Chronicle of a Death Foretold: Condemn the Death of Altaf Ahmad Shah
Stop Denying Political Prisoners the Right to Healthcare in Jails
This newsletter is the fifth in a new initiative by PUDR to keep
those interested in the organisation’s work and issues of civil
liberties and democratic rights informed of some of the issues
that we are working on.
A more comprehensive account of the issues and organisation’s work can be found on
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PUDR hails the release of A. G. Perarivalan by the Supreme Court on May 18, 2022. A life-imprisonment convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case (1991), Perarivalan’s over thirty- year struggle for justice raises several issues, ranging from the unfairness of long incarceration to the uncommon fight that his mother, Arputhammal, has waged.
Tomorrow, 14th April 2022 marks the completion of two years of PUDR activist Gautam Navlakha’s surrender before the NIA. One of sixteen accused in the infamous Bhima Koregaon case, Gautam has been imprisoned in Taloja Central Jail, Navi Mumbai since 25 May 2020.
People’s Union for Democratic Rights, PUDR, welcomes the Union Government’s decision (March 31, 2022), to significantly reduce the ambit of disturbed areas under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). According to news reports, this decision will be effective in 15 police stations in seven districts of Nagaland; in 15 police stations in six districts of Manipur; and wholly in 23 districts and partially in one district in Assam.
PEOPLE’S UNION FOR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS
The recent arrest of Fahad Shah, editor of Kashmir Walla, under S 13 of UAPA and S 124 A and 505 of IPC for ‘uploading anti-national content’ raises a debate about the fate of journalism in times of conflict. Shah was arrested as he had uploaded Inayat Ahmad Mir’s family’s protest over the police’s claim that Mir was a “hybrid terrorist”—an unlisted and camouflaged militant—in the encounter that had happened in his house in Naira Pulwama on January 30, 2022.
The invocation of UAPA charges against members of a fact-finding team shortly after they released its findings on the communal violence in Tripura, is shocking and condemnable. Besides S. 13 of UAPA (punishment for ‘unlawful activity’), a slew of IPC offences has also been invoked: 153 A and B of IPC (promoting enmity and anti-national activities), 120 B, 503, 504 (criminal conspiracy, criminal intimidation, breach of peace) as well as charges of forgery and fraudulence for harming reputation (469, 471).