Solidarity with Teesta Setalvad – Demonstration in Mumbai

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A large number of activists gathered outside Dadar Railway Station in Mumbai on Sunday (15-2-2015) evening for a public demonstration of solidarity with Teesta Setalvad & Javed Anand who are being hounded by Gujarat police with false cases. Famous film maker Anand Patwardhan, renowned writer-activist Dr. Ram Puniyani, AIDWA Maharashtra Secretary Sonya Gill, CITU leader Dr.Vivek Monteiro, Dolphy D’souza, Subodh More, Vandana Shah, Sumedh Jadhav and several eminent citizens of Mumbai participated in the meeting organized by Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) Maharashtra committee. DYFI state president conducted Adv.Bhagavan Bhagwan Bhojne, Secretary Preethy Sekhar and State committee member Moin Ansar also spoke.

Anand Patwardhan detailed the long standing criminal record of Gujarat Police which has become a tool in the hands of Sangh Parivar. Cruel encounter killings, diabolic attempts to destroy evidence and frame innocents – these are the credentials of Gujarat Police.

Dr.Ram Puniyani said that Gujarat Police is targeting Teesta because Teesta had shown many BJP leaders their way to Jail. What is now taking place is part of the efforts to insulate the perpetrators of 2002 massacres from the process of law. Fascist forces occupying state power are not going to stop at this. They will try to hunt down everyone who will stand up for justice. All citizens who wants secularism and democracy to prevail must fearlessly resist SanghParivar machinations, said Dr.Puniyani.

Sonya Gill drew attention to the irony of Police officers accused of infamous encounter killings walking free even as Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand are sought to be put behind bars. Tireless and courageous work by Teesta and Javed have been instrumental in bringing high-placed criminals to justice. Now the state machinery is trying to frame them in the hope that their work could be obstructed. It is a matter of much pride that Teesta and Javed are undeterred by all the machinations of Gujarath Police.

Dr. Vivek Monteiro explained how BJP has been using the police machinery in Gujarat and elsewhere to frame innocents. It is a pity that judiciary is not able to prevent the bias in our police system against minorities and those who stand up for the rights of the marginalized sections.

Police personnel were deployed in large number at the protest site. Their attempts to disrupt the programme was met with stiff resistance from DYFI activists leading to a scuffle but the programme continued challenging the Police. It was yet another instance of Mumbai Police’s intolerance towards secular organizations exercising the right to assembly.

Slogans like “Teesta tum sangharsh karo, hum tumhare saath hai”, “BJP sarkkar ki dadagiri nahi chalegi” electrified the evening at Dadar, it was a show of determination and unity of secular forces in Mumbai. DYFI leaders declared that, in the days to come, the organization will galvanise the secular collective of Maharashtra and meet the challenges posed by Hindutwa forces in the state.

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