About Us

Over the last 30 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 1976-77 as the Delhi unit of a larger national forum, and became PUDR on 1 February, 1981.

Press Releases

Jan 27 10:38

Justice Delayed, and Denied Yet Again: PUDR urges Supreme Court to suo moto intervene in the Shankarbigha and other massacres

People's Union for Democratic Rights strongly condemns the acquittal of the accused in the Shankarbigha massacre (Jehanabad District) of 1999. On 14 January, 2014, a Trial Court in Jehanabad District of Bihar acquitted all the 24 accused members of Ranvir Sena in Shankarbigha killings on grounds of “lack of evidence”.

Jan 25 11:40

Oppose Death Penalty on Arif

PUDR notes with extreme concern the imminent hanging of Mohd. Arif@ Mohd. Ashfaq, a Pakistani national for the 22nd December 2000 attack on the Red Fort in which three army personnel of 7th batallion of the Rajputana Rifles lost their lives.Mohd. Arif was arrested on 25th December 2000 along with his wife Rehmana. In October 2005 he was sentenced to death by the trial court for waging war against the state and conspiracy to commit murder. This sentence was upheld by the Delhi High Court in September 2007.

Jan 23 14:57

PUDR Salutes Prof. Rajni Kothari

People’s Union for Democratic Rights expresses its sincere condolences on the death of Professor Rajni Kothari, public intellectual, civil rights activist and institution builder. A leading intellectual, Prof. Rajni Kothari’s academic pursuits emerged from his democratic commitments and deep concern for the marginalised and deprived sections of society. Prof. Kothari was not satisfied with his personal contributions and successfully demonstrated the path to being an institution builder.

Jan 14 16:13

Why was Greenpeace activist prevented from travelling to London?

PUDR condemns the Union Government for preventing Ms. Priya Pillai of Greenpeace (India) from travelling to London. Greenpeace came under scrutiny because of its support to Mahan Sangharsh Samiti, a grassroots organisation challenging coal mining license for Mahan Coal Ltd, a joint venture of Essar and Hindalco (Aditya Birla group).

Latest Publications

Oct 17 14:53

Decision to hang Surender Koli: Yet another error of judgement?

 The Nithari case made headlines in 2006 when fifteen skeletons were unearthed from a house in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, following the investigation in the disappearance case in which a number of children and a woman went missing. House owner Moninder Singh Pandher and his domestic servant Surender Koli were arrested in the case and both were accused of serial murders, sexual abuse and cannibalism (eating human body parts).

Jul 18 20:08

Yes to Justice, No to Death: Position Paper on Death Penalty

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 PUDR’s opposition to the penalty of death is three decades old. Like everything else our opposition on capital punishment is evolving and is a ‘work in progress’. Starting with serious objections to the arbitrariness inbuilt in awarding Death Penalty, the fact that almost all death row convicts have come from lower echelons of society convinced us of its unjustness and that in an unequal society even dispensation of justice is stacked against the poor.

Apr 22 05:30

Crimes of Habit: A Report on Custodial Torture in Vijay Vihar Police Station


 On 10 July 2013 a leading news channel Aaj Tak telecast a video clip which showed several young boys describing their experience of custodial torture by policemen of the Vijay Vihar Police Station in outer Delhi. The incident had occurred between 26 and 28 March 2013. The story was leaked to the media in July 2013 by one of the constables posted there. The news was later reported in various newspapers including the Times of India, Outlook, The Statesman, DNA, Daily Mail and Zee News.