Solidarity with Gautam Navlakha, Anand Teltumbde, and All Political Prisoners Arrested in Bhima Koregaon Case


THE arrest of activists and scholars Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) over ridiculously trumped up charges in the Bhima Koregaon case on Ambedkar Jayanti, 2020, is a day of shame for India's democracy. The fact that both of them, senior citizens above 60, will be incarcerated in cramped, overcrowded jails during a pandemic that poses a threat to the lives of the elderly, is especially shameful.

Gautam Navlakha, and Anand Teltumbde, stellar figures in India's democratic rights movement, now face indefinite incarceration under the draconian UAPA law, as the nine other human rights defenders who have already spent over a year in jail on the same charges.

The failure of the Supreme Court to protect the Constitutional liberties of the Bhima Koregaon accused, above all its failure to prevent the arrest of Navlakha and Teltumbde during the Covid-19 pandemic when the arrest is life-threatening, is reminiscent of the apex court's surrender during the infamous Emergency.

CPIML stands in solidarity with Gautam Navlakha, Anand Teltumbde, and the Bhima Koregaon Eleven. We demand the immediate release of all the 11 accused.

Dipankar Bhattacharya,
General Secretary, CPIML Liberation