ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Vilification of Democratic Organisations

The Delhi police produced its chargesheet against Kobad Ghandy in the Tis Hazari Courts in New Delhi on 18 February. This document has baselessly alleged unlawful activities against a number of individuals and legitimate democratic organisations working in the public domain. These include Darshan Pal of the People’s Democratic Front of India (PDFI), G N Saibaba, a professor with Delhi University, Rona Wilson, Secretary of the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP), Gautam Navlakha of the People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), PUDR itself, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), the Democratic Students’ Union (DSU), Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), the PDFI, the Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL), Anti-displacement Front (ADF) and the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR; wrongly named in the chargesheet as the Association of Peoples for Democratic Rights).

The APDR, PUDR and PUCL in particular have been solely concerned with safeguarding democratic and civil rights in India for over 30 years, and are internationally reputed for their rigorous and scrupulous approach to these issues. Among the charges against these established and respected organisations is the completely unfounded one that they are playing “a very important role to broaden the base of the [CPI(Maoist)] outfi t”. The chargesheet has provided no evidence whatsoever to substantiate its allegations.

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