Yesterday, there were police raids of homes and arrests of several prominent human rights activists in India. They included lawyers, journalists, poets and writers. These arrests of activists who have spoken out loud against the growing state violence on oppressed people mainly religious minorities, Dalit, and adivasi communities, comes just months before the states of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, and the country go to polls. Please see the statements made by public intellectuals about the terrible state of Indian democracy and politics under the present government. They can be found here, here and here.
Particularly important is the statement made by Indira Jaising, a senior advocate who says that if defenders of rule of law are arrested then there is no rule of law to defend. There will be press conferences and solidarity actions to protest against the unlawful arrests of activists and the attack on democratic rights and civil liberties of Indian citizens in several parts of the country over the next few days.
The courts have temporarily stayed the transit remand of the activists and also stated that the documentary evidence for the arrests is poor.
We will be looking to the courts to restore rule of law and speak up for civil liberties.
with warm regards and in solidarity with ongoing struggles against oppression and discrimination.
Manju, Kanchi, Satnam and all of us working in India.