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

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/gautam-navlakha-elgaar-parishad-bhima-koregaon-5351310/

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

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/dear-comrade-gautamji/article24929134.ece

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

https://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/hi/NewsDetail/index/2/14945/Navlakha

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

https://scroll.in/article/893911/gautam-navlakha-has-always-been-a-principled-dissenter-its-a-shame-hes-being-punished-for-it

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

http://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/en/NewsDetail/index/2/14939/Shocked-At-the-Arrest-Of-Human-Rights-Defenders

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

https://www.newsclick.in/if-theyre-so-mighty-let-them-snuff-out-moon

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

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/sudha-bharadwaj-activist-arrest-urban-naxal-5342049/

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

https://scroll.in/article/893686/13-letters-leaked-by-pune-police-show-why-it-s-hard-to-believe-claims-about-a-maoist-conspiracy

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

https://kafila.online/2018/09/11/university-teachers-forum-hyderabad-condemns-the-raid-at-prof-satyanarayanas-house/

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

https://scroll.in/latest/893832/full-text-nearly-190-iit-kanpur-faculty-alumni-demand-release-of-sudha-bharadwaj-other-activists

No Respect for Witnesses, Not Enough Voices: Activists Allege Bias at Bhima Koregaon Commission: The Wire: 10 Sep 2018

https://thewire.in/rights/bhima-koregaon-commission-witness-victim"I Haven’t Earned Money, I Have Earned People": Sudha Bharadwaj’s Daughter Pens Emotional Note: The Wire; 8 Sep 2018

https://thewire.in/rights/sudha-bharadwaj-daughter-letter

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

https://www.theweek.in/news/india/2018/09/07/sudha-bharadwaj-arrested-activist-legal-adani-mines.html

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/bhima-koregaon-case-sc-irked-over-maharashtra-police-officer-extends-house-arrest-of-activists/articleshow/65709038.cms

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

https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/up-front/story/20180917-why-the-uapa-must-go-1333213-2018-09-07

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

https://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/rights-activists-arrest-this-law-is-an-ass/300588

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

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/a-nations-moment-of-reckoning-elgaar-parishad-activists-arrested-bhima-koregaon-violence-dalit-march-5343830/

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

https://thewire.in/rights/activists-arrests-human-rights-pose-the-greatest-challenge-to-current-dispensation

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

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/elgaar-parishad-probe-faridabad-bar-body-wants-strike-to-protest-arrest-of-sudha-bharadwaj-other-lawyers-5342105/

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

http://kashmirnewstrust.com/jammu-kashmir-coalition-civil-society-condemns-crack-down-hr-activists-and-liberal-voices

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

https://m.dailyhunt.in/news/india/english/the+wire+english-epaper-wireng/independent+inquiry+slams+pune+police+for+inaction+during+bhima+koregaon+violence-newsid-96177537

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

https://scroll.in/article/893039/flouting-the-law-maharashtra-police-took-witnesses-from-pune-while-raiding-and-arresting-activists

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

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/on-activists-arrests-bombay-high-court-questions-press-conference-by-maharashtra-police-when-case-is-1910371

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/activists-arrest-bombay-hc-raps-maharashtra-police-asks-why-hold-press-conference-on-sub-judice-matter/articleshow/65654860.cms

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

http://theleaflet.in/bhimakoregaonarrests-anatomy-of-a-clampdown-and-the-history-of-a-long-oppression/

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

https://kafila.online/2018/09/02/statement-against-police-action-on-prof-anand-teltumbde-and-others-students-faculty-and-alumni-of-iit-kharagpur/

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

http://www.caravanmagazine.in/politics/many-plots-to-assassinate-narendra-modi

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

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/sinister-homo-sapiens-elgaar-sudha-bharadwaj-indian-express-columns-5333338/

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

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/supreme-court-activists-bhima-koregaon-5331247/

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

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/missing-facts-in-conspiracy-theories/article24821983.ece

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

https://www.news18.com/news/india/sudha-bharadwaj-did-exemplary-work-in-chhattisgarh-our-fight-will-continue-say-fellow-activists-1861027.html

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

https://www.thequint.com/news/politics/varavara-rao-profile-no-stranger-to-political-imprisonment-bhima-koregaon

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

https://www.thequint.com/news/india/who-is-vernon-gonsalves-bhima-koregaon-activist-arrest

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

https://www.firstpost.com/india/bhima-koregaon-raids-vernon-gonsalves-son-says-family-experienced-same-sense-of-helplessness-in-2007-full-text-5071091.html

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

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/activist-gautam-navlakha-arrest-delhi-high-court-critical-of-magistrate-court-order-on-transit-remand/article24810919.ece

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

http://indianculturalforum.in/2018/08/31/pucl-condemns-the-arrest-of-public-intellectuals/

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

http://indianculturalforum.in/2018/08/31/wss-statement-on-the-arrests-of-activist/

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

https://thewire.in/rights/civil-society-members-condemn-arrest-of-activists-demand-withdrawal-of-charges

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

https://theprint.in/politics/48-former-ias-officers-urge-modi-to-speak-up-on-the-arrest-of-5-activists/108884/

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

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/varavara-raos-arrest-condemned/article24814150.ece

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

http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Amaravati-Tab/2018-08-30/Viplava-Rachayitala-Sangham-condemns-arrest-of-Varavara-Rao-others-in-Ongole/408531

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

https://www.livelaw.in/more-than-150-nlu-d-faculty-staff-students-alumni-issue-joint-statement-condemning-activist-lawyer-sudha-bharadwajs-arrest/

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

https://www.firstpost.com/india/bhima-koregaon-probe-full-text-of-joint-statement-by-activists-intellectuals-condemning-the-raids-and-arrests-5065181.html

 

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

11 Dec 2018
PUDR conducted a fact-finding to probe into the incident of mass termination in a mobile phone manufacturing unit in Noida, Uttar Pradesh where around 180 workers were thrown out of job without any prior notice on 29th November 2018. The abysmal and appalling nature of employment being generated under the 2015 ‘Make in India’ drive becomes starkly visible in this manufacturing unit called Hipad Technology India...
04 Dec 2018
On November 20, 2018, a Delhi Sessions Court awarded death penalty to Yashpal Singh and life imprisonment to Naresh Kumar for their role in murder and arson in Mahipalpur on November 1, 1984 which caused the death of two persons and injuries to three others. A week later, the Delhi High Court upheld the conviction of 70 persons who had been awarded five-year prison sentences by a Sessions Court in 1996 for their...
10 Nov 2018
People’s Union for Democratic Rights condemns series of incidents triggered by members of CPI(Maoist) in Bastar Sambhag (region) of Chhattisgarh in just over a fortnight. November 8: Four civilians and one CISF Head constable were killed when an IED (improvised explosive device) exploded in a bus hired by CISF for their use during the election, near Bacheli in Dantewada. Two other CISF personnel were...
12 Oct 2018
PUDR strongly condemns the attacks on migrants from Bihar, UP and Madhya Pradesh, who are being forced to flee from Gujarat as a result of violence unleashed by the Thakor community. About 50,000 Hindi speaking migrants have left Gujarat and returned to their native states the attacks began. Without jobs and homes, destitution stares them in the face. Sporadic violence against migrants began from 28th of...
02 Oct 2018
On 1st October, the Delhi High Court set aside the Order of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Saket Courts passed on 28th August granting transit remand to Pune police against Gautam Navlakha in the one of the FIRs booked in connection to the Bhima Koregaon incident. It was held by the Delhi High Court that the said Order was untenable in law as it was in violation of not just the fundamental rights guaranteed...
02 Oct 2018
PUDR welcomes the Supreme Court’s order on the petition filed by Prof. Romila Thapar and others for extending protection from custody to the five activists- Gautam Navlakha, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bhardwaj and Arun Ferreira- arrested a month ago by the Maharashtra Police. A three-judge bench in its 2:1 majority judgment, even in refusing the demand of the petitioners for constituting a Special...
25 Sep 2018
People’s Union For Democratic Rights (PUDR) strongly condemns the killing of Telugu Desam MLA, K. SarveswarRao, and a former MLA, Silveri Soma, in Liviriputtu in Dumbriguda Mandal of Vishakhapatnam district on September 24, 2018 allegedly by members of the CPI (Maoist). As per news reports, the incident happened when the two politicians were returning to Araku and their vehicle was intercepted by a slogan shouting...
24 Sep 2018
PUDR strongly condemns the abduction and slaying of one constable and two Special Police Officers (SPOs) by unidentified militants in the Shopian district of Kashmir.The deceased identified as Nisar Ahmad Dhobi (aged 38), Firdous Ahmad Kuchey (aged 28) and Kulwant Singh (aged 35), were picked up from their homes in Batgund and Kapren villages on the morning of 21 September, by a group of militants. Half an hour...
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...

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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