If You Raise Questions, You Are Anti-Government, Anti-National: Adivasi-Rights Activist Stan Swamy On The Bhima-Koregaon Crackdown
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If You Raise Questions, You Are Anti-Government, Anti-National: Adivasi-Rights Activist Stan Swamy On The Bhima-Koregaon Crackdown

Caravan Magazine |
September 3, 2018

On 28 August, the Pune Police raided the homes of nine prominent human-rights activists and intellectuals across the country.


These included the trade unionist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, the journalist and activist Gautam Navlakha, the lawyers and activists Vernon Gonsalvez and Arun Ferreira, the lawyer Susan Abraham, the Maoist ideologue and writer Varavara Rao, the writer and professor Anand Teltumbde, the journalist Kranthi Tekula, and the Jesuit priest and Adivasi-rights activist Stan Swamy. Five of them were alsoarrested through the course of the day, and booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which disallows bail. They are currently under house arrest, following a Supreme Court intervention.

On 31 August, Maharashtra’s additional director-general of police, Parambir Singh held a press conference to outline the police’s case against them. He stated that the police had seized “thousands of password-protected messages” and “sahitya”—written material—from the devices of another group of activists arrested on 6 June, which provided “incriminating material” that led to the 28 August arrests. Singh also claimed that the activists arrested worked as overground cadre of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), plotted to overthrow the government, plotted to assassinate Modi, organised Dalits and Adivasis, and incited the violence that took place in Bhima Koregaon, a town in Pune, in January.

The basis for these arrests and raids is a first information report filed by Tushar Damgude, a businessman in Pune, on 8 January this year. Another FIR was filed on 1 January, by Anita Sawale, also a Pune resident, holding two Hindutva leaders—Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide—responsible for the violence. During the press conference, Singh refused to answer any questions on the earlier 1 January FIR.

Credit by - Caravan Magazine

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