Calls for Accountability Ring Out at Jantar Mantar: 'From River to Sea, Palestine Will be Free' Amid Demands to Hold Modi Govt, Adani Responsible for Rafah War Crimes

Protesters accused the Government of India of maintaining silence on the Israeli brutality and supplying weapons to the apartheid state.
Protestors at Jantar Mantar
Protestors at Jantar MantarAyanabha/The Mooknayak

New Delhi: Israeli bombing on Palestinian civilians at Rafah have created an uproar across the globe, with people from different walks of life coming to streets — demanding a ceasefire. The uproar has reached to India's capital as well, leading student organizations, activists and common citizens to protest against the Israeli occupation and barbarity.

On June 1, a similar protest was organized at the city's Jantar Mantar where people in large number gathered — chanting slogans against crimes of apartheid and persecution. The lanes opposite in the heart of the capital witnessed the waving of the Palestinian flags and calls for action to be taken against Israeli PM Netanyahu.

The streets were alive with a vibrant sea of young people, demonstrating their resolve to take the reins of electoral politics and ensure that no humanitarian cause, whether within the country or beyond its borders, goes unnoticed.

The fervor at the protest was undeniable, igniting a powerful mix of rage and encouragement among the participants.

The intensity of the heatwave was no match for the citizens' resolve as they stood united, passionately raising their voices and showing an unwavering commitment to justice and solidarity.

The atmosphere was electric, with each chant and banner reflecting a deep-seated belief in the power of collective action and the promise of a more compassionate future led by the new generation.

Amidst the chants of ‘Free, Free, Palestine', the protesters accused the Indian government of maintaining silence and failing to exert pressure on Israel while supplying weapons to the state. Additionally, many have singled out Adani for assisting in this matter.

A report by The Wire disclosed that between 2019 and 2023, Adani-Elbit Advanced Systems India Ltd., a joint venture of the Adani Defence and Aerospace and Israel's Elbit Systems, exported aero-structures and subsystems for over 20 Hermes 900 UAVs/drones to Israel.

Moreover, the Munitions India Ltd (MIL), a public sector enterprise formed in 2021 from the restructuring of India's 41 ordnance factories, allegedly received authorization to export its products to Israel as recently as January 2024.

On April 18, 2024, the MIL applied for approval to export similar products again under a repeat order, with the decision currently pending.

“Israel’s attacks on Palestine are barbaric; and unfortunately, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being a true dictator by not taking a stand against these attacks,” Punyawati from the All India Democratic Women’s Association told The Mooknayak.

She has been taking part in pro-Palestine protests since the beginning of the violence.

Tahir from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) spoke about the polar opposite action of PM Modi, who, according to him, sends aid to Palestine but also supports Adani in sending weapons to the Israeli state.

“Our PM should immediately stop this and take a decisive stand against the ongoing genocide,” he added.

A Poster at the Demonstration
A Poster at the DemonstrationAyanabha/The Mooknayk

Adding on to him, his fellow batchmate Javed stated this “hypocrisy” is being shown by other Western democracies as well.

“Supporting children and women being killed can never be democratic,” he added.

Speaking about the university protests taking place in the West, he asserted the students of the Delhi University, the JNU and the Jamia Millia Islamia stand with them and are showing their solidarity by taking part in such demonstrations.

“We call for an immediate ceasefire and hope many countries will follow the suit.”

Sagar Singhal, a member of the Delhi chapter of the Students Federation of India (SFI), emphasized the longstanding opposition of the student community to Israel's occupation of Palestine.

He highlighted JNU's consistent advocacy for the Palestinian freedom, stating, "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free."

He expressed solidarity with the people of Palestine amidst escalating atrocities by Israel, stressing the urgency of upholding humanity in the face of such egregious acts.

Sneha Aggarwal, an SFI activist from Ramjas College, echoed Singhal's sentiments, lamenting the distressing events unfolding in Gaza.

She denounced the international community's portrayal of the situation as a mere conflict, asserting that it is unmistakably a genocide against the Palestinian people.

Aggarwal spoke about the brutality of Israel's actions, particularly evident in the recent attack on Rafah. From Delhi and on behalf of the SFI, she pledged steadfast support to the Palestinian cause, affirming a commitment to stand with them through adversity.

As reported by Al Jazeera, since October 7, the conflict in Gaza has resulted in the deaths of at least 36,379 Palestinians and left 82,407 wounded. In Israel, Hamas's attacks have claimed the lives of at least 1,139 individuals, while numerous others remain held captive in Gaza.

The recent attack on the tent cities in southern Rafah’s so-called “safe area” of al-Mawasi have further garnered public criticism.

The agitators said it is disheartening to observe the lack of an Indian stance on the matter, especially considering that in 1974, India became the inaugural non-Arab state to acknowledge the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the solitary and rightful representative of the Palestinian populace.

Additionally, in 1988, India was among the earliest nations to acknowledge the State of Palestine.

Ayanabha/The Mooknayak

Why are Students Raising Slogan Against Adani?

According to the non-profit project Adani Watch, Adani Enterprises, the primary coal-mining division of the Adani Group, collaborated with Elbit Systems, Israel's leading arms producer, in 2018 to form a joint venture called Adani Elbit Advanced Systems India Limited.

The venture's first assignment was to produce the Hermes 900 UAV for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). Elbit Systems provides 85% of the drones used by the IDF. Adani-Elbit runs the sole Hermes 900 production facility outside of Israel, located in Hyderabad.

The Hermes 900 is a powerful military drone capable of carrying missiles for offensive strikes and is also used for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) operations.

The Hermes 900 was first used by Israel during the 2014 50-day conflict in Gaza. In 2023 and 2024, the Israeli government deployed these drones in Gaza, leading to the deaths of thousands of civilians.

In addition to manufacturing drones and weapons, Adani markets counter-drone systems to Israel, branded as 'Hunting Drones'. In October 2022, Adani announced the expansion of its partnership with Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) to develop weapons operated by artificial intelligence (AI).

At the DefExpo 2022 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat (the home state of both PM Modi and Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani), Adani Defence and Aerospace and IWI unveiled 'ARBEL,' India's first AI-based firing system, promoted as a next-generation small-arms solution.

Further, in January 2023, the Israeli government privatized the Haifa port, selling a 70% stake to the Adani Group and a 30% stake to Israel's Gadot Group, raising approximately US $1.6 billion for the Israeli state.

Ayanabha/The Mooknayak

What are International Organizations Saying?

On Monday, May 20, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued requests for international arrest warrants against Netanyahu and his Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. They are being sought for their alleged involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Subsequently, following Prosecutor Karim Khan's decision to pursue arrest warrants for leaders of both Israel and Hamas, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) promptly ruled that Israel must halt any military operations in Rafah that endanger civilians.

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