The Ganatantrik Adhikar Surakhya Sangatan (GASS, Odisha) and Human Rights Forum (HRF, AP&Telangana) strongly deplore the arrest in Mumbai of Prof Hany Babu Musaliyarveettil Tharayil by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Prof Babu, who teaches at the Department of English, Delhi University was recently summoned to Mumbai by the NIA for questioning in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case. He was subsequently named as accused and formally arrested on July 28 to become the 12th arrested in the Elgar Parishad case. All arrests in this case are part of a conspiracy by the State based on fabricated and outrageous allegations. Those targeted are persons who have consistently campaigned against human rights violations and the many illegalities committed by State instrumentalities.

Along with the others, Prof Babu will now be subject to grave threat of rampant Covid-19 given the overcrowded conditions and rudimentary facilities in prison. Among the eleven, five have already spent over two years in prison and four others nearly as much time. Two other accused, Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha, have been in prison since April 14 this year. It is well to remember that all of them are undertrials and have not been convicted of any offence. In fact, the trial in this case has not even begun. The State’s intention is obvious – it is to endlessly harass individuals standing up to injustice and ensure their lengthy incarceration.

We believe that Prof Babu’s arrest is the latest in this ongoing attempt to silence dissent. His house was, in violation of lawful procedure, raided by the police in September last year and many books and electronic devices confiscated. He has now been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, a legal monstrosity that is fundamentally incompatible with democracy.

GASS and HRF demand that all 12 accused in the Elgar Parishad case be enlarged on bail.

Deba Ranjan (General Secretary, GASS, Odisha)

VS Krishna (HRF AP&TS Coordination Committee member)


SIGN UP FOR COUNTERCURRENTS DAILY NEWSLETTER


 

Comments are closed.