“Political vendetta to insult & intimidate Teesta shameful” , say Bangalore Activists and Civil Society

Bangalore Citizens gave out a Statement against what they are calling as State Sponsored Intimidation of Human Rights Activists and Civil Society Organizations.

“The CBI raid on the residence and office of activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand on 13th and 14th July 2015 is a shocking development.

Socially conscious citizens perceive this as a political vendetta to insult, humiliate and intimidate the couple fighting for the rights of the victims of 2002 Gujarat riots. Needless to state, the search and raid operation has all the colour of having been directed by powerful interests against whom Teesta Setalvad had filed cases on the Gujarat genocide of 2002. It has been a relentless struggle for Teesta and Javed to fight for the victims of the Gujarat carnage. This battle for justice for the victims has become even more difficult since vested interests assumed power in the Central Government. Teesta Setalvad and Javed are not isolated cases. The official machinery of the State has been used to silence dissent consistently over the past several decades. The State has been complicit in the misuse of its powers over investigative agencies which have been used to intimidate, terrorize and harass those working for the causes of the poor, to uphold human rights and against injustice.

Recent examples of such targeting include S. R. Hiremath of the Samaj Parivarthana Samudaya, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Binayak Sen and many others. Such highhandedness of the State is witnessed in the way certain laws that exclusively govern civil society organizations are being amended to curtail basic rights of civil society organizations and people’s movements to work freely and with enjoyment of all Fundamental Rights.

The current administration at the Centre is further manipulating these laws fundamental to safeguarding freedoms of individuals and organizations advancing social justice, while sparing no effort to benefit corporations and particular business houses. This when there is a relentless effort to whittle down schemes that guarantee the Right to Life and Livelihoods of ordinary people by cutting down on social safeguards and withdrawing a variety of subsidies that support the poor and also massive reduction in allocation to the social sector.

The trend clearly is one of attacking defenders of justice, instead of providing justice to the victims of violence, with fabricated cases being filed with impunity against the defenders of justice. We are wary that a culture of attacking, terrorizing and even getting rid of those who defend the rights of the victims is gradually becoming an accepted practice. Reports in the media have highlighted the Vyapam case in Madhya Pradesh, where several whistleblowers and advocates of the Right to Information Act have been targeted.

At this juncture, what those who fight for justice need is all the support from people of goodwill to defeat the evil designs of certain vested and politically powerful interests. While there is a need to battle those who are determined to wipe out the memories of the Gujarat carnage and escape responsibility for their criminal deeds, it is equally necessary that we stand against the culture of State terrorism, intimidation and violence.

Endorsed 1. Sri Girish Karnad – Actor, Film Director, Writer and Playwright 2. Sri Govind Rao – Actor, Poet, Resource Person and in social movements 3. Maj Gen S.G.Vombatkere (Retd), Mysore. 4. Dr. Ambrose Pinto SJ, Principal, St. Aloysius Degree College 5. Bhargavi S Rao – Environmental Support Group 6. Leo F Saldanha – Environmental Support Group 7. A.R.Vasavi, Social Anthropologist, Bangalore 8. Dr.Suvrat Raju, International Centre for Theoretical Sciences, TIFR 9. Sri Prithvi Reddy, Entrepreneur and Political Activist 10. Dr. Sreeramappa Chinnappa – Medical Officer 11. L. Ashok – Komu Souharda Vedike 12. Ajay Marshal – Photographer 13. Robin Christopher – Alternative Law Forum 14. Manohar Rangnathan – Human Right Activist 15. Dr. Selvaraj Arulnathan SJ, Director, Indian Social Institute 16. Mark Rasquinha, Associate Professor, Jain University 17. Sri Roshan Sylvester, Associate Professor, Jyothi Nivas College 18. Sri Vinoo Sudhakar, Associate Professor, St. Aloysius Degree College, Bangalore 19. Professor Etienne Rassendran, St. Joseph’s College 20. Professor Chandan Gowda, Azeem Premjee University 21. Professor Babu Mathew, National Law School of India 22. Ramyani Chakrabarty M. Tech, Trainee Teacher 23. Sri Jagadish Chandra – New Socialist Alternative 24. Sri N. Jayaram, PUCL, Bangalore 25. Ms. Madhu Bhushan – Social Activist 26. Sri Rakesh Narayan, PUCL 27. Sri Jagadeesh Byata – Social Activist and Lawyer 28. Keya Acharya, journalist, Bangalore. 29. Dr. Akhila Vasan, Karnataka Janaaroyga Chaluvali 30. Sri K.B. Obalash, Karnataka Janaaroyga Chaluvali 31. Sri Vijaya Kumar.S, Karnataka Janaaroyga Chaluvali 32. Sri T.N.Gopalan, Journalist 33. Ms. Anita Cheria , Open Space 34. Ms. Anasuya Byndoor, Swaraj Sangatane, Karnataka 35. Sri Pradeep Esteves, Context India 36. Sumi Krishna, Independent Scholar 37. Ms. C. K. Meena, Writer 38. Sri Bobby Kunhu, Advocate 39. Asma A N, Independent Journalist 40. Syed Tanveeruddin, Environmental, RTI, Human Rights and Social Activist, Mysore 41. Uma V Chandru, Activist, Bangalore 42. K. P. Sashi, Documentary Maker 43. Dr. Arati Chokshi, Citizen 44. Himanshu Trivedi, Associate, Lawyer, Barristers & Solicitors 45. Anita Ratnam, Executive Director, Samvada Youth Resource Centres & Baduku Community College For Alternatives 46. Pushpa Achanta – Journalist & Trainer 47. Antony Melvin D Paul, Founder and Lead, PoundHead 48. Mallikarjun.L.S., RTI Activist, 49. Dr. Arati Choksh (Science Activist) 50. Sri Joseph Britto, Indo Bloom Ltd. 51. Dr. Lawrence Surendra – Environmental Economist 52. Benazir Siddiq 53. Sri Rajitha Vipparthi 54. Ms. Shanthala Damle 55. Manasi Pingle 56. Fr. Adolf Washington 57. Ms. Lakshmi Nilakantan 58. Sri Ralph Paul Coelho 59. Sri Kshithij Urs 60. Ms. Meena Subramaniam 61. Kirtana Kumar 62. M.V.K Anil Kumar 63. Sri Richard D 64. Merlin Francis 65. Shaheen Shasa 66. B V Mahesh Kumar 67. Nitin Basrur 68. Pramod Krishnamurthy 69. Benjamin T 70. Hiroo Advani 71. Anil Kapur 72. S. Gopal, Kundalahalli 73.Pramod Krishnamurthy 74. Ms. Pushpa Surendra 75. Nitin Gujaran 76. Snigdha Samal 77. Akhlaque Ahmed 78.Karthik Ranganathan 79. Chetana Ajit 80. Murali S 81. Zephyrine Goveas 82. Prashant Paikray 83. Sheela Gowda 84. Meena Artwani 85. Sridhar Raman 86, Sudha Nagavarapu 87. Mani Kalliath 88. Sr. Leonie

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