• Joint Statement Condemning Arrest of Activists and Public Intellectuals

    Statement from Civil Society Members

    August 28, 2018

    Stan Swamy, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Gautam Navlakha, Sudha Bharadwaj, Varavara Rao. (Image Courtesy: Scroll)

    We, the undersigned, are shocked by the serial raids across the country on the homes of activists and public intellectuals who are critical of the government and the ruling party at the Centre. The arrests of prominent activists and intellectuals Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, Gautam Navlakha, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira and others, are nothing but an attempt by the government to strike terror among those who are fighting for justice for the marginalised. This is also an attempt by the BJP to invent a false enemy and engage in scaremongering in order to polarise the 2019 elections in its favour. Already, the government and the media houses close to the BJP have been trying to spin a false narrative of a Maoist conspiracy since June, 2018. Terms like “urban naxals” are invented in order to stifle any criticism of the government. We have learnt that the Delhi Police, after having arrested Sudha Bharadwaj, waited for Republic TV to arrive before taking her to the court. This simply shows that the arrests are incomplete without the accompanying sensationalist media propaganda to demonise activists, human rights defenders and intellectuals.

    The so-called raids carried out on the houses of these activists are aimed at creating a spectacle, as the writings and views of these intellectuals are already publicly known and are well documented. This seems like a conspiracy to divert attention from the gravity of the Sanatan Sanstha conspiracy to carry out serial bomb attacks on Eid and Ganesh Chaturthi! The same Sanatan Sanstha was also involved in the murder of Gauri Lankesh, as per the ongoing investigations by Karnataka police. Today’s arrests have been carried out in order to give cover to the murderers of Gauri Lankesh. People like Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha and others who have been arrested are friends of the people who have dedicated their entire lives to the betterment of the Indian public. By arresting them, the BJP is only exposing its insecurities and its intolerance to any dissent or criticism of its policies.

    The arrests should be seen in continuation with the recent attacks on pro-justice voices such as Swami Agnivesh, Umar Khalid and many other student activists from Delhi to Lucknow. A BJP lawmaker from Karnataka even advocated the murder of “intellectuals.” Both the arrests and the physical attacks on justice loving people must be seen in a series of attempts to stifle dissent and deny social justice.

    We demand immediate release of the arrested individuals, dropping of all false and malicious charges, as these arrests are politically motivated and unjustified.

    Shehla Rashid Shora, former Vice-President, JNU Students’ Union.

    Mohit Pandey, former President, JNU Students’ Union.

    Fahad Ahmad, former General Secreatry TISS Students’ Union, Mumbai.

    Admiral Ramdas, Former Chief of Naval Staff.

    Lalita Ramdas, Activist.

    Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist.

    Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Author, Journalist, Publisher.

    Neha Dixit, Journalist.

    Jignesh Mevani, MLA Vadgam, Gujarat.

    Sanam Sutirath Wazir, Human Rights Activist.

    Nakul Singh Sawhney, Documentary Filmmaker.

    Umar Khalid, Activist, BASO.

    Nandita Narain, former President, DUTA and FEDCUTA.

    Nivedita Menon, Professor, JNU.

    Teesta Setalvad, Journalist and Social Activist.

    Harish Iyer, Equal Rights Activist.

    Ram Puniyani, All India Secular Forum.

    Lubna Duggal, Economic & Political Weekly.

    Bindu Doddahatti, Advocate, Alternative Law Forum.

    Swami Agnivesh, Arya Samaj, Social Activist.

    Anisha Ahuja, Entrepreneur.

    Aniket Alam, Journalist and Historian.

    Nirjhari Sinha, Activist.

    Chayanika Shah, Queer Feminist Activist.

    Geeta Seshu, Independent Journalist, Mumbai.

    Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal, Journalist, Peace Activist.

    Richa Jairaj, Women’s Rights Activist.

    Mallika Sarabhai Social Activist.

    Rituparna, Queer Feminist Activist, Delhi.

    Maya Krishna Rao, Theatre Artist.

    Bittu, WSS.

    Maneka Khanna, Lawyer.

    Payoshi Roy, Lawyer.

    Surbhi Dhar, Lawyer.

    Zeba Sikora, Lawyer.

    Veena Johari, Lawyer.

    Bindulakshmi Pattadath, Faculty, TISS Mumbai.

    Amit Sengupta, Journalist and former President, JNU Students' Union

    Vineeta Bal, Retired Researcher.

    Svati Joshi, Academic and Activist.

    Rohit Samuel Shah, Doctoral Scholar, IITB-Monash.

    Panchali Ray, Assisstant Professor, Jadavpur University.

    Shraddha, Junior Research Fellow, MPI for Innovation and Competition.

    Ravi Duggal, Independent Health Researcher and Activist.

    Debjit Bannerjee, Bastar Solidarity Network.

    Pranoy Thakur, Activist.

    Dr. Shakeel, Convenor, JSA, Bihar.

    Sohini, Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan, Bihar.

    Swatija Manorama, Social Activist.

    Suhas Paranjape, Retired Researcher.

    Jashodhara Sengupta, Human Rights Activist.

    Rupesh Kumar Singh, Freelance Journalist.

    Inayat Singh, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Punjab.

    Beni Madhab Sen, Delhi.

    Zubeda, Student.

    Dr. Sona Deshmukh, Research Coordinator, Pune.

    Vasantha, Activist.

    Abhay Shukla, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan.

    Balmurli Natrajan, Professor.

    Vijaya Kumar Seethapha, Film maker/activist. Karnataka Janaarogya Chaluvali.

    Akhila Vasan, Karnataka Janaarogya Chaluvali.

    Meera Sanghmitra, NAPM.

    Pushpa S., Social and Political Activist.

    Vandana Mahajan, Gender Equality Practitioner.

    Rammanohar, Journalist, Writer.

    Ila Ananya, Student.

    Narendra Gupta, Jan Swasthya Abhyan.

    Koonal Duggal, Independent Researcher

    Mujahid Nafees, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

    Lara Jesani, Advocate

    R V Ramana Murthy, Professor

    Hussain Indorewala, Mumbai

    Srinivas Lankala, Assistant Professor

    Laxmi Murthy, Journalist, Bangalore

    V.S. Sambandan, Journalist

    Kritika, Journalist

    Subhash Rai, Journalist

    Mrittika Biswas, Student, Tata Institute of Social Sciences

    Mirza Saaib Bég, Lawyer, Former President NALSAR Student Bar Council

    Roshni, Student

    Sitaram Shelar, Convener

    Niti Saxena, Activist/ Lawyer

    Shreya Ila Anasuya, Journalist

    Milind Champanerkar, Writer, Freelance Journalist and Civil Liberties Activist

    Kalpana Sharma, Independent Journalist

    Mohammed Afeef, Advocate

    Inji Pennu, Journalist, Global Voices

    Dolphy D'souza, Police Reforms Watch

    Ria De, PhD Student

    Sandeep Pandey, Socialist Party of India

    C P Geevan, Former scientist and Independent Researcher

    Aditya Nigam, Professor

    Ritu Dewan, Director

    Shailza Sharma, Lawyer

    Bhamati Sivapalan, Filmmaker

    A Sunil Dharan, Academic, Delhi

    J Ravikumar, Stephen G Management Consultant and Relationship Counsellor cum Trainer

    Neha Mathews, Journalist

    Mazher Hussain, Social Activist

    Vasvi, Artist

    Rita Manchanda, Writer, Activist

    Vidyun Sabhaney, Artist

    Winnie Saldanha, Founder Member – WE FOR YOU Association

    Banojyotsna Lahiri, Academic and Lecturer, DU

    Padmaja Shaw, Retd. Professor, Journalism, Osmania University

    Shiraz Bulsara Prabhu, Activist Kashtakari Sanghatana

    Urvashi Chudawala, Student, Tata Institute Of Social Sciences, Mumbai

    Shinzani Jain, Student, Ambedkar University, Delhi

    Laxmi Murthy, Journalist, Bangalore

    Nikita Agarwal, Advocate

    Pavani P., WSS

    Bosco Patel

    Mandeep Raikhy, Choreographer

    Sunayana, Student, Ashoka University

    Mandeep Raikhy, Choreographer

    Rosamma Thomas, Journalist

    Akhil Kumar, Law

    Mandeep Raikhy , Choreographer

    Jeroo Mulla, Lecturer

    Nirja, Citizen

    Dyuti, Researcher

    Saravanan Velusamy, Student

    Anand Kumar, LL.B student

    Aradhna Wal, Journalist

    Ashalatha, Activist

    B. N. Ratna

    Sharada Gopal, Right to Food Karnataka

    Sarayu, Advocate

    Meera Sanghamitra, National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM)

    Sayali Kadu, Lawyer

    Smriti Dhingra, Social Worker

    Himu, Research Scholar

    Archit Krishna, Lawyer

    Carmel Christy, Assistant Professor, Delhi

    Kaneez Fathima, Civil Rights Activist

    Charudatta Navare, Research scholar

    Nirajana Chakraborty, Student

    Dhruv Mankad, Managing Trustee, Anusandhan Trust, Mumbai

    V. Krishnappa, Group Captain (Retd.)

    Subhana Khan, Child psychologist

    Chitra Adkar, Research Scholar

    Sagari R Ramdas Veterinary Scientist

    Noor Enayat, Publicist

    Hamza Khan

    Rajesh Umadevi Srinivas, Activist

    Amit Kumar, National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM)

    Satyaki Chakraborty, Legal Specialist

    Saranga Ugalmugle, Advocate, Bombay High Court

    Freny Manecksha, Independent journalist

    Eric Pinto, NAPM

    Basant Hetamsaria, NAPM Jharkhand

    Kaustuv, Assistant Professor, MAKAUT and Queer Fiction Writer

    Poushali Basak, Queer Feminist Activist

    Saurabh Kumar, Freelance Journalist

    John Dayal, Writer

    Dr. K.S. Kusuma, Assistant Professor

    Deepti Mary Minj, Student, JNU

    Ankita Aggarwal, Research Scholar

    Anuradha Talwar, State Committee Member, Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity

    Satyaki Chakraborty, Legal Specialist

    Durgesh, Graduate Student, Department of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University.

    Sucheta Chakravarty, Journalist

    Arunesh Maiyar, Sangama (Working Class Sexuality Minorities Group)

    Sabina Y Rahman, Ph.D. (Sociology) Candidate/MSW

    Samina Mishra, Media Practitioner and Teacher

    Kalyani B, Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan

    Shivam, student

    Pradip Kumar Datta, Professor

    Mukta srivastava, Activist

    Ankit Rathore, Student, Ambedkar University Delhi

    Mounica Sreesai, Student

    Balreddy Jitta, Natural Farmer , Agricultural Activist

    Shikha, Student, DU

    Sagari R Ramdas, Veterinary Scientist

    Sucheta Chakravarty, Journalist

    Pramod Mandade, Ph.D. student, IIT Bombay

    Paroma Ray, Research Scholar, JMI

    C Lakshmanan, Academic and Dalit Activist

    Karen, Photographer

    Mukta Srivastava, Social Activist

    Rajinder Singh Majhail. Vijay Jandiala. Gurpal singh Guri. Beant Singh. Students Struggle Committee Punjab

    Shireen Azam, Writer

    Mathew Thomas, Retired

    Shatakshy Bhatt, M.Phil.- Ph.D. Student, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

    Fr.Jothi SJ Director, Udayani Kolkata

    Lazar Vellara Sr Manager

    Jasveen Jairath Concerned Citizens

    VRINDA GOPINATH Journalist

    Roshni Chattopadhyay Student and member of PUCL, Mahatrashtra

    Raj kumar sinha NAPM Madhya Pradesh

    Vijay singh REVOLUTIONARY democracy.

    Priya Thuvassery Filmmaker, Delhi

    Mukta Srivastava Social activist

    Saumya Dadoo Human Rights Student

    Shobha Human rights activist and Artist

    Aaloka Math Educator

    VIJAY KUMAR Central commitee member of CPI(M-L)) Red Star

    Poushali Basak FAOW and Sappho for Equality

    Koyel M Activist

    Fr. Nithiya Sagayam OFM Cap Secretary AIFFI

    Prateek Khobragade Student

    Soham Basu Student

    Jubal Braganza Retired

    Abir Dasgupta Journalist

    Samata Biswas Faculty, Bethune College

    Mamta Singh Activist, UP

    PUJA Human Rights Activist

    Indra Munshi Former Head, Dept of Sociology, Univ of Mumbai

    Anubha Rana student

    Arundhati Ghosh Arts Support

    Biplab Mukherjje Banglar Manabadhikar Surakksha Mancha (MASUM)

    Devika Student

    Dr.Anant Phadke Social worker
    Raju Behara Consultant

    Sandhya LC Independent professional

    Tanima PhD student

    Rakesh Sharma Filmmaker

    M N Ravunni Vice President, CRPP

    Yousuf Saeed Filmmaker, Delhi

    Jitta balreddy Journalist

    Praveer Peter Solidarity Centre & Sajha Kadam Jharkhand

    Himshi Singh NAPM

    Subhabrata Roy Research scholar MS university ofBaroda

    Minakshi Research Consultant

    Mukta srivastava Social activist

    R N Shukul Academic Consultant

    Nandini Dutta, Associate Professor, Economics

    Department, Miranda House, University of Delhi

    Aatika, Student

    Parivaz, homemaker

    Katyayani Vidmahe, Retired Professor and Literary Critic

    Bhupendra Yadav, Teacher

    Adhiraaj Ray Advocate, Calcutta High Court

    Manjula Pradeep, Social Activist

    R N Shukul, Academic Consultant

    Rakesh Bisaria, Engineer

    Pathikrit Sanyal, Journalist, DailyO

    Raunaq Chandrashekar, Lawyer

    Suvir Kaul, Professor

    Mayank Kumar, Academics, Delhi University

    Noah, Writer-Director

    Sravanthi Dasari, Researcher

    Hasina Khan, Bebaak collective

    Mukta Srivastava, Social activist

    Farrukh S Waris, Retd. Principal

    Himshi Singh, NAPM

    Gaurav Kasturia, Filmmaker

    Arundhati Dhuru , National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM)

    Prof. Roop Rekha Verma, Secretary, Saajhi Duniya, Lucknow

    Nayanjyoti, Activist

    K A Shaji, Journalist

    Mohammed Ali Khan, Queer Activist

    Sandeep Pandey, Socialist Party (India)

    Abhishek Shaw, Hyderabad

    Anindita Adhikari, PhD student

    Shailza Sharma, Lawyer

    Kalyani Jaishankar, Self-employed

    D Ravi Kanth, Journalist

    Minnie Vaid, Documentary filmmaker.

    Brinelle D'souza, Academic and Activist

    Mukta Srivastava, Social Activist

    Naren Singh Rao, Independent Researcher

    Dilip Menon, Director Centre for Indian Studies in Africa, Johannesburg

    Shobha, Human Rights Activist and Theatre Artist

    Vivek Sundara, Rights Activist

    G Arunima, Professor, JNU


    Kamayani Swami, NAPM

    Jothi S J, Director Udayani Social Action Forum

    Pradeep Bhattacharya, Writer, Docu Maker

    Aditi Maddali, Women's Studies, TISS

    Sukla Sen, Peace Activist

    Ingrid Srinath, Civil society defender

    N. Sukumar, Professor

    Jothi S J, Director Udayani Social Action Forum

    Bhuvi Gupta, Communications Consultant

    Avi Researcher, Gender and Sexuality

    Arjun Sheoran, Advocate | PUCL

    Archana Prasad, Academic

    Vivek, Activist, Jharkhand

    K. Ashraf, Research Scholar, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

    Talat Aziz, Citizen of India

    Arjun Sheoran, Advocate

    Seema Kulkarni, Social researcher

    Jaleshwar Upadhyay, Senior Journalist

    Sunandan K N, Assistant Professor, Azim Premji University, Bangalore

    Biraj Mehta, Lecturer

    Dipta Bhog, Gender Rights activist

    Joseph Mathai, Civil Rights Activist

    Kausik Mukhopadhyay, Artist

    C P Chandrasekhar, JNU

    Himshi Singh, NAPM

    Ravi S Kumaraswamy, Social worker

    Indira C, Public Health Researcher

    Rōmal Lāisram, Founder, Queer Arts Movement (India)

    Shireen Maswood, Retd. Teacher, CU, Deptt. of History

    Dr V N Sharma, Environment, Social & Human Rights Activist

    Jaleshwar Upadhyay, Senior Journalist

    Hasina Khan, Activist

    Dwaipayan Sen, Historian and Professor.

    Sion Kongari, Social Worker

    Pradeep Joseph, Citizen of India

    Tasneema Zaidi, Child Rights Activist

    Mathew Jacob, Human Rights Defenders Alert

    K.P. Reji, Artist

    Virochan Raote


    Kalpana Wilson, South Asia Solidarity Group, UK

    Arunima Nair, Researcher

    Divita Shandilya, Researcher

    Sherin Pradeep, Citizen of Independent India

    Mohua Ray, Artist

    Gagan Sethi, HRD

    Subir Datta, Retired teacher

    Brinelle Dsouza, Faculty Member, Tata Institute of Social Sciences

    C.T. Joseph, Citizen of Democratic India

    Anuradha, Development Professional

    Michelle Pradeep, Future of India

    Mukta Srivastava, Social Activist, Mumbai

    Deepti N, Ph.D. Student, TISS & Journalist

    Sukruta Alluri, Researcher, CSSSC

    Maimoona Mollah, Activist

    Mangalesh Dabral, Poet and Journalist; former Editor.

    Lakshmi krishnamurty, Alarippu

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