“In the overall situation in India, no form of democratic assertion is left untouched by the NIA’s repression in the name of Maoist links, whether they be organizations fighting for the rights of minorities , anti-caste organizations like KNPS, women’s rights organizations like the CMS or even Gandhian or Marxist-Leninist organizations. All forms of democratic assertions are under threat in this current spate of repression…”
Statement By Campaign Against State Repression- CASR
CASR STRONGLY CONDEMN THE NIA RAID IN TELENGANA AND ANDHRA PRADESH
In the early hours of 2nd October, 2023, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided 62 different locations in the states of Andhra Pradesh (53) and Telangana (9) as part of their recent string of raids all over the country against democratic rights organizations. Along with the raids, Chandra Narasimhulu, State Executive Committee member of the Pragathiseela Karmika Samakya (PKS) has been arrested. Among the various organization’s targeted are Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (AP CLC), the Coordination of Democratic Rights Organizations (CDRO), Chaitanya Mahila Sangam (CMS), Pragatisheela Karmika Samakya (PKS), Patriotic Democratic Movement (PDM), Praja Kala Mandali (PKM), Vasantha Meghum, Virasam (RWA), Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL), Kula Nirmulana Porata Samiti (Struggle Committee for Caste Annihilation; KNPS), Amarula Bandhu Mitrula Sangham (ABMS), Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP)and Human Rights Forum (HRF).
These raids are conducted under the purported guise of suppression of Maoist activities in the state. An FIR was filed by the NIA after journalist Pangi Naganna was arrested in Visakhapatnam in November 2020 under the suspicion of being associated with the Maoists wherein the NIA determined that somehow, these organizations were also associated with the Maoist movement after they filed the FIR in 2021. Among the journalists, writers, cultural activists, lawyers, intellectuals, civil liberties and democratic rights activists who are being targeted under these raids are Advocate Kranthi Chaitanya the convenor of CDRO, Advocate Anjanayelu the joint secretary of AP CLC, Sagar the editor of Vasanth Meghum, Rivera the General Secretary of Virasam and Arsavelli Krishna the President of Virasam.
Chandra Narasimhulu’s arrest is based on false accusations that a pistol and some rounds of bullets were recovered by the NIA. During the raids at another place, they found Rs. 13 lakhs with the woman, which the NIA is now fabricating into a story that this is forcibly collected Maoist fund, which she got her share of ancestral property after distribution among family members. Even, she has shown the relevant documents to the police. But, the NIA officials have vehemently rejected the plea of woman and took away the amount.
The overall situation of continuous raids and repression of democratic rights activists is reminiscent of the the situation in 2018 in the fabricated Elgaar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case which culminated with the arrests of prominent trade union, anti-caste and democratic rights activists who continue to remain in prison under the draconian UAPA law. In the present, mass attempts at creating a ‘chilling effect’ and an atmosphere of fear and passivity are being undertaken with these NIA raids, whether they be on the student and farmer activists in Uttar Pradesh, against the activists waging land struggles in Kaimur, against 64 democratic organizations named under suspicion of Maoist links in Jharkhand, against the environmental and land struggle in Niyamgiri and Mali Parbat in Odisha, against the anti-camp and anti-displacement movement in Chattisgarh or against the civil liberties and democratic rights activists in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. From Uttar Pradesh to Telangana, the NIA is conducting these raids in the name of “Maoist links,” all of it suspiciously an year prior to the 2024 Long Sabha elections. This is another similarity with the 2018 suppression which came less than a year before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In similar fashion to the case of the Bhima Koregaon-16, there is a clear attempt at suppressing the democratic rights movement all over India prior to the elections in a country which is considered the world’s “largest democracy.”
In the overall situation in India, no form of democratic assertion is left untouched by the NIA’s repression in the name of Maoist links, whether they be organizations fighting for the rights of minorities , anti-caste organizations like KNPS, women’s rights organizations like the CMS or even Gandhian or Marxist-Leninist organizations. All forms of democratic assertions are under threat in this current spate of repression.
Campaign Against State Repression vehemently condemns these scare tactics and the undemocratic repression of democratic rights organizations in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and all over the country.
CASR demands the immediate end to these raids by the NIA and the release of the arrested persons along, seeking enquiry into the various proceedings.
Campaign Against State Repression
(AIRSO, AISA, APCR, BASF, BSM, Bhim Army, bsCEM, CEM, CRPP, CTF, DISSC, DSU, Fraternity ,IAPL, Karnataka Janashakti, LAA,Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, Mazdoor Patrika, , Morcha Patrika, NAPM, Nowruz, NTUI, People’s Watch, Rihai Manch, Samajwadi Janparishad,Smajwadi lok manch, Bahujan Samjavadi Mnach, United Against Hate, WSS,Y4S)