Concocted, Baseless Fabrication: Sudha Bharadwaj Pens Open Letter
Responding to the allegations, Bharadwaj called the charges a “mixture of innocuous and publicly available facts”.
Sudha Bharadwaj, trade union activist and lawyer, has been put under house arrest till 6 September in connection with her alleged role in the Bhima Koregaon clashes and for allegedly having Maoist links. The arrest came after the Pune police carried out multi-city raids on the residences of five suspected activists and lawyers.
The Quint has been reporting live updates of the activists’ arrests.
On 31 August, Bharadwaj wrote an open letter regarding the press release put out by the Pune police and refuted the allegations against her. Here’s the full text of the letter:
Regarding the letter issued to the press by Pune police:
- It is a totally concocted letter, fabricated to criminalise me and other human rights lawyers, activists and organisations.
- It is a mixture of innocuous and publicly available facts and baseless fabrication. Various legal and democratic activities such as meetings, seminars, protests have been sought to be delegitimised by alleging that they are funded by maoists.
- A number of human rights lawyers, activists and organisations have been deliberately named to cast a stigma over them, to obstruct their work and incite hatred against them.
- There is an effort to deligitimise IAPL, an association of lawyers whose pride is Retd J (Retired Justice) Hosbet Suresh and which has been active in speaking up against attacks on lawyers.
- I categorically state that I have never giver Rs 50,000 to any programme in Moga. Nor do I know any “Ankit from Maharashtra” or “Ankit who is in touch with Kashmiri separatists”.
- I know Gautam Navlakha, a senior and respected human rights activist whose name has been mentioned in a manner to criminalise and incite hatred against him.
- I know the Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group well and have never solicited any funds for them, least of all from any banned organisation. I categorically state that their work has been absolutely legitimate and legal.
- I know advocate Degree Prasad Chouhan, a Dalit human rights activist who is active in PUCL (People’s Union for Civil Liberties) and works with the Human Rights Law Network. Totally baseless allegation has been made against him.
- There has been an effort to criminalise and incite hatred against various lawyers, activists and organisations who have exposed HR (Human Rights) violations in Bastar, Chhattisgarh.
- I once again declare that this is a fabricated letter, which I had refuted when it was flashed on Republic TV on 4 July, and which has not even been brought before either the Pune Court nor the CJM Faridabad while seeking to whisk me away to Pune.
- Sudha Bharadwaj
Through my lawyer Vrinda Grover.
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