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Erroneously linked with Maoist party, activist arrested under UAPA for his bold voice

By Harsh Thakor*

On Monday 11th of March, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) of the repressive Indian State presented fabricated charges against Sanjoy Deepak Rao in the jurisdiction of a special court for the NIA in Hyderabad. Sanjoy Deepak Rao, a progressive intellectual from Jammu and Kashmir, was already arrested several times for his bold voice. Last September he was arrested again, in Telangana, this time charged of being a leader of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), a party which leads the People’s War against the old Indian State.
The accusation includes enforcement of the Indian Penal Code in several of its sections, but especially numerous sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) are included, specifically sections 17, 18, 18-B, 20, 38, 39 and 40. This unconstitutional law has been described as “draconian” by the media all over the world. Documents that would incriminate him by repressive forces, Sanjoy Deepak, such as the laptop and alleged literature linked to Maoism, were confiscated, the routine practice in the raids of the UAPA. Rao was on his way to medical treatment when he was arrested, and the CPI (Maoist) has declared that Rao has been erroneously linked to the party.
Numerous activists and organizations for democratic rights have consistently condemned the merciless attacks ssion committed by the old Indian State, using among other repressive mechanisms, the UAPA to imprison those who disagree with the policy of the Indian ruling classes and imperialism in India. Organisations that denounce this use of UAPA, are the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) and the Forum Against Corporatization And Militarization (FACAM), of which we have reproduced and translated many statements and press releases.
Between 2015 and 2020, more than 8,000 people have been imprisoned using the UAPA, 97.2 percent of them being imprisoned for a long time, and finally acquitted. It is very common that these accusations are baseless, and this law endangers activists from the whole country. They are usually branded as Maoists even though they are only activists waging struggle for democratic rights, against state repression or in defence of oppressed segments s of the people. This was the case of Professor Saibaba, recently acquitted and released, after being framed without evidence, which was overturned by the Indian courts.
What several medias are camouflaging is that the UAPA is was not a baby of the government led by Modi and the BJP, but that it is a manifestation of the repressive character of the Indian ruling classes and imperialism, set up in 1967, when there was an uprising against the old Indian State. Since this year there has been a daunting suppression of democratic rights and freedoms, capitalising on the instrument already planted.
---
*Freelance journalist

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