• SAHMAT Condemns Arrest of Activists

    Press Release


    August 29, 2018

    We the undersigned are utterly shocked and appalled by the simultaneous arrests of several prominent civil rights activists in different parts of the country, and the raids on their houses and those of many others. The exact nature of the alleged unlawful activities of those arrested has not been made clear though they are booked under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act; in many instances, even the families are unaware of the charges on which they have been arrested; where some charges have been reported, they appear utterly weird and outlandish; and the documents occasionally mentioned as evidence against them are of highly questionable authenticity. Besides, all those arrested can by no stretch of imagination be said to belong to any one particular group; in fact, the only thing that is common to them is that they have all been in the forefront of the struggle to defend the democratic rights of various oppressed and marginalised sections of society.

    The conclusion is inescapable that what is being conducted is a witch-hunt against those who dare to take up the cause of the downtrodden and who dare to criticise the government for trampling upon their rights. While the BJP government in power in the country had until now been implicitly supportive of lynch-mobs targeting minorities and dissident intellectuals, large-scale arrests of critics of the government had been avoided. Even that restraint, it seems, is now being abandoned. The threat that this poses to our democracy is palpable and serious. We condemn these arrests in the strongest and most unequivocal terms, and demand that the arrested civil rights activists be released forthwith.      

    Irfan Habib

    Amiya Kumar Bagchi

    Prabhat Patnaik

    Vivan Sundaram

    M.K. Raina

    Sohail Hashmi

    Madangopal Singh

    Ram Rahman

    Zoya Hasan

    C.P. Bhambri

    Jayati Ghosh

    C.P. Chandrasekhar

    Geeta Kapur

    Saeed Mirza

    Sashi Kumar

    Aban Raza

    Abhilasha Kumari

    Aditya Mukherjee

    Ahmar Raza

    Amar Farooqui

    Amitesh Kumar

    Anand K. Sahay

    Anil Bhatti

    Anil Chandra

    Anil Sadgopal

    Antara Dev Sen

    Anuradha Kapur

    Archana Prasad      

    Arjun Dev

    Arpana Caur

    Arunkumar H.G.

    Asghar Wajahat

    Atlury Murali

    Badri Raina

    D. N. Jha

    Dinesh Abrol


    Indira Arjun Dev

    Indira Chandrasekhar       

    Iqtidar Alam Khan   

    K. L. Tuteja

    K. M. Shrimali

    Kamini Tankha

    Keval Arora

    Kirti Jain      

    Kumar Shahani

    Lata Singh

    M.M.P. Singh

    Madhu Prasad

    Mandira Mitra

    Manish Agarwal

    Mohan Rao

    Mridula Mukherjee

    Mushirul Hasan

    N.K. Sharma    

    Nadeem Rezavi

    Nilima Sheikh

    Nina Rao

    O.P. Jaiswal

    P.K. Shukla

    Parthiv Shah   

    Praveen Jha

    Radhika Menon

    Rahul Roy

    Rahul Verma

    Raj Chauhan

    Rajinder Arora

    Rajni Arora

    Rakhi Sehgal

    Ramakrishna Chatterjee

    Rana Behal

    Rekha Awasthi

    Rimli Bhattacharya

    Roop Rekha Verma

    Sanjeev Kumar

    Shakti Kak

    Shalin Jain      


    Shireen Gandhi 

    Shireen Moosvi

    Shubhra Chakrabarti

    Sudhanva Deshpande

    Sudhir Chandra

    Sukumar Murlidharan

    Sumangala Damodaran

    Suvira Jaiswal

    V. Ramakrishna

    Vasudha Dalmia

    Vasundhara Chauhan

    Veer Munshi

    Vikas Rawal

    Vishwamohan Jha

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