Condemn the Supreme Court’s denial of relief from arrest for Prof. Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha and stand in solidarity with all voices for peoples’ rights and democracy!
Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) demands the immediate release of all political prisoners!
April 8th 2020
On March 16th 2020, the Supreme Court of India rejected the anticipatory bail plea of civil rights activists, Prof. Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha, asking them to surrender by April 6th 2020. The review petition heard on April 8th 2020 cited the COVID-19 pandemic as reason to extend the period of reprieve from arrest by another seven weeks. Today, the petition has been rejected giving Prof. Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha one week to surrender before the Bombay High Court stating, “we make it clear that there shall not be any further extension of time.” This order disregards the COVID-19 pandemic and displays a lack of concern over the health of persons over 65 years of age and the over-crowding of prisons at a time of a global health crisis. The order shows how inconsiderate the courts are to the realities of the people of this country. Rejection of the bail plea and issuance of an order to surrender amidst a pandemic reiterates the nature of Indian judiciary as subservient to the interests of the Brahmanical Hindutva Fascist State. Both civil rights activists are charged under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and various other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for their alleged involvement in the ‘violence’ at Bhima Koregaon, Maharashtra on January 1, 2018. Notably, neither were present at Bhima Koregaon on that date nor had any connection to the Bhima Koregaon Shaurya Din Prerna Abhiyan organised by the Elgaar Parishad. Continue reading
WSS condemns the arrests of Prof. Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha and demands the immediate release of all political prisoners!
April 15th 2020
Today, with undeniable irony, we have witnessed the surrender/arrests of Prof. Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Both Prof. Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha are known to us through their activism, writing and relentless pursuit of democratic principles. They have also remained steadfastly opposed to Brahmanical Hindutva fascism in all its manifestations. While the country marks the 129th Ambedkar Jayanti on April 14th, members of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s family find themselves charged and incarcerated under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) under the ludicrously concocted Bhima Koregaon 2018 case. The Bhima Koregaon case has been a catch-all for incarcerating voices of dissent that have spoken out against the anti-people policies of the State, exposed instances of increasing state repression and stood in solidarity with the most oppressed people of this country. At a time of an extraordinary global health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, where hundreds of thousands of migrant informal workers are struggling to return to their native homes in the wake of the apathy of the State and industry , when medical professionals are compelled to risk their lives due to lack of personal protective equipment and healthcare facilities, and measures to tackle the disease seem to be aimed to target and vilify the minority communities, the authorities remain aloof to the true conditions of the large sections of people. In the same breath, activists and democrats like Teltumbde and Navlakha, who are around the age of 70, are denied reprieve by the highest courts of this country. While on the one hand the courts are ordering the decongestion of prisons due to overcrowding, activists and human rights defenders are being incarcerated in jails that are insufficiently placed to tackle the spread of the virus. This is a stark reflection of the country today. At this political crossroads, the spirit of democracy faces a direct challenge by the very institutions of the state responsible for upholding it. Continue reading