The civil rights network Campaign Against State Repression (CASR)*, in a statement to mark the anniversary (June 6) of the first arrest in the Bhima Koregaon ‘conspiracy’ case after a series of raids in April 2018, has said that over the last five years, despite multiple reports like the one brought out by Arsenal Consulting, a US based forensic agency, suggesting how malware was used to “support” the state’s onslaught, most arrested activists are “made to languish in jails without trial.”
Seeking their unconditional release, the statement says, there is a need for unity to fight the allegedly “Brahminical Hindutva fascist onslaught” which continues to suppress “any democratic resistance against the imperialist backed corporate loot of people’s resources under the cover of suppressing the Maoist movement.”
The Brahmanical Hindutva Fascists launched one of their most audacious attacks against the Democratic Rights and political activists on June 6, and started a new age of widespread use of UAPAs and conspiracy cases. Although known to the workers, peasants and oppressed people, this was not well-known to the urban democracy movement.
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The 31st of December 2017 saw almost 200 Left-wing and Dalit organizations hold a conference in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the victory of Bhima Koregaon, which was won by Mahar Soldiers who were oppressed against the Brahmanical Peshwa Army. The conference near Pune was a bid to organize the oppressed and abused masses in the country to form broader solidarity against the rising Brahmanical Hindutva Fascism.
One of the convenors and Retired Supreme Court judge gave call to lakhs of people attending the program and the whole country to bury the ‘New Peshwai’ represented by Brahmanical Hindutva Fascist BJP-RSS. On the 1st of January 2018, more than 2000 armed Militia, led by Hindutva Terrorists Sambhaji Bhide & Milind Ekbote, attacked the people at the program with a coordinated fascist attack. A large number of people, mostly from the oppressed class and caste, were attacked. Their property was damaged, and hundreds were injured.
Instead of pursuing action against Bhide & Ekbote who were the subject of the first FIR filed in Pimpri Maharashtra against whom police conducted raids on the Dalit and working class bastis in Mumbai, they began to target the activists of Bombay Electricity Contract Workers Union. Several activist of the union were picked up and later with raids on residence of Kabir Kala Manch activists in April, 2018, the infamous Bhima Koregaon ‘Conspiracy’ case was in its inception.
Arun Ferreira Vernon Gonsalves Gautam Nklakha and other prominent intellectuals and activists were taken into custody not long after the arrests. This was to suppress a rising movement in support of the release and defence of these five activists. Sudha Bhardawaj, Varavara Raho and others were taken into custody. Anand Teltumbde was arrested, followed by Fr. Stan Swamy and Hany Babu. Ramesh Gauichor, Sagar Gokhe, Jyoti Jagtap. After a long time in prison, on the 5th of July, 2021, an 80-year-old man, Father Stan Swamy died from deliberate medical neglect.
Since then, it has been five years and several reports, including one by Arsenal Consulting, an American forensic agency have indicated that malware and incriminating files were planted on activists arrested in the Bhima Koregaon Case. Rona Wilson in particular was implicated. There was also a lot of uproar when it became known that the Israeli-made spyware Pegasus had been used to target these political prisoners.
In spite of all of this, and despite the fact that the BK case is a clear example of state malice, civil liberty has been utterly ignored by these activists who have to sit in jails for months without being tried, even though no charges are brought against them. Their imprisonment without trial is another example of how process itself becomes punishment under draconian legislation like UAPA.
It is another example of how the UAPA laws punish process as punishment.
This disregard of civil liberties, by institutions including the judiciary, has allowed the fascist machinery of state to continue to grow and unleash another series of conspiracy charges on oppressed citizens under the name of Delhi Riots Conspiracy Case or Hathras Conspiracy Case. These cases are meant to suppress any and all democratic assertions, and to ferment oppressed, exploited, and abused unity in the country.
It is also important to remember that the activists jailed in Bhima Koregaon case have been vocal against the state’s genocidal operations like Salwa Judum and Operation Green-Hunt which has been constantly unleashed on people in different names at different times, in a bid to suppress any democratic resistance against the imperialist backed corporate loot of people’s resources under the cover of suppressing the Maoist movement.
Campaign Against State Repression reaffirms that it will honour Father Stan Swamy’s struggle and that of all jailed activists in order to create unity for oppressed people and exploited people to fight fascism, state repression brutal and plundering of the country. We urge the nation, democratic progressive forces, and individuals to create a strong movement in order to secure the release of Bhima Koregaon as well as all other political prisoner.
- All activists in Bhima Koregaon Case should be released immediately and without conditions.
- Action taken immediately against Sambhaji Bhide (the Hindutva terrorist) and MilindEkbote.
- Abolish the UAPA (undemocratic, anti-people) and other draconian law.
- Release all political Prisoners
*AIRSO,AISA, AISF, APCR,BASF, BCM, Bhim Army, Bigul Mazdoor Dasta, BSCEM, CEM, CRPP, CTF, Disha, DISSC, DSU, DTF, Fraternity ,IAPL, Karnataka Janashakti, LAA,Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, Mazdoor Patrika, Mehnatkash Mahila Sangathan, Morcha Patrika, NAPM, NBS, Nowruz, NTUI, People’s Watch, Rihai Manch, Samajwadi Janparishad, Smajwadi lok manch, Satyashodak Sangh, SFI, United Against Hate, WSS,Y4S