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Free these people : By Justice Katju

I respectfully appeal to you to revisit the cases of the people in jail mentioned below whom I believe are innocent and have been wrongly incarcerated due to political vendetta by the Modi Government, quash the bogus charges against them, and free them.

OPINION

Justice Markandey Katju

6/23/20242 min read

Free these people

By Justice Katju

To my Brothers and Sisters Judges of the Supreme Court of India

I respectfully appeal to you to revisit the cases of the people in jail mentioned below whom I believe are innocent and have been wrongly incarcerated due to political vendetta by the Modi Government, quash the bogus charges against them, and free them.

1. Sanjiv Bhatt

He was a senior IPS Police Officer who gave an affidavit in the Supreme Court alleging complicity of Modi in the 2002 massacre of 2000-3000 Muslims in Gujarat. In the affidavit, he claimed he had attended a meeting at the then chief minister’s residence in February 2002, at which Modi allegedly told officers to “allow Hindus to vent their anger” against the minority community.

As a result, Modi, who is known to be a very vindictive person, got him arrested on apparently trumped up false charge of an old case of 1996, and convicted, and he has been in jail since 2018 . He has also been sacked from the police and he and his family harrssed in many ways.

https://thewire.in/law/ips-officer-sanjiv-bhatt-custodial-death-narendra-modi-gujarat-riots

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanjiv_Bhatt

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/exips-officer-sanjiv-bhatt-gets-20-years-in-jail-in-1996-drug-planting-case-101711639349122.html

2. Umar Khalid

He is a Ph.D from JNU, and was an activist. He was arrested on charges of sedition, under the UAPA and a host of other sections of the IPC, which I believe to be totally concocted and bogus, and he has been in jail since 2020. His real crime is being a Muslim. Kanhaiya Kumar, who was accused of similar charges in the same incident in JNU, being a Hindu, is free.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umar_Khalid

https://www.uscirf.gov/religious-prisoners-conscience/forb-victims-database/umar-khalid

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-67980484

3. Bhima Koregaon accused

All charges against these accused seem bogus, and deserve to be quashed

https://www.amnesty.org/en/petition/indian-authorities-must-release-all-imprisoned-activists-in-the-bk16-case/

4. Charges against human rights activists in India should be quashed forthwith

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/09/16/india-arrests-activists-politically-motivated

The Modi government often arrests people who criticise it, though criticism of the government is a right of the people in a democracy

https://apnews.com/article/india-media-social-media-crime-arrests-f9331e556a1faf26eced6c05c40a71de

5. Prof Saibaba's case needs to be revisited and all charges against him dropped, as he seems to be totally innocent, and the evidene against him manufactured by the police

https://news.un.org/en/story/2023/08/1139932

https://indianexpress.com/article/who-is/who-is-professor-gn-saibaba-9196472/

6.A large number f innocent Muslims are in jail for long periods, on false charges of terrorism, sedition, UAPA, etc. Their only crime was that they are Muslims, whom Modi hates.

https://article-14.com/post/the-rising-intimidation-of-india-s-muslims-the-criminalisation-of-eating-praying-loving-doing-business-6323ce1e74c10

https://organiser.org/2022/09/20/94510/bharat/14-2-muslims-of-india-occupy-30-of-all-detenues-in-indian-prisons-reveals-ncrb-2021-data/

https://www.epw.in/engage/article/who-behind-bars-inquiry-indian-jails

https://www.thehindu.com/data/over-30-of-detainees-in-indian-prisons-are-muslims-double-their-share-in-population/article65882525.ece

Justice Markandey Katju is an Indian jurist and former judge of Supreme Court of India who served as chairman for the Press Council of India from 2011 to 2014.

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