On 7th September 2020, the RSS led BJP government’s mission to nullify/choke voices of activists and oppressed sections in India has hit another milestone after arresting Sagar Gorakhe and Ramesh Gaichor – members of Kabir Kala Manch (KKM), based in Pune.
Sagar and Rameshhave been part of the Caste Annihilation movement in India since many years and have committed their lives to build a strong anti caste movement in Maharashtra. KKM was formed by mostly dalit youth and few others in 2002 after the Gujarat riots. Their resistance intensified further after the Khairlanji massacre and their songs openly told stories of massacres and genocides being committed on dalit, adivasis, muslims across the country. Influenced by the struggle of Jyotiba Phule, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Annabhau Sathe, the group remained part of mass movements to raise voice against oppression of marginalized sections in India. Their songs have continued to energise and build on the Satyashodhak tradition of songs and poetry for anti caste struggle and inspired hundreds of people to raise voice against the brahminical oppression which continues to marginalize the majority of people in this country. It was owing to this resistance that Sagar and Ramesh were incarcerated in year 2013 and made to spend three years, eight months in Taloja jail before being granted bail.
Shahir Sagar Gorkhe and Shahir Ramesh Gaichor, both members of Bhima Koregoan Shauryadin Prerna Abhiyan and Kabir Kala Manch have been arrested by the NIA under the Modi government. NIA has summoned both Shahir Sagar Gorkhe and Shahir Ramesh Gaychor on multiple occasions for questioning. Under the guise of questioning, they were repeatedly threatened arrest unless they turn witness for the state.
They were threatened, “you have to become witness for the state under CRPC clause 164 and admit (falsely) that you went to the jungle in Gadchiroli and met Naxals there and that you have connections to Naxalites. unless you agree to this we will arrest you.” Even in these conditions both Shahirs did not bend to the pressure imposed by the NIA and scrambled their scheme.
Elgar Parishad, a program held on 31st December 2017 at Pune, which sought to bring together dalit-bahujans against the rise of oppression by the RSS-BJP was cleverly made a target by the BJP in the aftermath of attacks in Bhima Koregaon on 1st January 2018. The govt employed the narrative of “urban naxal” to target activists working on issues pertaining to adivasi-dalit displacement in forest areas, encounters and illegal imprisonment of civilians in Kashmir, rights of political prisoners, rising attacks on muslims, organizing against caste atrocities and resisting brahminical hegemony in various institutions. In total 14 persons have been arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case since 1st January 2018 and many others are being questioned by the National Investigation Agency. Although the NIA is yet to reach the doorsteps of the key accused – Manohar Bhide and Milind Ekbote – who have been named clearly in the FIRs filed in Pune rural police station.
On the other hand, the NIA has been employing all tactics of threatening and manipulation, as is visible from Sagar and Ramesh’s statement stating that they were asked by the NIA to give confession statements to implicate other people. It is clear that the investigation by the NIA is already biased against the people being questioned and hence constituting a special investigation team (SIT) to conduct a fair inquiry must be done immediately.
At this point, various Human rights activists, lawyers, professors, and authors have been arrested regarding Bhima Koregaon Eilgar parishad matter. This conniving state is now targetting Ambedkarite activists who have fought against the brahminical regime through constitutional means. These activists have been one with the people understanding their sorrow, pain, and struggle
. It is clear that nor Pune Police nor NIA have nay proof to justify these arrests. The arrests are being used to stifle the voices of social activists. Bhima Koregoan Shauryadin Prerna Abhiyan condemns the arrests of Shahir Sagar Gorkhe and Shahir Ramesh Gaychor. We ask everyone to join hands to call for the release of all activists arrested under false pretense.
Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy strongly condemns this continuing cycle of intimidation and arrests of members of Kabir Kala Manch and expresses solidarity and support with Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor. We appeal to all civil society organisations, members of democratic and progressive organisations to condemn these continuing arrests and come together to resist this state repression
he NIA is unstoppable. They are planning many more arrests and so picking up many people for interrogation. 2 more have been arrested today, making it BK14.
Clearly the NIA has decided to use the Bhima Koregaon case to silence many more activists. They are repeatedly interrogating them, forcing 164 statements, threatening arrests and also breaking their morale, by keeping them in limbo. Not knowing what the future holds for them, many of the activists are unable to even work, waiting for the next move by them.
Some of our friends who have been subjected to this torture are as follows and the list is growing everyday.
1. Father Stan in Jharkhand and how many more they plan to interrogate, we don’t know.
2. Pune/ Maharashtra: All the senior activists of the Kabir Kala Manch.
3. Telengana : Kranti of the poet and writers association. Prof. Satyanarayan, son in law of Vara Vara Rao. And Kumar who was a journalist with the Hindu
PK Vijayan, Hindu College, DU
Rakesh Ranjan, SRCC, DU
Partho sarathy Ray. Mn
Several lawyers who took up cases for the poor
Nihal singh Rathod, lawyer Nagpur and junior of Gadling and
Viplav Teltumbde and another.
And lawyers in Mumbai.
Atleast a total of 15 lawyers have been interrogated recently from different parts of the country..
And then ofcourse through the pegasus Spyware they have taken away the data of so many people including lawyers like Yug CHaudhary, Ragini, journalists like Shubhranshu and 20 others.