Appeal to Hon'ble President of India, for release of Dalit and human rights activists

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Dalit Shoshit Mukti Manch (DSMM)
On line Appeal to Honorable President of India,  for release of Dalit and human rights activists
 
The recent arrests of human rights defenders and prominent Dalit intellectual Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde has brought the issue of violation of human rights as enshrined in the Constitution of India to the forefront. The fact that they were arrested on 14 April, the birthday of Dr. Ambedkar is shocking. 
 
We appeal to you to intervene to ensure the release of all those accused in the patently untenable Bhima Koregaon case who are now in judicial custody.  Other than the two persons mentioned above, 9 prominent activists– Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Arun Ferreira, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Vernon Gonsalves, and Varavara Rao are also in jail. They were arrested by the Pune Police in 2018. 


Their incarceration is in complete contradiction with the Supreme Court’s previous orders to release prisoners to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of them are over 65 years of age and therefore very vulnerable. 
 
These 11 activists are committed to the causes of the poorest and most marginalised communities (like Dalits & Adivasis) in the country and have been fearless, vocal critics of the policies of the Government that have impacted adversely in these sections.  They have had to suffer a smear campaign launched by the Government and have been falsely accused of responsibility for the violence at Bhima Koregaon in January 2018 the real culprits of which have gone scot-free. 
 
Sign this petition if you agree that dissent is not a crime, that being a vocal critic of the Government does not warrant indefinite detention.
 
Direct Indian Home Minister, Amit Shah that attacking activists for some of the most marginalised communities in India is not in the nation’s best interest.
 
Call for the immediate release of the Bhima Koregaon 11accused.