In Solidarity with the 'BK-16' arrested with Mahesh Raut
June 06, 2018 onwards sixteen activists, academicians, and lawyers were charged and arrested in the Elgar Parishad case, under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Between 2018 and 2020, the list of arrestees went from five to sixteen, from the youngest 30-years-old Mahesh Raut to the oldest 84-years-old Fr. Stan Swamy. We strongly believe they have all been falsely implicated in the biggest and longest sustained conspiracy of its kind till date in the democratic and free India. The Arsenal report and the Pegasus leak have confirmed these doubts and unveiled a massive conspiracy of the fascist government against the dissenting voices of its own people. Despite the pandemic, old age, failing health, they have been denied bail and even basic care. Fr. Stan Swamy was given medical attention only after repeated pleas by his lawyers, but unfortunately passed away in custody. The state failed him and his right to live. It is their courage to stand in solidarity and work alongside India's Dalits, Adivasis, indigenous peoples, and women, that scared the exploitative and repressive capitalist forces of the corporates and governments. Even as their bodies remain caged, they show us the way to continue standing with India's most disadvantaged people - the sign of a true patriot.
The BK-16 are: Prof. Anand Teltumbde, Prof. Shoma Sen, Prof. Hany Babu, Fr. Stan Swamy, Mahesh Raut, Varavara Rao, Sudhir Dhawale, Adv. Surendra Gadling Adv. Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Rona Wilson, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Ghaichor, and Jyoti Jagtap.
You can read about each one of the BK-16 in the 'Profiles of Dissent' created by The Polis Project in collaboration with maraa.