Co-ordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO) condemns the arrest of Delhi University Prof. Hany Babu and demands his immediate release after dropping the false charges levied against him. His arrest is part of the Modi’s Government attempt in silencing the dissent. Prof. Hany Babu is arrested by NIA on 28th July, 2020, on the allegation that he was propagating Naxal activities and Maoist ideology and was a co-conspirator with other arrested accused in Bhima-Koregaon Case. It should be noted that in reality, the violence at Bhima-Koregaon is the conspiracy of the Hindutva forces and it was carried out by perpetrators Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote, both with ties to the RSS. The entire conspiracy hatched in the aftermath of the violence at Bhima-Koregaon is intended to incarcerate and silence the voices of dissent who have been speaking about the anti-people policies and Hindutva politics of the ruling BJP Governments. Erstwhile Maharashtra government led by Devendra Fadnavis selectively implicated the Rights Activists from different fields under the draconian UAPA Law.
The Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP coalition government, which came into power after the recent election, was about to withdraw the charges against the accused.The Central government immediately directed NIA to take up the case. After NIA took up investigation, it is again re-investigating the case, which is illegal, and arbitrarily arrested Anand Teltumble and Gautam Navlakha. All the 11 persons arrested, including 81-year old Varavara Rao, who tested COVID Positive, are not getting bail. It shows the indifferent attitude of the judiciary. Eminent personalities from all over the globe have urged the government to withdraw the false charges against them. Still, the government took a nonchalant stand and continued its manhunt by arresting Prof. Hany Babu yesterday.
Dr. Babu, who teaches English in the University of Delhi, is a noted activist, being the coordinator of the ‘Alliance of Social Justice’ and a member of the ‘Joint Action Front for Democratic Education’. He is a prominent member of the ‘Committee for the Defense and Release of Dr. G.N. Saibaba’ which had condemned the rejection of granting permanent bail to the disabled and incarcerated Delhi University academic accused of having Maoist links. He has spoken out against caste discrimination in institutions of higher education, the death penalty and for the rights of political prisoners. Perhaps this is the sin committed by him against the State. Then he was targeted by the State. His house was raided by the Pune Police in the month of November 2019. At that time the police took three books and his laptop, phone, hard disks and pen drives.Again he was summoned by NIA to Bombay, and he was forced to travel to Mumbai on 23rd July. And since then he has been questioned every day for long hours until his arrest on 28th July. During his gruelling questioning, police tried to get false testimony against some more persons being functionaries of Maoists. Since Prof. Hany Babu refused to give such false testimony, finally NIA made his arrest in the Bhima-Koregaon case as a co-conspirator. We strongly feel that here the State is the biggest conspirator against the democratic forces.
Prof. Hany Babu’s arrest is proof of blatant harassment and intimidation of people who question the State and struggle for the rights of the marginalised and oppressed castes, classes and communities. This arrest is likely to follow the predictable narrative of branding Prof. Babuas an urban Naxal. The intention of the State is not to prove guilt but to punish via lengthy isolation and detention while being demonised by a State-sponsored media witch-hunt. These tactics are being deployed without any consideration for the fundamental right to life of the persons targeted as seen in the case of the revolutionary poet Varavara Rao, Dr. GN Saibaba and Prof. Anand Teltumbde among others.
CDRO appeals to all the progressive and democratic forces to unite and condemn the arrest of Prof. Hany Babu and the threat of arrest looming over several more rights activists, artists and journalists. We demand the government to
- Withdraw baseless charges against the rights activists in Bhima-Koregaon case and release them immediately.
- Repeal of all draconian laws including UAPA, PSA, NSA and others.
- Immediate release of all anti-CAA, NRC and NPR activists.
- Stop the witch-hunt of human rights defenders by the NIA.
K. Kranthi Chaitanya, Prit Pal Singh, Tapas Chakraborty and V. Raghunath
(Coordinator of CDRO)
Constituent Organisations: Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR, Punjab), Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR, West Bengal); Asansol Civil Rights Association, West Bengal; Bandi Mukti Committee (West Bengal); Civil Liberties Committee (Andhra Pradesh); Civil Liberties Committee (Telangana); Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (Maharashtra); Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR TamilNadu); Coordination for Human Rights (Manipur); Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti (Assam); Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights ; Peoples’ Committee for Human Rights (Jammu and Kashmir); Peoples Democratic Forum (Karnataka); Jharkhand Council for Democratic Rights (Jharkhand); Peoples Union For Democratic Rights (Delhi); People’s Union for Civil Rights (Haryana), Campaign for Peace & Democracy in Manipur, Delhi; Jan Hastakshep (Delhi)
Image Courtesy: The Hindu