19th July at Press Club of India. The program discussed on the suppression of democratic voices using suppressive laws in the light of Tadwai case, where 152 activists of Andhra-Telangana were named in a bogus UAPA case, relating prominent civil rights activists including Prof G. Haragopal and even the late High Court judge H. Suresh, based on an alleged recovery of a diary, belonging to Maoists in a combing operation.
Addressing the press conference, Delhi University Professor, Nandita Narain said that the state is using draconian laws to suppress democratic voices who oppose corporate loot peoples resources. People like G N Saibaba, stan swamy who stood with adivasis against suppression have been constantly jailed. So it is the unholy alliance of corporate-state that is attacking the people and their activists. I unconditionally stand with 152 activist named in Tadwai case. I also demand release of bhima koregaon and Delhi ‘Riots’ Conspiracy case prisoners.
K Ravichander, co-convener of Forum Against Repression, Telangana, said “state is unleashing terror not only in Telangana but the whole country by using suppressive institution & laws. We call this government a “mad government” that is against adivasi, dalit, muslim & working people.” He further said that situation in Telangana is very miserable because KCR government is a B team of BJP. The separate Telangana movement’s aspiration have been betrayed by suppressing democratic spaces. Telangana has became a experiment theater for state to use suppressive laws, since Telangana armed struggle. There are cases where 200 people are booked in single UAPA cases to suppress the voices of adivasi struggle in nearby region. It is in coherence with Ajit Doval's statement of waging war against civil society. This is a modus operandi where they book 100 people in a UAPA cases and use the same narrative of Maoists leaving some document having name of accused during police raid. This is nothing new, it has been happening since 8 to 9 years but what is new is that members of civil society are being named along with high level leadership of Maoists. Tadvai case is one such case that has come to light but there are many. There are three names are mention twice such is the level of stupidity. There should be a movement to quash such bogus cases. There is need for civil society to study these kind of cases.
Prof. Haragopal could not make it to the conference but he sent a message which was presented before the attendees. The message says “The journalist world should understand the fact that there is increasing use of a draconian law against any body or every body. This law was meant to be used against terrorists. It has been turned upside down. The civilized democracies go by presumption of innocence till guilt is proved. Under UAPA the accused is guilty and has to prove his innocence. Under this law the minute state slaps the law the punishment starts as one would be behind bars minimum six months. The Telangana state a creation of a movement has misused the law extensively. In a recent case they slapped it against 152 persons which includes justice Suresh who died two years back, there are two other names who are no more. It is built so casually and callously that it sets the limit to misuse. Telangana civil society and political parties barring TRS and BJP strongly reacted. A vibrant debate is going on. Unless the civil society fights citizens rights nor democratic values are safe.”
Delhi University Professor Saroj Giri, while moderating the program, asserted that we should ask opposition parties their position on UAPA & other draconian laws. We should not just focus on cases against some activist but the laws itself. This is high time that we push this demand.
Professor Laxman Gaddam, government has unleashed two-pronged attack. Suppressive government is trying to eliminate naxalite movement by using drones and deploying military. They have conducted 4 drone strikes in 3 years now. They are unleashing war on adivasi people & disrupting their livelihood in the name of eliminating the Maoist movement. And secondly they are targeting democratic mass organization to suppress the question they raise regarding war on people. They are trying to suppress democratic mass organization & civil society that has respect of the masses & work on the mass issue. We congratulation that you have formed CASR and gaining inspiration from this we have formed forum against repression. we are also forming lawyers network to fight such bogus UAPA & TSPSA case. we also ask the political party about their position on democratic rights & draconian laws like UAPA . There is no rule of law in Telangana, they do what they want. Ravichander and I, both are accused in Tadvai case and we both have 5 to 6 bogus UAPA cases. They have identified 20 people’s organizations like DSU,TPF,TVV,VIRASAM as the Maoist organization. We demand Tadvai conspiracy case to be quashed, we demand such all bogus UAPA cases, we demand repeal UAPA.
Supreme Court Lawyer Prashant Bhushan said “if you criticize PM and the government, then one can say they represent India, so you are promoting disaffection against the nation. Such bogus cases of conspiracy to kill PM have been slapped under UAPA in Bhima Koregaon case on some of the finest democratic rights activist and are languishing for almost 5 year now. Here bail has became exception & jail has became norm which is entirely against the usual principal. He further added that “The law is draconian and it should be opposed but also the agencies that have been bestowed this supreme power, agencies like NIA. These agencies are puppet of government and hence they are targeting the activist that are opposing anti people development model and criticizing government polices. I support the demand to repeal the unconstitutional UAPA .
General Secretary of Pragatisheel Manila Sangathan Poonam Kaushik, speaking on behalf of her organization, said “we have seen activist included women activist act have been left in jail in Delhi riots case. Activist who stand with toiling masses in the anti CAA-NRC movement and Bhima Koregaon case have been jailed even in lockdown. We did signature campaign with other women organization and filed a petition to Home Ministry, NHRC and Delhi CM. The NHRC replied to us that there is no specific case of human right violation has been made out in your case, hence we cannot do any thing, on the other hand we received threat from delhi police. I am trying to say that when women collectively come out to assert democratic rights they are treated badly and with a very different approach that is brahmanical and patriarchy. I demand on the behalf of PMS that the case on 152 activist must be quashed and people incarcerated under UAPA and various draconian law must be released.
Supreme Court Lawyer and Counsel in BK case, Mihir Desai focusing on the anti-people nature of UAPA said “we should not say UAPA is misused. UAPA is perfectly used in the interest of state. It's intention is to keep people in jail without giving proper opportunity to take bail. There is no need for conviction in UAPA because process itself is a punishment”. Focusing on impunity granted to investigating agencies under UAPA, he added “there was a provision in POTA and TADA that if the law is misused by the investigation agency they can be prosecuted but there is no such provision in UAPA.” He said “there is no doubt UAPA should be opposed and struck down immediately”.
Advocate Mahadevan, who practices in Hyderabad High Court as well as Supreme Court, legal counsel in Tadvai case & also one of the accused in it, said “UAPA is nothing new. It is the successor of TADA and POTA. it is a tool to suppress political dissent and for promotion of investigating officers. There is another similar case in Andhra Pradesh, where police allegedly caught one naxalite and he told 212 names based on which, a similar case was filled. who were these 212 people, he asks. They were democratic rights activist and members of democratic mass organizations. He called upon everyone to unitedly fight against the repressive laws like UAPA.
Organising Team: AIRSO,AISA, AISF, APCR,BASF, BSM, Bahujan samajwadi manch, Bhim Army, Bigul Mazdoor Dasta, bSCEM, CEM, CRPP, CTF, Disha, DISSC, DSU, DTF, Fraternity ,IAPL, Karnataka Janashakti, LAA,Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, Mazdoor Patrika, Morcha Patrika, NAPM, NBS, Nowruz, NTUI, People’s Watch, Rihai Manch, Samajwadi Janparishad,Smajwadi lok manch, , SFI, United Against Hate, WSS,Y4S



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