Activists protest against state repression, call for releaseof Bhima Koregaon accused
The speakers condemned the repression by the BJP governments at the state and central level and called for repealing draconian laws used by state as a weapon tosuppress dissent
A number of activists and workers from different organisations on Saturday organised a ‘jan sabha’ (public meeting) at Jantar Mantar in the national capital, asking for the release of all political prisoners, including the social activists accused by the BJP government of inciting violence at Maharashtra’s Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 2018.
The speakers at the meeting condemned the repression unleashed by the BJP governments at the state and central level and called for repealing a number draconian laws that are often used as a weapon by the government to suppress dissent.
Activists Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen, Sudhir Dhawale and Surendra Gadling were arrested a year ago by the Maharashtra for allegedly inciting violence at Bhima Koregaon. The activists allege that the anti-Dalit violence was perpetrated by the Hindutva outfits and the police framed those who spoke against Hindutva and the BJP governments.
The speakers at the Saturday’s meeting – organised by Campaign Against State Repression – including G. Laxman of the Civil Liberties Committee Telangana, Ravi Kiran Jain of the Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties, Kasim of Revolutionary Writers’ Association, Gautam Mody of the New Trade Union Initiative, Seema Azad of ‘Dastak’ magazine, JNU’s professor Chaman Lal, filmmaker Sanjay Kak, Parwez Ahmed of Popular Front of India and professor Manoranjan Mohanty of the Council of Social Development denounced the violence unleashed at the Dalits and minorities
Vasantha of Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression and partner of professor G.N. Saibaba, stated that the true defenders of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas are those falsely placed in jail.
Parwez Ahmed said the PFI was banned for resisting attacks on Dalits and Muslims and reiterated the importance of a unified struggle and pleaded for a ‘Jail Bharo Andolan’. Upkar Bawra of Bhim Army told the gathering how the Bhim Army members were targeted under the National Security Act (NSA) after they participated in the April 2 Bharat Bandh.