Skip to main content

New round of raids, arrest of rights leaders across India 'in the light of 2024 elections'

Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan, SR Darapuri
By Our Representative 
The civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR)*, commenting on what it calls “a new round of raids and arrests" across India last week, has said that the action by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted in Delhi at Fazalpur, Shaheen Bagh, Okhla and Chandni Chowk, in Bhopal, Thane, Tonk, Gangapur, Lucknow, Siddharth Nagar, Sant Ravidas Nagar, Kanpur, Gorakhpur and Madurai, suggest the scale of “overall repression and scare tactics” in the light of the upcoming 2024 elections.
Insisting that democratic rights activists of all kinds are being targeted in an “undemocratic ways”, CASR in a statement said, those targeted include “human rights activist Abdul Wahid Shaikh, 79-year-old retired IPS officer SR Darapuri, Shravan Kumar Nirala, Jai Bheem Prakash, Neelam Baudh, Ramu Siddharth, French national and research scholar Valentine Jean and Bhim Army founder Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan."
All this is happening, it said, at a time when the Delhi Lieutenant-Governor granting the sanction to Delhi Police to prosecute author and activist Arundhati Roy for a 2010 case of sedition, demanding, the authorities should “release of all arrested and detained activists as well as an immediate stop to the raids by the police and NIA.”
Pointing towards the type action being taken, the CASR said, “Abdul Wahid Shaikh, currently a teacher, had to wait for 6 hours to even find out that the personnel at his doors were actually from the NIA since the forces continuously lied to Shaikh about being either from Mumbai Police, Delhi Police or Gorakhpur Police and were unwilling to show any warrant to Shaikh for the raid.”
According to CASR, “In the past, Shaikh had to wrongfully spend 9 years in jail for a 2006 case in which he was acquitted in 2015. When Shaikh refused to let the NIA in upon their refusal to produce any warrant, they broke one of his two doors and smashed his CCTV camera.”
Noting that “the arrests in Gorakhpur of S.R. Darapuri, Shravan Kumar Nirala, Jai Bheem Prakash, Neelam Baudh, Ramu Siddharth and Valentine Jean come in light of the demand of the Dalit peasantry for the distribution of 1 acre of land for the landless”, it added, “Darapuri’s family has raised its contentions towards the arrest, given that the near 80-year-old ex-IPS officer and activist suffers from Parkinson’s Disease.”
As for Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan, he was “detained due to his participation in the Jail Bharo movement in Gwalior wherein youth from oppressed caste background are wilfully breaking the imposition of IPC’s Section 144 in protest”, said CASR.
*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, Smajwadi Lok Manch, Bahujan Samjavadi Manch, SFI, United Against Hate, WSS,Y4S



Vaccine nationalism? Covaxin isn't safe either, perhaps it's worse: Experts

By Rajiv Shah  I was a little awestruck: The news had already spread that Astrazeneca – whose Indian variant Covishield was delivered to nearly 80% of Indian vaccine recipients during the Covid-19 era – has been withdrawn by the manufacturers following the admission by its UK pharma giant that its Covid-19 vector-based vaccine in “rare” instances cause TTS, or “thrombocytopenia thrombosis syndrome”, which lead to the blood to clump and form clots. The vaccine reportedly led to at least 81 deaths in the UK.

'Scientifically flawed': 22 examples of the failure of vaccine passports

By Vratesh Srivastava*   Vaccine passports were introduced in late 2021 in a number of places across the world, with the primary objective of curtailing community spread and inducing "vaccine hesitant" people to get vaccinated, ostensibly to ensure herd immunity. The case for vaccine passports was scientifically flawed and ethically questionable.

'Misleading' ads: Are our celebrities and public figures acting responsibly?

By Deepika* It is imperative for celebrities and public figures to act responsibly while endorsing a consumer product, the Supreme Court said as it recently clamped down on misleading advertisements.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

US 'frustrated' with India’s discomfort: Maritime exercise in South China Sea

By Vijay Prashad*  In early April 2024, the navies of four countries -- Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and the United States -- held a maritime exercise in the South China Sea. Australia’s Warramunga, Japan’s Akebono, the Philippines’ Antonio Luna, and the United States’ Mobile worked together in these waters to strengthen their joint abilities and -- as they said in a joint statement  -- to “uphold the right to freedom of navigation and overflight and respect for maritime rights under international law.” 

Dadi, poti discuss 'injustice' under 10 yr Modi rule: Video campaign goes viral

By Our Representative  Watan Ki Raah Mein, a civil society campaign of the Samvidhan Bachao Nagrik Abhiyan, has released a short video conversation on social media of an exchange of letters between a dadi and her poti discussing poverty, unemployment, corruption and women’s safety. The letters also raise the question of  suppression of our fundamental rights of speech, expression and justice. 

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

India 'not keen' on legally binding global treaty to reduce plastic production

By Rajiv Shah  Even as offering lip-service to the United Nations Environment Agency (UNEA) for the need to curb plastic production, the Government of India appears reluctant in reducing the production of plastic. A senior participant at the UNEP’s fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4), which took place in Ottawa in April last week, told a plastics pollution seminar that India, along with China and Russia, did not want any legally binding agreement for curbing plastic pollution.

No compensation to family, reluctance to file FIR: Manual scavengers' death

By Arun Khote, Sanjeev Kumar*  Recently, there have been four instances of horrifying deaths of sewer/septic tank workers in Uttar Pradesh. On 2 May, 2024, Shobran Yadav, 56, and his son Sushil Yadav, 28, died from suffocation while cleaning a sewer line in Lucknow’s Wazirganj area. In another incident on 3 May 2024, two workers Nooni Mandal, 36 and Kokan Mandal aka Tapan Mandal, 40 were killed while cleaning the septic tank in a house in Noida, Sector 26. The two workers were residents of Malda district of West Bengal and lived in the slum area of Noida Sector 9.