Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) vehemently protests the arrest of Gautam Navlakha, long term PUDR activist, author and political commentator, on false charges made by the Maharastra police. Gautam’s case is not unique, with same charges under normal law and sections of UAPA based on the same FIR, also having been filed against activists and public intellectuals Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bhardwaj, Arun Ferreira. Targeted for their strong and vociferously expressed political beliefs and public activities, this attack on individuals has now been extended to an attack on organisations, which in the final assessment is an attack on the politics of protest against state violations of people’s  rights. With Gautam and the other four labelled as ‘urban naxals’ and their organisations, such as PUDR, as frontal organisations of the banned CPI (Maoist) the government is creating a climate of terror in which no individual or organization dare criticise the state or make it accountable.As part of the civil liberties, democratic and human rights movement in India, we in PUDR renew our commitment to continue to preserve and protect the Rule of Law and democratic rights of our people, in these dark times. 

Media Coverage on activists, case and the law under which they are arrested

My Friend Gautam; Sumanta Bannerjee; The Indian Express; 12 Sep 2018

Dear Comrade Gautamji’: on the Navlakha case; Sanjay Kak; The Hindu; 12 Sep 2018

गौतम नवलखा के नाम पीयूडीआर के साथी का एक खुला खत: मेघा; द सिटिज़न; 12 Sep 2018

Gautam Navlakha has always been a principled dissenter. It’s a shame he’s being punished for it. C Rammanohar Reddy; Scroll .in; 11 Sep 2018

“Shocked At the Arrest Of Human Rights Defenders”: Jinee Lokaneeta; The Citizen: 11 Sep 2018

‘If They’re So Mighty, Let Them Snuff Out The Moon’: Aniket Alam; NEWCLICK; 11 Sep 2018.

The Sudha Bharadwaj I know: The Indian Express; 11 Sep 2018

13 letters leaked by Pune police show why it's hard to believe claims about a Maoist conspiracy:; 11 Sep 2018

University Teachers Forum Hyderabad Condemns the Raid at Prof Satyanarayana’s House: Kafila; 11 Sep 2018

Full text: Nearly 190 IIT Kanpur faculty, alumni demand release of Sudha Bharadwaj, other activists: 10 Sep 2018

No Respect for Witnesses, Not Enough Voices: Activists Allege Bias at Bhima Koregaon Commission: The Wire: 10 Sep 2018"I Haven’t Earned Money, I Have Earned People": Sudha Bharadwaj’s Daughter Pens Emotional Note: The Wire; 8 Sep 2018

Sudha Bharadwaj: Arrested activist who led legal fight against Adani's mines. Deepak Tiwari: The Week; 7 Sep 2018

5 activists' arrest: SC furious with Maharashtra cop's comment: 7 Sep 2018

Why the UAPA must go: Jawahar Raja: India Today: 7 Sep 2018

Rights Activists Arrest: This Law Is An Ass: Manisha Sethi: Outlook; 17 Sep 2018

A nation’s moment of reckoning: Dr. Ashwani Kumar: 7 Sep 2018

Those in Authority Want to Arrest the Growing Consciousness About Human Rights: Manoranjan Mohanty, The Wire; 7 Sep 2018

Elgaar Parishad probe: Faridabad bar body wants strike to protest arrest of Sudha Bharadwaj, other lawyers: The Indian Express; 6 Sep 2018

Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society condemns crack down on HR activists and liberal voices: Kashmir News Trust; 4 Sep 2018

Independent Inquiry Slams Pune Police for 'Inaction' During Bhima Koregaon Violence: Dailyhunt: 4 Sep 2018

Flouting law, Maharashtra police took along witnesses from Pune while raiding, arresting activists: 4 Sep 2018

On Activists' Arrests, High Court Questions Press Conference By Police: NDTV: 3 Sep 2018

Activists' arrest: Bombay HC raps Maharashtra police, asks ' why hold press conference on sub judice matter': The Times of India: 3 Sep 2018

Bhima Koregaon Arrests: Anatomy of a clampdown and the history of a long oppression: Kritika A; The Leaflet; 3 Sep 2018

Statement against police action on Prof. Anand Teltumbde and others – Students, Faculty and Alumni of IIT Kharagpur: Kafila; 2 Sep 2018

The Many Plots To Assassinate Narendra Modi: Tushar Dhara: The Caravan: 2 Sep 2018

Sinister homosapiens: Pratab Bhanu Mehta: The Indian Express: 31 August 2018

Elgaar Parishad probe: Dissent safety valve of democracy, pressure cooker will burst if not allowed, says SC: The Indian Express; 31 August 2018

Missing facts in conspiracy theories: Business Line: 30 August 2018

Sudha Bharadwaj Did Exemplary Work for the Deprived, Fight Will Continue, Say Fellow Activists: Manas Mitu; News 18; 29 August 2018

Urban Naxal’ Varavara Rao No Stranger to Political Imprisonments: The Quint: 29 August 2018

Who Is Vernon Gonsalves, the Activist Held for ‘Naxalite’ Links: The Quint: 29 August 2018

Bhima Koregaon raids: Vernon Gonsalves' son says family experienced same 'sense of helplessness' in 2007; full text: FIRSTPOST; 29 August 2018

Gautam Navlakha arrest: Delhi High Court points out lapses: The Hindu; 29 August 2018

PUCL (People’s Umion for Civil Liberties) Statement Condemning Arrest of Public Intellectuals , 31 August

WSS Statement On The Arrests of Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Gautam Navlakha and Varavara Rao: Indian Cultural Forum: 31 August 2018

Civil Society Members Condemn Arrests of Activists, Demand Withdrawal of Charges: The Wire: 30 August 2018

48 former IAS officers urge Modi to speak up on the arrest of 5 activists: Nandita Singh; The Print: 30 August 2018

Varavara Rao’s arrest condemned: The Hindu; 30 August 2018

Viplava Rachayitala Sangham condemns arrest of Varavara Rao, others in Ongole: Hans India: 30 August 2018

NLU-D Faculty, Staff, Students & Alumni Issue Joint Statement Condemning Activist Lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj’s Arrest:; 29 August 2018

Bhima-Koregaon probe: Full text of joint statement by activists, intellectuals condemning the raids and arrests: Fistpost: 28 August 2018


About Us

Over the last 40 years or more, the civil rights movement in India has emerged as an autonomous voice in defense of civil liberties and democratic rights of our people. The Peoples Union for Democratic Rights, Delhi, is one such organisation. It came into existence in 1977 as the Delhi unit of a larger national forum,PUCLDR, and became PUDR on 1 February, 1981.

Press Releases

09 Sep 2018
नागरिक अधिकारों के पक्ष में उठती आवाज़ों को कुचलना बंद करो! पीपल्स यूनियन फॉर डेमोक्रेटिक राइट्स महाराष्ट्र पुलिस द्वारा पीयूडीआर पर सीपीआई (माओइस्ट) पार्टी का ‘फ्रंटल’ संगठन होने के दावे की कड़ी निंदा करता है | यह खुलेआम, भारत के एक सबसे पुराने जनवादी संगठन को धमकी देने और उसके काम पर रोक लगाने की कोशिश है | पीयूडीआर और पीयूसीएल 1977 में आपातकाल की खिलाफत करने और उस समय गिरफ्तार किये गए लोगों की रिहाई में प्रमुख...
09 Sep 2018
Stop suppression of the right to defend civil rights! Peoples Union for Democratic Rights, Delhi (PUDR) strongly protests the accusation by the Maharashtra police claiming that the PUDR is a frontal organisation of the CPI (Maoist) party. This is a blatant attempt to threaten and restrict the functioning of one of India’s oldest civil rights organisations. PUDR and PUCL came into existence way back in 1977 as...
05 Sep 2018
In the wake of the recent raids and arrests of 5 prominent rights activists, Varavara Rao, Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bhardwaj and Arun Ferreira, on UAPA charges for their alleged involvement in the Bhima Koregaon case, PUDR is releasing its report, The Missing Terror Plot: Bhima Koregaon and the Politics of UAPA Responding to the charges made by the Maharashtra police, of having unearthed “...
30 Aug 2018
30th August 2018, Press Club of India, New Delhi We, the undersigned, strongly oppose and condemn the illegal raids carried out in different cities, and arrests of Gautam Navlakha, Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Varavara Rao by the Maharashtra Police on 28 th August 2018. These are only the most recent arrests in a continuing wave of repression spearheaded by the police at the behest of...
29 Aug 2018
The country is witnessing another round of crackdown on Human Rights Activists. While Arun Ferreira (Advocate), Sudha Bhardwaj (Trade Unionist, Teacher and Advocate), Gautam Navlakha (Editor and Writer), Varvara Rao (Writer and Literary critic) and Vernon Gonsalves (Academic) have been placed under house arrest, along with them, houses of Prof Anand Teltumbde, Fr Stan Swamy (Tribal...
17 Jun 2018
PEOPLES’ UNION FOR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS   17 June 2018   Press Release PUDR Condemns the arrest of Abhay Devdas Nayak     A 34-year-old 'techie' Abhay Devdas Nayak was abducted by the Chattisgarh police on 31 May 2018 from Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport and presented before the media on 12 June, as a "top Maoist propagandist." That he could be picked up by the...
03 Jun 2018
पीपल्स यूनियन फाॅर डेमोक्रैटिक राइट्स (दिल्ली) प्रैस विज्ञप्ति                                     3 जून 2018 मेजर गोगोई और दण्डमुत्ति की परम्परा 53 राष्ट्रीय राइफल्स के मेजर गोगाई द्वारा 23 मई 2018 को एक कश्मीरी महिला से यौन सम्बंध बनाने के मामले में 30 मई 2018 को कश्मीर पुलिस ने...
03 Jun 2018
  PEOPLE’S UNION FOR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS Major Gogoi and the Continuing Culture of Impunity            June 3, 2018 On May 30, 2018, the Jammu and Kashmir Police filed a status report before the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Srinagar regarding the case of sexual favours that Major Gogoi of 53 Rashtriya Rifles sought from a local Kashmiri woman, on...
29 Apr 2018
People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) expresses its condolences on the demise of Justice Rajinder Sachar. A leading civil rights activist, Justice Rajinder Sachar will be remembered for his democratic commitments and deep concern for the marginalized and deprived sections of society. His career as a judge reverberated the same commitment to democratic ethos and his defiance of arbitrary authority. Justice...
25 Apr 2018
पीपल्स यूनियन फाॅर डेमोक्रैटिक राइट्स (दिल्ली) 22 अप्रैल, 2018 में गढचिरौली में हुई माओवादियों की हत्या मुठभेड़ नहीं थी।   25 अप्रैल 2018 22 और 23 अप्रैल को सी.आर.पी.एफ. और गढ़चिरोली पुलिस के विशेष दस्ते सी-60 द्वारा की गई 37 माओवादियों की हत्या की घटना सरकार के ‘‘मुठभेड़’’ के तरीकों पर कई सवाल खड़े करती है। 22 अप्रैल की सुबह 64 पुलिसकर्मी और अर्द्धसैनिकों ने पूर्वी महाराष्ट्र के भमरागढ़़ इलाके में स्थित...
25 Apr 2018
PEOPLE’S UNION FOR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS No encounter happened in Gadchiroli on April 22nd 2018 25th April, 2018   The killings of at least 37 Maoists by the combined force of the CRPF and the C-60, the elite unit of the Gadchiroli Police, on 22nd and 23rd April 2018 raises some very disturbing questions about the state’s methods of conducting ‘encounters’. In the morning of 22nd April, 64 police and...
03 Apr 2018
In August 2015 the Law Commission had recommended abolition of death penalty except in terror related cases. Recently 14 states have responded to these recommendations. Barring the exception of Karnataka and Tripura, other 12 states have rejected the recommendations. The states opposing the move include Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Delhi. PUDR strongly deplores...
19 Mar 2018
PUDR’S report on the Maruti case judgment on the grim anniversary of the court order sentencing workers PUDR is presenting its report ‘A Pre-Decided Case: A Critique of the Maruti judgment of 2017,’ to mark the grim anniversary of the passing of the deeply unjust order by the Sessions Court, Gurugram, Haryana which sentenced 31 erstwhile workers of the Maruti company, 13 of them to life imprisonment. In this...
18 Mar 2018
पीपुल्स यूनियन फॉर डैमोक्रैटिक राइट्स 18 मार्च 2018 प्रेस विज्ञप्ति मज़दूरों को कठोर सजा देने वाले मारूति केस के अन्यायी अदालती फैसले की पहली बरसी पर पी.यू.डी.आर. की रिपोर्ट ‘A Pre-Decided Case: A Critique of the Maruti judgment of 2017’ March 2018 18 मार्च 2017 को हरियाणा में गुरुग्राम सेशंस कोर्ट ने मारूति कंपनी के 31 बर्खास्त कामगारों को सज़ा सुनाई, जिनमें से 13 मजदूरों को उम्र कैद की सज़ा सुनाई गई। इन...
08 Mar 2018
Peoples Union for Democratic Rights condemns the Jharkhand Government for banning PFI, Popular Front of India, without providing any prima-facie evidence to support its decision. Through its official release dated 20th February 2018, the BJP state government proscribed PFI by invoking extraordinary powers provided under S 16 [Powers to Declare Associations Unlawful] of the CLA (Criminal Law Amendment) Act. The Home...

Latest Publications

10 Sep 2018
This is PUDR's position paper presented during 33rd Ramandham Memorial meeting on 8th Sep 2018. The paper is based on some of the investigations carried by PUDR over the years related to globally intergrated industries in the region - such as automobile industry at Manesar (Haryana), consumer electronics such as LG and Vivo phones (Greater Noida), garment workers in Kapashera (Delhi); as well as local industries, such as workers in localised...
07 Jul 2018
The Uttar Pradesh Control of Organised Crime Act, 2017 (UPCOCA) was passed on 27 March 2018. The statement of objects and reasons for the law argues that ‘organised crime’ has become a widespread and serious threat and such activities are fueled by illegal wealth, corrupting legitimate businesses and inciting disaffection towards the government. This law is considered to be necessary since criminals are using modern techniques and the existing legal...
20 Jun 2018
This report covers the investigation carried out by PUDR team in to the massive fire that broke out in a factory in Delhi’s Bawana Industrial area. Altogether 17 workers, including 10 women had lost their life and 30 workers had suffered burn and other injuries.  The factory was registered as a plastic factory but was storing and packaging firecrackers. Apart from investigating the accident, the report also covers the working condition in Bawana...
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