Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group Expresses Anguish Over Sudha Bharadwaj’s Arrest, Denies Police’s Allegations
The arrests of Bharadwaj and other activists has been widely condemned as the Modi govt’s attempt to silence dissent.
On Thursday, the Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group (JLAG) in a statement, condemned the arrest of rights activist Sudha Bharadwaj stating that the entire case against her is “based on a cloak of criminality woven out of unsigned, uncorroborated, unverified letters.”
“We most vehemently deny and condemn all the stories concocted by the Pune Police in the infamous letters leaked by them to several media houses, and call upon larger common sense to prevail in this matter. The entire case is based on a cloak of criminality woven out of unsigned, uncorroborated, unverified letters which are unfathomably ridiculous, substantially and otherwise,” the statement read.
Bharadwaj, along with four other activists, was arrested by Pune police on August 28, in a nation-wide operation. The arrests were widely condemned as Modi government’s attempt to silence it’s critics.
“Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj has through her indomitable spirit been an inspiration to many. We have just had the fortune of watching her in her legal practice and learning from her,” the statement added.
JLAG said that the letter which the police presented to the media was ‘fabricated’. The group also denied receiving any financial assistance from Bharadwaj, as stated by the police. “We entirely and wholly deny these allegations put forth and most explicitly state that we have never been funded by Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj for our work and our activities.”
“Such fabrications by police against us are not new and we have been on the receiving end of threats, intimidation and vilification tactics of the local police and vigilante groups,” the statement added.
The legal aid group also alleged that the police has been consistently attacking the group since they “challenge extrajudicial killings by the police and security forces” in the court.
JLAG also condemned the recent attacks on human rights organisations and activists “which have been under relentless attack through the Indian Government’s strategy of labelling all voices of dissent ‘anti-national’ and ‘Urban Naxal’.”
“As further legal recourse against these unjust arrests happens, we hold on to the last vestiges of hope that this legal system shall not fail her either,” the statement concluded.