Bhima Koregaon Case: CPI, Cong & JD(U) Tear Into Activists’ Arrest

The Congress condemned the arrests, terming them an “attempt to suppress democracy.”

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Lashing out at the spate of arrests and police raids on several civil and human rights activists and Left-wing intellectuals, Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan on Tuesday, 28 August, said the arrests were "an attempt to suppress democracy."

We condemn any such arrests. Such random acts are an attempt to suppress democracy. 

Prakash Karat, senior leader, Communist Party of India (CPI), too scoffed at the arrests, terming it a “brazen attack on democratic rights”.

We demand the charges levelled against them be revoked, and they be set free.

Govt Should Show Evidence For Arrests: JD(U)

Janata Dal (United) leader Pawan Varma said that the government should produce the evidence it has to back the arrests of the activists.

Government must show that it has evidence to back up its actions against alleged Maoist activists. If evidence is not convincing then this kind of action goes directly against supremacy of rule under constitutional democracy which allows right to free speech and dissent.
Pawan Varma, JD(U) Leader

Failure of the government to show evidence will be “reminiscent” of the times during Emergency, he added.

If government is unable to produce conclusive evidence, then I am afraid actions of this nature will sound very ominously reminiscent of what happened during the Emergency.
Pawan Varma, JD(U) Leader

Attempt to Project Protests As Acts of Terrorism: CPI(M)

The CPI(M) too lodged its protest against the arrests, stating that the “attempt to project the peaceful Bhima-Koregaon event as an act of terrorism is utterly baseless and condemnable.”

The party, in its statement, said:

It is shocking but not surprising that under the BJP rule at the Centre and in Maharashtra, rights activists are arrested and booked on terror charges under draconian laws – while terror outfits such as Sanatan Sanstha and Shiv Pratishthan unleash violence on Dalits, plot terrorist attacks, assassinate dissenters and yet are referred to by BJP leaders including the current prime minister of India as ‘nationalist’.

Amnesty, Oxfam Condemn ‘Witch-Hunt’

Reacting to the arrests, global human rights organisation Amnesty International and Oxfam India, in a joint statement, said the nationwide crackdown was disturbing and threatens core human rights values.

“These arrests cannot become the order of the day. The government should protect people’s rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly instead of creating an atmosphere of fear,” said Amitabh Behar, CEO, Oxfam India.

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