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NIA raids on Allahabad human rights activists 'part of larger political repression' in UP

Counterview Desk 

The civil rights group Campaign Against State Repression(CASR)*,condemning the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raid on “democratic, farmer, student and anti-displacement activists in East Uttar Pradesh”, has said in a statement that “these raids happening now in Allahabad are part of a larger on-going campaign of political repression being undertaken in Uttar Pradesh”.
Conducted against the offices of Bhagat Singh Students Morcha (BSM) in the Benaras Hindu University and the homes of Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) activists, the statement said, the raids “come in light of the recent attempts at suppression of the Bihar-based Kaimur Mukti Morcha’s leadership which has been at the forefront of the Adivasi struggle in Kaimur plateau against the blatant land-grabbing for creating a tiger reserve in the area.”

Text:

Since the morning of 5th September 2023, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been raiding the offices of Bhagat Singh Students Morcha (BSM) in Benaras Hindu University. Simultaneously, NIA has raided the homes of Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) State President Seema Azad, her partner and advocate Vishwavijay, advocate Soni Azad and organiser of a workers' organisation Ritesh Vidyarthi along with political activist Manish Azad in Allahabad.
Along with these raids, NIA has taken Seema Azad, Vishwavijay, Soni Azad and Ritesh Vidyarthi with them to an unknown location in an unlawful manner that reeks of undemocratic political repression. Information regarding their whereabouts is unavailable.
At the same time, at BHU, when two students from BSM attempted to talk to the investigation team regarding the raid being conducted at their offices, the officers slapped one of the students, screaming at the students for “daring to question” the raid in any manner. Two of the students, Akanksha Azad, the President and Siddhi, the Joint Secretary of BSM are forcefully made to sit in the room and interrogated while their phone have been confiscated by the NIA officers.
These raids happening now in Allahabad are part of a larger on-going campaign of political repression being undertaken in Uttar Pradesh, with the house of activist Rajesh being also raided in Deoria district. Rajesh is an activist of the Khiriya Bagh-Azamgarh farmers’ movement and a member of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha.
Similar raids have also taken place in Chandauli district. The raids come in light of the recent attempts at suppression of the Bihar-based Kaimur Mukti Morcha’s leadership which has been at the forefront of the Adivasi struggle in Kaimur plateau against the blatant land-grabbing of their lands for the sake of creating a tiger reserve in the area. In the past, police have opened fire on peaceful protests of the KMM and repeatedly abducted their activists.
Political activists, lawyers, intellectuals, and students who extend their support to movements against the corporate plunder of resources backed by the Indian state and its loot of the lands of farmers and Adivasis are continuously being branded as Maoists in a bid to silence all dissenting voices that expose the Indian state’s anti-people policies.
Abductions, violence, seizure of property and police brutality have become common practices by the state forces against all such dissent. In a time when the brutalities and undemocratic practices of the Indian state have become so open, all democratic-minded, justice-seeking, peace-loving people must come together in organized resistance towards such suppression.
Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) strongly condemns the undemocratic raids on its constituent organisation, Bhagat Singh Student Morcha (BSM) and Democratic- pro-people activists and subsequent detention of 4 activists by NIA. 
We demand that these raids be stopped and detained activists be release immediately and unconditionally. CASR calls upon all the democratic progressive forces and individuals to join hands and resist this Brahmanical Hindutva fascist onslaught.
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*AIRSO,AISA, AISF, APCR,BASF, BSM, 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, Samajwadi Lok Manch, Bahujan Samajvadi Manch, SFI, United Against Hate, WSS, Y4S

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