Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) Strongly condemns the Supreme Court’s order to suspend the Acquittal of Saibaba and Others in Gadchiroli case pertaining to alleged ‘Maoist link’.
“Our system is scared of those (people) who raise their voice against its injustice. It (system) is scared of the people’s voice. Students and activists, who expose failures of governments, are viewed as a threat by the establishment and the state wants to destroy this threat,” (Hem mishra Student and cultural activist)
90 percent disabled, wheelchair bound professor GN Saibaba, Hem Mishra, Prashant Rahi, Mahesh Tirki and Vijay Tirki were granted acquittal by Nagpur Bench of Bombay High court on 14th October 2022 on the grounds of irregular sanction. The High court noted that in the absence of proper and legal sanction by appointed sanctioning authority i.e., the Central Government, the trial in the case is null and void, as the trial court didn’t have lawful authority to prosecute in absence of the proper sanction under section 45 (I) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The order send a wave of joy as Saibaba and others have been incarcerated falsely for over 8 years now with little to nothing relief, even in basic amenities like health care. But as soon as the order came, the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, acting at the behest of the Brahmanical Hindutva Fascist government at the Center and State, made oral plea in the Supreme Court before the bench of Justice DY Chandrachud to stay the release of Saibaba and others as they are a perceived threat to national security. The SC noted that it cannot stay the Acquittal order and turned down the plea. Not much later, when the country and the world was yet to know the relieving news of their acquittal, the Brahmanical Hindutva Fascist state made the Higher Echelons of Judiciary constitute a “Extraordinary Special sitting” by an usually unordinary bench of Justice MR Shah and Bela M Trivedi to hear the Special Leave Petition against the Acquittal order on the very next day, 15th October 2022. The question has been raised by various Democratic lawyers, jurists and conscious people on the hurriedness and nature of this special sitting. It is also not very surprising as presiding Judge happens to be a supporter of Narendra Modi who has, not very long ago, proclaimed Modi as the “beloved, Vibrant and Visionary leader”. This very well points out the possible outcome, the hearing of 15th October was set to come out with.
The Judges of SC court not paying heed to the reasoning of the High Court in granting acquittal (absence of Mandatory legal sanction from appointed legal authority under section 45 (I) of UAPA and principle laid down by Apex Court in Baji Nath Prasad Tripathi vs State of Bhopal) , instead kept dwelling on the issue of merit and the notion of perceived threat to national Security. Mr. MR Shah, tuning in with SG Tushar Mehta, noted that “in cases of terrorist and maoist activity, brain is more dangerous and direct involvement is not necessary”, justifying the state’s dangerous narrative of “urban naxals” to pave way for repression on democratic rights movement. The court didn’t even accept the humanitarian appeal of granting bail to GN Saibaba, who has severe ailments and is 90 percent disabled and suspended the Acquittal order without any basic relief to Saibaba and others, leaving the councils of Saibaba and others with four weeks time to plead their case.
While we look at this case, we need to see the previous practice of the state including the judiciary in their utter disregard to life and personal liberty of the political prisoners. Father Stan Swamy was constantly denied basic amenities like a sipper and medical care by the authorities and the delay by Courts in intervening, which ultimately led to death of our dear father. The same case was repeated with Saibaba’s co accused Pandu Narote, who was denied medical care by the state and died later as a prisoner. Recent Death of Kashmiri Political Prisoner Altaf Ahmad Shah, ailing with cancer, was caused due to deliberate medical negligence in providing necessary care. The list is long to even name.
The state has adopted this vicious modus operandi to silence it’s critics by killing them one way or the other. Suspension of Saibaba and others acquittal order is one such attempt to kill their “dangerous Brain”. Same goes for Atiqur Rahman in Hathras case, Gautam Navlakha (diagnosed with cancer), Vernon Gonsalves and Hany Babu in Bhima koregaon case; because the state wants to kill them and their brains that think, that question and that resists. They want to kill every brain, gag every mouth and jail every being who questions the brutal exploitation of people by the big corporates. They want to keep in jail, every voice that foisted the state’s attempt to militarily loot the people of their resources and livelihood through Operation Green-Hunt, which Saibaba and other’s jailed in Gadchiroli case and Bhima koregaon case have strongly resisted. They want to do so to continue the exploitation of people and their resources in far off Central Indian Regions, in North Eastern states, Kashmir and everywhere. This is not just an attack on Saibaba and others but a clear sign of continuing and ever sharpening attack on all involved in the struggle for a democratic society.
We call upon all the democratic, progressive, pro-people, secular and conscious people to resist this blatant attack on democratic right and right to life and personal liberty; stand shoulder to shoulder with Saibaba, Hem, Prashant, Vijay and Mahesh; Demand to uphold their acquittal and grant them immediate, unconditional release; and hold the state responsible for the Custodial Murder of Pandu Narote.
Release GN Saibaba, Hem Mishra, Parshant Rahi, Mahesh Tirki, Vijay Tirki immediately and unconditionally
Uphold the Bombay High Court’s order granting acquittal G N Saibaba and others.
Grant Compensation to Pandu Narote’s Family.
Repeal UAPA and all other draconian laws.
Release all political prisoners.
Campaign Against State Repression
(Organising Team: AISA, AISF, APCR, Bhim Army, Bigul Mazdoor Dasta, BSCEM, CEM, CRPP, CTF, Disha, DISSC, DSU, DTF, IAPL, IFTU, IMK, Karnataka Janashakti, Lokpaksh, LSI, Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, Mazdoor Patrika, Mehnatkash Mahila Sangathan, Morcha Patrika, NAPM, NBS, NCHRO, Nowruz, NTUI, PDSU, People’s Watch, Rihai Manch, Samajwadi Janparishad, Satyashodhak Sangh, SFI, United Against Hate, WSS)