“Just a few days prior in Jharkhand, 64 organizations were put under investigation by the crime branch for being allegedly associated with Maoists, with the list including Gandhian and civil rights organizations too. In the same time period, the anti-displacement movements in Niyamgiri and the Mali Parbat hill area also similar tactics being employed to curb their democratic resistance…”
Statement, Campaign Against State Repression – CASR, 23 September 2023
CASR STRONGLY CONDEMNS THE HABITUAL ACTION OF TELANGANA POLICE TO CRIMINALISE DISSENT AND IMPLICATE JOURNALISTS, WRITERS, DEMOCRATIC RIGHT ACTIVISTS IN UAPA CASES
News has come to light that Telangana police have filed cases against several activists, journalists and intellectuals under the UAPA, Telangana Public Security Act and the Arms Act. The police have divided their list of individuals under three categories, particularly people who they deem “top Maoist leaders” such as Namballa Kesava Rao, Muppala Lakshman Rao, Mallojula Venugopal Rao, Tippiri Tirupati, Kadari Satyanarayan Reddy, K.R. Reddy, M.R. Reddy, Paka Hanumanta, Gajarla Ravi, Modem Balakrishna and Konnath Muralidharan. The second category includes “other leaders” such as CP Moinuddin, Pradeep, Verghese, CP Rashid, CP Ismail and Editor-in-chief of the Malabar Journal K.P. Sethunath. The third category includes various activists and journalists such as Gade Padmakumari, Narla Ravi Sharma, Varalakshmi, Pinakapani, Nakka Narayana and N. Venugopal.
There are very many discrepancies in these charges, with the likes of journalist N. Venugopal being listed as a leader of the cultural organisation Virasam even though Venugopal has not associated with the organization since 2009. Furthermore, CP Moinuddin was named in another case last month where an on-going resistance against seizure of Adivasi land from Aralam farms is taking place. CP Rashid, a human rights activist, is the brother of CP Jaleel who was gunned down by the Kerala Thunderbolts where the police alleged he was a Maoist even though Rashid himself had been at the forefront of pushing an investigation into the case due to the police version having many discrepancies.
All these arrests and charges are followed by a string of suppression tactics used by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) all over the country. Just a few days prior in Jharkhand, 64 organizations were put under investigation by the crime branch for being allegedly associated with Maoists, with the list including Gandhian and civil rights organizations too. In the same time period, the anti-displacement movements in Niyamgiri and the Mali Parbat hill area also similar tactics being employed to curb their democratic resistance. In Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, a string of arrests and NIA raids occured against democratic and student organizations as well as anti-displacement organizations like Kaimur Mukti Morcha. Through labeling any and all organizations engaging in any form of dissent as Maoist-associated, the state is attempting to carry out a chilling effect and possibly laying foundation for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
One of the basic features of democratic society is the ability to dissent, organize and protest. Yet, these scare tactics, fake charges and arrests are all targeting dissent itself. Campaign Against State repression vehemently condemns these tactics of the state intended to curb democratic resistance.
We demand quashing of all these charges and independent inquiry into these country-wide coordinated methods of state repression against democratic assertions.
Campaign Against State Repression
(AIRSO,AISA, AISF, APCR,BASF, BSM, Bhim Army, Bigul Mazdoor Dasta, bsCEM, CEM, CRPP, CTF, Disha, DISSC, DSU, DTF, Fraternity ,IAPL, Karnataka Janashakti, LAA,Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, Mazdoor Patrika, , Morcha Patrika, NAPM, NBS, Nowruz, NTUI, People’s Watch, Rihai Manch, Samajwadi Janparishad,Smajwadi lok manch, Bahujan Samjavadi Mnach, SFI, United Against Hate, WSS,Y4S)