Under the leadership of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan), hundreds of protesting farmers used their platform on international human rights day to demand the release of several rights activists, students, Dalit, Muslim, Bahujan and left leaders booked under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
Pictures of more than 20 undertrial prisoners , including Sharjeel Imam, Khalid Saifi, Umar Khalid, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Masrat Zahra, Varavara Rao, Hany Babu, Sudha Bharadwaj, Rona Wilson, Stan Swamy Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira, booked under the UAPA, installed on a stage near the Tikri border.
“Release of these prisoners is also our demand,” said Jhanda Singh Jethuke, senior vice-president of BKU (Ugrahan).
“Around two dozen activists have been booked under UAPA for Bhima Koregaon and instigating Delhi riots.Modi government is pushing intellectuals and activities into jail,” he said.
A total of 16 people have been arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case so far. In 2018, as part of a massive crackdown on human rights defenders in India, 9 prominent activists– Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Arun Ferreira, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Vernon Gonsalves, and Varavara Rao were arrested by the Pune Police in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon case. Two years later, the crackdown on human rights defenders continues with the arrests of Gautam Navlakha, Anand Teltumbde, Hany Babu, Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor, Jyoti Jagtap, and Stan Swamy.
Delhi Police have used draconian anti-terrorism, sedition, and other laws against students, rights activists and Muslim leaders in the Delhi riot conspiracy case. More than 15 people are in jail now under draconian UAPA.
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