Bhima Koregaon: Amid Demands For Fresh Probe, A Hard Look at the Case’s Discrepancies

With Sharad Pawar calling for an investigation, The Wire accessed digital evidence that was finally made available to the accused after persistent court fights which reveals several discrepancies on the part of the Pune police. [The Wire Dec 21, 2019]

Bhima Koregaon: NCP Leaders Ask Thackeray to Withdraw Cases Against Activists

Nearly 18 months after rights activists and lawyers were sent to jail on bizarre charges of being “urban Naxals”, the newly formed Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra is showing signs of taking another look into the allegations. [The Wire Dec 4, 2019]

Did the Pune Police tamper evidence against Bhima Koregaon accused?

An examination of the digital evidence presented by the Pune Police in court against prominent human-rights activists accused in the Bhima Koregaon case has revealed several technical anomalies and clear procedural violations by the force. [The Caravan, 14 September 2019]

Pune Police is diverting the Bhima Koregaon investigation, protecting Bhide, Ekbote: Deputy mayor Siddharth Dhende

The Caravan publishes report of police-appointed committee, headed by Dhende, that finds Hindutva outfits “pre-planned” the Bhima Koregaon violence [The Caravan, Sept 9, 2018]

Dhawale & Gadling to be examined by BK Commission

The Indian Express, Thursday August 22, 2019. After discussions with officials of Yerawada Central Prison, the Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry on Wednesday decided to examine two accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, Sudhir Dhawale and lawyer Surendra Gadling, in the same courtroom at the premises of the old Zilla Parishad where the hearings are currently underway. Read more

Press Release March 16th, 2019

PR-GOIFailureRespondUNHRCcommunications

UNHRC to Modi Government – “Refrain From Using National Security Legislation to Arrest, Detain and Charge Human Rights Defenders” citing Bhima Koregaon / UAPA Cases

Latest Report Underscores Dismal Record of Current Government of India as it Fails to Respond to all UNHRC Communications in 2018

India features prominently in the report submitted by the UN special Rapporteur for the Situation of Human Rights Defenders (HRDs), Mr. Michel Forst, to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on February 21, 2019. The report documents 12 communications sent to the Government of India (GOI) by the Special Rapporteur, including the arrest of 10 activists / intellectuals under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in the Bhima Koregaon cases. The report notes with deep concern that the GOI has failed to respond to all 12 communications. The current report covers the period December 2017 to November 2018. In all, the Special Rapporteur on HRDs of the UNHRC has issued a total of 77 communications since the Modi Government took office in 2014. Of these the Government has responded to only 11, or a mere 14%, in sharp contrast to the previous UPA government record that had responded to over 50% of the communications received. While the Modi government had a reasonable response rate between 2014 and 2016, since 2017 it has had an abysmally low response rate and has almost entirely stopped responding to communications from theUNHRC.

Prominent in the current report are two complaints (# 340, 341) filed on the Bhima Koregaon UAPA cases in which 10 well known human rights activists / intellectuals -Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale, Arun Ferreira, Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves, Varavara Rao, and Sudha Bharadwaj -have been entrapped in fabricated cases. In his report the Special Rapporteur calls on the Modi government to “refrain from the use of national security legislation to arrest, detain and charge human rights defenders, as doing so risks conflation of national security risks with their peaceful and legitimate humanrights work, and serves to cast aspersions on human rights defenders and theirwork.”

Commenting on the Indian government’s failure to respond, India Civil Watch (ICW) spokesperson Prof. Raja Swamy said “India’s refusal to engage the UNHRC is most unfortunate and not in keeping with our aspiration to be a leader in the community of nations.” ICW has filed additional complaints on the UAPA cases in February 2019, including one on the ongoing threat of arrest of Dr. Anand Teltumbde, India’s most accomplished Dalit intellectual and civil rights activist.

In the current report, Special Rapporteur Michel Forst has highlighted that the UAPA Bhima Koregaon cases are almost exclusively filed against activists who “represent minority rights and marginalised communities, including dalit and adivasi minorities.” Six of the nine arrested this far in the Bhima Koregaon false cases are either Dalit, Adivasi, or religious minorities.

Why is the State afraid of Rona Wilson?

Bhima-Koregaon witnessed the progressive manifestation of the resistance against dominant Hindutva brahmanical cultural coercion on the vast masses of people in the country…Rona Wilson along with the four other activists were arrested in the attempt by the police to establish possible Maoist connection to the Koregaon violence. (Sanhati, March 13, 2019. Received from U. Punyark) Read more