Bhima Koregaon accused write open letter on four years of incarceration

Reiterate their commitment to fight for the underprivileged and downtrodden.

Updated - June 05, 2022 11:51 pm IST

Published - June 05, 2022 11:45 pm IST - MUMBAI

Justice (retd.) Kolse Patil and advocate Indira Jaising at a press conference to condemn the arrest of Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, Soma Semn, Rona Wilson and Mahesh Raut.  File

Justice (retd.) Kolse Patil and advocate Indira Jaising at a press conference to condemn the arrest of Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, Soma Semn, Rona Wilson and Mahesh Raut. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

It has been four years since Prof Shoma Sen, advocate Surendra Gadling, activist Rona Wilson, Mahesh Raut and Sudhir Dhawale were arrested for the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad conference. They have written an open letter that they are still committed to take up the cudgels for the labourers, underprivileged and the downtrodden.

They wrote, “Workers, students, writers, poets, scholars, journalists and even common people who have chosen to fight against the ruling powers in the country on behalf of dalits, tribals and the underprivileged, are all being targeted. Many are being put behind bars to stifle their dissent. And terrorism laws are brazenly used for this purpose. Under these laws, a person can do nothing to defend themselves. Even bail is flatly denied by courts. Statistics reveal that in India, one has to spend 5 to 10 years on an average (which becomes 8 to 10 years in Maharashtra) in prison before getting bail. This is the elaborate scam created by the rulers to destroy a man’s social, economic, psychological and emotional life.”

“We are still committed to take up the cudgels for the labourers, the underprivileged and the downtrodden. From time to time, we have raised our voice and have battled injustice, exploitation, plunder, discrimination and inequality. We know this ruthless world gives nothing without a fight and so our struggle has been first for food and then for liberation,” the letter reads.

Ms. Sen, in Byculla jail, and the others lodged in Taloja Central jail said, “The irony is that those who are destroying the nation are being hailed as patriots and those who have toiled selflessly for the country are labelled as traitors. Logic has been abandoned to let loose the hysteric mobs. Religious polarisation is being promoted by spreading lies left, right and centre. This hysteric nationalism is dragging the nation towards autocracy. In such poisoned atmosphere, we are bound to be called traitors and jailed with the help of a web of untruths. It is the call of the time that we join hands to create a better world. As we will fight the attacks on our fundamental rights, we also shall fight to create a better, just, equitable and compassionate world.”

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