[Reader-list] Press Release Stop State Terrorism; Stop Harassment by Police

Asit Das asit1917 at gmail.com
Tue Oct 14 00:32:51 CDT 2014

*Press ReleaseStop State Terrorism; Stop Harassment by PoliceAn appeal by
Honorable Judges, leaders, journalists, writers, playwrights, theatre
practitioners from the state in support of the social activists*

Republican Panther Jaati Anth Movement, and editor of Vidrohi magazine,
writer and journalist, Sudhir Dhavale, and Sharad Gaikwad, Shankar Patil,
Bhairp mumbai setting Corporator Arun Kambale and other activists are being
mentally harassed by officers of the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) in Deonar
and Pune.

In this regard, on 9 October 2014, Urmila Pawar (writer), Ramu Ramanathan
(playwright), Jatin Desai (Senior Journalist) addressed a press conference.

Urmila Pawar protested the stand taken by the Government and its police
department. *“Instead of facilitating Sudhir Dhavale and other activists,
the government is harassing them, we will not tolerate this. How do we
live? Should we be not be organised? The state does not implement the
rights enshrined by the Constitution and ATS is terrorising the activists.
We will not tolerate this," *she warned.

Playwright Ramu Ramanathan said, *“Sudhir Dhawale is an important literary
and journalistic voice of our times. The Gondia Session Court has acquitted
him after he spent 40 months in prison. In spite of which he and other
activists are being deliberately harassed. This is against the Constitution
and in violation of fundamental rights and freedom.”* He appealed to the
people to be aware of their fundamental rights and express their voice
through people's art.

Senior journalist, Jatin Desai while protesting the police intimidation
against activists and artists, congratulated the Nobel Prize Winners from
both India and Pakistan and appealed that "citizens and social
organisations support the people who are resisting the government against
encroachment on forest, land and water and violation of human rights, and

Sudhir Dhawale pointed out how the police is harassing activists. He
said,* "The
police is coercing activists to confess to false allegations failing which
they are being threatened by ATS to be placed under arrest within six
months*." Republican Panther’s Sharad Gaikwad is being repeatedly summoned
to Pune and being interrogated.

Important activists are summoned and being made to sit in the ATS office.
Dhawale said, "It seems the ATS is spreading more terror in the name of
containing it." Dhawale warned that such atrocities against human rights
should not be tolerated in a civil society.

For further details please refer to the protest letter (below) which has
been signed by Honourable Judges, Former Police Officer, leaders of
political parties, and artists and activists in Maharashtra.

*Protest Letter (in English)*

*Stop harassment of social activists*

Date: 12 October 2014

On 1 September 2014, officials of ATS, Pune arrested two social activists
viz. Arun Bhelake and Kanchan Nanavare as suspected naxalites in Pune. They
were given third degree treatment and made to issue a statement.

This statement was used by ATS to implicate other progressive social
activists in this alleged arrest case. And so, the Bharatiya Republican
Paksha Bahujan Mahasangha’s Govandi Corporator Hon. Shri. Arun Kamble,
Republican Panther's Jaatiant Movement’s State President Sharad Gaikwad,
Rahul Seva Mandal’s President Shankar Patil, Kabir Kalamach’s Rupali Jadhav
from Pune and mass movement’s key members from Pune are being summoned to
the ATS office in Pune for "enquiry".

They are made to sit at the office for the entire day after which their
statements are recorded. They are being called to the ATS office multiple
times for interrogation and the same questions are repeated, again and
again. While a person is expected to cooperate with the authorities for an
enquiry for a legitimate case, but ordering them to come to Pune every now
and then, under the pretext of enquiry and making them confess as per
incorrect statements under coercion can be considered as mental harassment
of activists in Maharashtra.

These activists are being asked to disclose name, address and contact
details of other members from the above mentioned organisations. Some of
persons are names who are not even remotely connected with this case nor
have any summons been issued or pending against them. This act of ATS is an
attempt to intimidate the members of these organisations and members of
civil society.

*Harassment of Sudhir Dhawale *

On 15 May 2014, after 40 months, Gondia Session Court acquitted Sudhir
Dhawale, the Editor of Vidrohi (a bimonthly magazine) and member of
Republic Panthers, however, the police continues to harass him. On the 28
September, the police entered his Govandi residence and conducted a search
without any warrant nor summons. After which they interrogated him. The
police bundled him into a van and escorted him to Deonar police station;
they confiscated his mobile phone. After which Dhawale was made to give a
written statement and mentally harassed him.

This constant harassment of members of these organisations and senior
social activists by the police under the pretext of alleged enquiry must be
vehemently protested by all progressive thinkers, intellectuals, artists
and social organisations.

Elections are conducted regularly, and our votes are meant to change
governments. This gives us the illusion of a democratic country. However,
we can see an invisible emergency-like situation which is prevalent. It is
an absurd situation where our country's Constitution confers the freedom of
expression on us but the reality is, there is suppression of expression.
Not just that citizens are systematically harassed by the police for
adhering to a particular ideology.
*In this sense, we the undersigned demand:*

-       Definition of Terrorism should be clarified post 9/11

-       Intimidation of social activists by the police should cease,

-       Mental harassment of members must be stopped, immediately

-       We must have the right to raise our voice against anti-democratic

Yours Sincerely,

    1.        Retired Supreme Court Judge Hon. Shri P B

    2.        Retired Bombay High Court Judge Hon. Shri B G
 Kolse Patil

    3.        Former Home State Minister Bhai Vaidya

    4.        Prof N D Patil (Senior Leader)

    5.        Prof. Pushpa Bhave (Writter)

    6.        Hon. Shri. Balasaheb aka Prakash Ambedkar

    7.        Prof. Anand Teltumbade, Writer

    8.        Com.Govind Pansare (CPI-Leader)

    9.        Ramu Ramanathan, Playwright

  10.        J V Pawar, Writer

  11.        Urmila Pawar, Writer

  12.        Jatin Desai, Journalist

  13.        Hon. Shri .Suresh HosbetRetired Bombay High
Court Judge

  14.        Suresh Khopade, Ex-Police Officer

  15.        Bri. Sudhir Sawant

  16.        Usha Umbhore

  17.        Shahir Sambhaji Bhagat

  18.        Sushama Deshpande, Theatre practitioner

  19.        Sumedh Jadhav, Social Activist

  20.        Teesta Setalvad, Human Rights Activist

  21.        Sudhanva Deshpande Actor

  22.        Manisha Gupte

  23.        prof. Ramesh kamble Mumbai univrsity

  24.        Medha Patkar Leader NApm

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