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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.
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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, Smajwadi Lok Manch, Bahujan Samjavadi Manch, SFI, United Against Hate, WSS,Y4S

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