'Mad Government' Unleashes Terror with Suppressive Laws: Campaign Against State Repression Exposes State's Draconian Tactics

Speakers demanded the immediate release of prisoners entangled in the Tadwai, Bhima Koregaon and Delhi 'Riots' Conspiracy cases.
The event shed light on the alarming use of suppressive laws and institutions to silence democratic voices.
The event shed light on the alarming use of suppressive laws and institutions to silence democratic voices.CASR

New Delhi- In a scathing indictment of the Indian government's approach towards dissent, the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) held a press conference at the Press Club of India to expose the use of suppressive institutions and laws that are instilling fear across the entire country.

The event titled "Indian Democracy and Suppression of Democratic Voices" saw prominent speakers from various civil society organizations and legal professionals coming together to denounce the increasing suppression of democratic voices in India. The speakers shed light on the misuse of suppressive laws and institutions to stifle dissent and quash social movements.

Among the prominent cases discussed was the Tadwai case, where 152 activists from Andhra-Telangana, including civil rights activists like Prof. G. Haragopal and the late High Court judge H. Suresh, were implicated in a bogus Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) case based on an alleged recovery of a diary belonging to Maoists during a combing operation.

Labeling the government as a "mad government" that targets adivasis, dalits, Muslims, and working-class citizens, the speakers expressed the misery prevailing in Telangana due to the state's oppressive tactics.

Addressing the gathering, K Ravichander, co-convener of Forum Against Repression, Telangana, accused the government of betraying the aspirations of the separate Telangana movement by stifling democratic spaces and resorting to suppressive laws. He labeled the KCR government as the "B team of BJP," claiming that Telangana had become an experimental theater for the state to test and implement repressive laws ever since the Telangana armed struggle.


Addressing the gathering, Delhi University Professor Nandita Narain condemned the state's use of draconian laws to silence those who dare to oppose corporate exploitation of the nation's resources. She passionately spoke against the imprisonment of activists such as G N Saibaba and Stan Swamy, who had been relentless in their support of marginalized communities. Professor Narain unequivocally stood with the 152 activists named in the Tadwai case and fervently demanded the immediate release of prisoners entangled in the Bhima Koregaon and Delhi 'Riots' Conspiracy cases.

Supreme Court Lawyer Prashant Bhushan highlighted the misuse of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), emphasizing that the law was being used against activists as a means to punish dissenters without a fair chance of bail. Bhushan criticized the agencies, including the National Investigation Agency (NIA), for becoming tools of the government in targeting activists critical of anti-people development policies.

Supreme Court Lawyer and Counsel in the Bhima Koregaon case, Mihir Desai, unequivocally stated that the UAPA was intentionally designed to incarcerate individuals without providing proper opportunities for bail. He stressed that the law, in its current form, granted impunity to investigating agencies, making it an instrument of state oppression.

Advocate Mahadevan, who practices in Hyderabad High Court and the Supreme Court, echoed the sentiments of the speakers, terming the UAPA as a tool to suppress political dissent and promote investigating officers' interests. He urged for a united effort to oppose repressive laws like the UAPA and called for a collective stand against their abuse.

General Secretary of Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan Poonam Kaushik, said “we have seen activist included women activist act have been left in jail in Delhi riots case. Activist who stand with toiling masses in the anti CAA-NRC movement and Bhima Koregaon case have been jailed even in lockdown. We did signature campaign with other women organization and filed a petition to Home Ministry, NHRC and Delhi CM.

The NHRC replied to us that there is no specific case of human right violation has been made out in your case, hence we cannot do any thing, on the other hand we received threat from delhi police. I am trying to say that when women collectively come out to assert democratic rights they are treated badly and with a very different approach that is brahmanical and patriarchy. I demand on the behalf of PMS that the case on 152 activist must be quashed and people incarcerated under UAPA and various draconian law must be released."

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In a show of solidarity, representatives from various organizations, including AISF, AISF, APCR, Bhim Army, CRPP, DSU, NAPM, SFI, and WSS, joined hands to demand the quashing of the Tadwai conspiracy case and the release of those imprisoned under the UAPA and other draconian laws.

The conference emphasized the urgency of challenging the misuse of such suppressive laws and stressed the need for opposition parties to take a stand on these issues. As the speakers unitedly voiced their demands, the CASR vowed to continue its efforts to protect democratic values and uphold citizens' rights in India.

Organizers - AIRSO, AISA, AISF, APCR, BASF, BSM, Bahujan samajwadi manch, Bhim Army, Bigul Mazdoor Dasta, bSCEM, CEM, CRPP, CTF, Disha, DISSC, DSU, DTF, Fraternity, IAPL, Karnataka Janashakti, LAA, Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, Mazdoor Patrika, Morcha Patrika, NAPM, NBS, Nowruz, NTUI, People’s Watch, Rihai Manch, Samajwadi Jan Parishad, Samajwadi lok manch, SFI, United Against Hate, WSS, Y4S had combinedly organized the event to bring activists and academicians from various part of the country.

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