Joint Statement Condemning Arrest of Activists and Public Intellectuals

Following is the final statement with the signatures as they were when it was closed for purposes of releasing to the media and sent to us by the initiators of the campaign.

We, the undersigned, are shocked by the serial raids across the country on the homes of activists and public intellectuals who are critical of the government and the ruling party at the Centre. The arrests of prominent activists and intellectuals Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, Gautam Navlakha, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira and others, are nothing but an attempt by the government to strike terror among those who are fighting for justice for the marginalised. This is also an attempt by the BJP to invent a false enemy and engage in scaremongering in order to polarise the 2019 elections in its favour. Already, the government and the media houses close to the BJP have been trying to spin a false narrative of a Maoist conspiracy since June, 2018. Terms like “urban naxals” are invented in order to stifle any criticism of the government. We have learnt that the Delhi Police, after having arrested Sudha Bharadwaj, waited for Republic TV to arrive before taking her to the court. This simply shows that the arrests are incomplete without the accompanying sensationalist media propaganda to demonise activists, human rights defenders and intellectuals.

The so-called raids carried out on the houses of these activists are aimed at creating a spectacle, as the writings and views of these intellectuals are already publicly known and are well documented. This seems like a conspiracy to divert attention from the gravity of the Sanatan Sanstha conspiracy to carry out serial bomb attacks on Eid and Ganesh Chaturthi! The same Sanatan Sanstha was also involved in the murder of Gauri Lankesh, as per the ongoing investigations by Karnataka police. Today’s arrests have been carried out in order to give cover to the murderers of Gauri Lankesh. People like Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha and others who have been arrested are friends of the people who have dedicated their entire lives to the betterment of the Indian public. By arresting them, the BJP is only exposing its insecurities and its intolerance to any dissent or criticism of its policies.

The arrests should be seen in continuation with the recent attacks on pro-justice voices such as Swami Agnivesh, Umar Khalid and many other student activists from Delhi to Lucknow. A BJP lawmaker from Karnataka even advocated the murder of “intellectuals.” Both the arrests and the physical attacks on justice loving people must be seen in a series of attempts to stifle dissent and deny social justice.

We demand immediate release of the arrested individuals, dropping of all false and malicious charges, as these arrests are politically motivated and unjustified.

Shehla Rashid Shora, former Vice-President, JNU Students’ Union.

Mohit Pandey, former President, JNU Students’ Union.

Fahad Ahmad, former General Secreatry TISS Students’ Union, Mumbai.

Admiral Ramdas, Former Chief of Naval Staff.

Lalita Ramdas, Activist.

Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist.

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Author, Journalist, Publisher.

Neha Dixit, Journalist.

Jignesh Mevani, MLA Vadgam, Gujarat.

Sanam Sutirath Wazir, Human Rights Activist.

Nakul Singh Sawhney, Documentary Filmmaker.

Umar Khalid, Activist, BASO.

Nandita Narain, former President, DUTA and FEDCUTA.

Kavita Krishnan, PB Member, CPI (ML) liberation

Nivedita Menon, Professor, JNU.

Teesta Setalvad, Journalist and Social Activist.

Harish Iyer, Equal Rights Activist.

Ram Puniyani, All India Secular Forum.

Lubna Duggal, Economic & Political Weekly.

Bindu Doddahatti, Advocate, Alternative Law Forum.

Swami Agnivesh, Arya Samaj, Social Activist.

Anisha Ahuja, Entrepreneur.

Aniket Alam, Journalist and Historian.

Nirjhari Sinha, Activist.

Chayanika Shah, Queer Feminist Activist.

Geeta Seshu, Independent Journalist, Mumbai.

Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal, Journalist, Peace Activist.

Richa Jairaj, Women’s Rights Activist.

Mallika Sarabhai Social Activist.

Rituparna, Queer Feminist Activist, Delhi.

Maya Krishna Rao, Theatre Artist.

Bittu, WSS.

Maneka Khanna, Lawyer.

Payoshi Roy, Lawyer.

Surbhi Dhar, Lawyer.

Zeba Sikora, Lawyer.

Veena Johari, Lawyer.

Bindulakshmi Pattadath, Faculty, TISS Mumbai.

Amit Sengupta, Journalist and former President, JNU Students’ Union

Vineeta Bal, Retired Researcher.

Svati Joshi, Academic and Activist.

Rohit Samuel Shah, Doctoral Scholar, IITB-Monash.

Panchali Ray, Assisstant Professor, Jadavpur University.

Shraddha, Junior Research Fellow, MPI for Innovation and Competition.

Ravi Duggal, Independent Health Researcher and Activist.

Debjit Bannerjee, Bastar Solidarity Network.

Pranoy Thakur, Activist.

Dr. Shakeel, Convenor, JSA, Bihar.

Sohini, Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan, Bihar.

Swatija Manorama, Social Activist.

Suhas Paranjape, Retired Researcher.

Jashodhara Sengupta, Human Rights Activist.

Rupesh Kumar Singh, Freelance Journalist.

Inayat Singh, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Punjab.

Beni Madhab Sen, Delhi.

Zubeda, Student.

Dr. Sona Deshmukh, Research Coordinator, Pune.

Vasantha, Activist.

Abhay Shukla, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan.

Balmurli Natrajan, Professor.

Vijaya Kumar Seethapha, Film maker/activist. Karnataka Janaarogya Chaluvali.

Akhila Vasan, Karnataka Janaarogya Chaluvali.

Meera Sanghmitra, NAPM.

Pushpa S., Social and Political Activist.

Vandana Mahajan, Gender Equality Practitioner.

Rammanohar, Journalist, Writer.

Ila Ananya, Student.

Narendra Gupta, Jan Swasthya Abhyan.

Koonal Duggal, Independent Researcher

Mujahid Nafees, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Lara Jesani, Advocate

R V Ramana Murthy, Professor

Hussain Indorewala, Mumbai

Srinivas Lankala, Assistant Professor

Laxmi Murthy, Journalist, Bangalore

V.S. Sambandan, Journalist

Kritika, Journalist

Subhash Rai, Journalist

Mrittika Biswas, Student, Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Mirza Saaib Bég, Lawyer, Former President NALSAR Student Bar Council

Roshni, Student

Sitaram Shelar, Convener

Niti Saxena, Activist/ Lawyer

Shreya Ila Anasuya, Journalist

Milind Champanerkar, Writer, Freelance Journalist and Civil Liberties Activist

Kalpana Sharma, Independent Journalist

Mohammed Afeef, Advocate

Inji Pennu, Journalist, Global Voices

Dolphy D’souza, Police Reforms Watch

Ria De, PhD Student

Sandeep Pandey, Socialist Party of India

C P Geevan, Former scientist and Independent Researcher

Aditya Nigam, Professor

Ritu Dewan, Director

Shailza Sharma, Lawyer

Bhamati Sivapalan, Filmmaker

A Sunil Dharan, Academic, Delhi

J Ravikumar, Stephen G Management Consultant and Relationship Counsellor cum Trainer

Neha Mathews, Journalist

Mazher Hussain, Social Activist

Vasvi, Artist

Rita Manchanda, Writer, Activist

Vidyun Sabhaney, Artist

Winnie Saldanha, Founder Member – WE FOR YOU Association

Banojyotsna Lahiri, Academic and Lecturer, DU

Padmaja Shaw, Retd. Professor, Journalism, Osmania University

Shiraz Bulsara Prabhu, Activist Kashtakari Sanghatana

Urvashi Chudawala, Student, Tata Institute Of Social Sciences, Mumbai

Shinzani Jain, Student, Ambedkar University, Delhi

Laxmi Murthy, Journalist, Bangalore

Nikita Agarwal, Advocate

Pavani P., WSS

Bosco Patel

Mandeep Raikhy, Choreographer

Sunayana, Student, Ashoka University

Mandeep Raikhy, Choreographer

Rosamma Thomas, Journalist

Akhil Kumar, Law

Mandeep Raikhy , Choreographer

Jeroo Mulla, Lecturer

Nirja, Citizen

Dyuti, Researcher

Saravanan Velusamy, Student

Anand Kumar, LL.B student

Aradhna Wal, Journalist

Ashalatha, Activist

B. N. Ratna

Sharada Gopal, Right to Food Karnataka

Sarayu, Advocate

Meera Sanghamitra, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)

Sayali Kadu, Lawyer

Smriti Dhingra, Social Worker

Himu, Research Scholar

Archit Krishna, Lawyer

Carmel Christy, Assistant Professor, Delhi

Kaneez Fathima, Civil Rights Activist

Charudatta Navare, Research scholar

Nirajana Chakraborty, Student

Dhruv Mankad, Managing Trustee, Anusandhan Trust, Mumbai

V. Krishnappa, Group Captain (Retd.)

Subhana Khan, Child psychologist

Chitra Adkar, Research Scholar

Sagari R Ramdas Veterinary Scientist

Noor Enayat, Publicist

Hamza Khan

Rajesh Umadevi Srinivas, Activist

Amit Kumar, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)

Satyaki Chakraborty, Legal Specialist

Saranga Ugalmugle, Advocate, Bombay High Court

Freny Manecksha, Independent journalist

Eric Pinto, NAPM

Basant Hetamsaria, NAPM Jharkhand

Kaustuv, Assistant Professor, MAKAUT and Queer Fiction Writer

Poushali Basak, Queer Feminist Activist

Saurabh Kumar, Freelance Journalist

John Dayal, Writer

Dr. K.S. Kusuma, Assistant Professor

Deepti Mary Minj, Student, JNU

Ankita Aggarwal, Research Scholar

Anuradha Talwar, State Committee Member, Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity

Satyaki Chakraborty, Legal Specialist

Durgesh, Graduate Student, Department of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University.

Sucheta Chakravarty, Journalist

Arunesh Maiyar, Sangama (Working Class Sexuality Minorities Group)

Sabina Y Rahman, Ph.D. (Sociology) Candidate/MSW

Samina Mishra, Media Practitioner and Teacher

Kalyani B, Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan

Shivam, student

Pradip Kumar Datta, Professor

Mukta srivastava, Activist

Ankit Rathore, Student, Ambedkar University Delhi

Mounica Sreesai, Student

Balreddy Jitta, Natural Farmer , Agricultural Activist

Shikha, Student, DU

Sagari R Ramdas, Veterinary Scientist

Sucheta Chakravarty, Journalist

Pramod Mandade, Ph.D. student, IIT Bombay

Paroma Ray, Research Scholar, JMI

C Lakshmanan, Academic and Dalit Activist

Karen, Photographer

Mukta Srivastava, Social Activist

Rajinder Singh Majhail. Vijay Jandiala. Gurpal singh Guri. Beant Singh. Students Struggle Committee Punjab

Shireen Azam, Writer

Mathew Thomas, Retired

Shatakshy Bhatt, M.Phil.- Ph.D. Student, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

Fr.Jothi SJ Director, Udayani Kolkata

Lazar Vellara Sr Manager

Jasveen Jairath Concerned Citizens


Roshni Chattopadhyay Student and member of PUCL, Mahatrashtra

Raj kumar sinha NAPM Madhya Pradesh

Vijay singh REVOLUTIONARY democracy.

Priya Thuvassery Filmmaker, Delhi

Mukta Srivastava Social activist

Saumya Dadoo Human Rights Student

Shobha Human rights activist and Artist

Aaloka Math Educator

VIJAY KUMAR Central commitee member of CPI(M-L)) Red Star

Poushali Basak FAOW and Sappho for Equality

Koyel M Activist

Fr. Nithiya Sagayam OFM Cap Secretary AIFFI

Prateek Khobragade Student

Soham Basu Student

Jubal Braganza Retired

Abir Dasgupta Journalist

Samata Biswas Faculty, Bethune College

Mamta Singh Activist, UP

PUJA Human Rights Activist

Indra Munshi Former Head, Dept of Sociology, Univ of Mumbai

Anubha Rana student

Arundhati Ghosh Arts Support

Biplab Mukherjje Banglar Manabadhikar Surakksha Mancha (MASUM)

Devika Student

Dr.Anant Phadke Social worker
Raju Behara Consultant

Sandhya LC Independent professional

Tanima PhD student

Rakesh Sharma Filmmaker

M N Ravunni Vice President, CRPP

Yousuf Saeed Filmmaker, Delhi

Jitta balreddy Journalist

Praveer Peter Solidarity Centre & Sajha Kadam Jharkhand

Himshi Singh NAPM

Subhabrata Roy Research scholar MS university ofBaroda

Minakshi Research Consultant

Mukta srivastava Social activist

R N Shukul Academic Consultant

Nandini Dutta, Associate Professor, Economics

Department, Miranda House, University of Delhi

Aatika, Student

Parivaz, homemaker

Katyayani Vidmahe, Retired Professor and Literary Critic

Bhupendra Yadav, Teacher

Adhiraaj Ray Advocate, Calcutta High Court

Manjula Pradeep, Social Activist

R N Shukul, Academic Consultant

Rakesh Bisaria, Engineer

Pathikrit Sanyal, Journalist, DailyO

Raunaq Chandrashekar, Lawyer

Suvir Kaul, Professor

Mayank Kumar, Academics, Delhi University

Noah, Writer-Director

Sravanthi Dasari, Researcher

Hasina Khan, Bebaak collective

Mukta Srivastava, Social activist

Farrukh S Waris, Retd. Principal

Himshi Singh, NAPM

Gaurav Kasturia, Filmmaker

Arundhati Dhuru , National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)

Prof. Roop Rekha Verma, Secretary, Saajhi Duniya, Lucknow

Nayanjyoti, Activist

K A Shaji, Journalist

Mohammed Ali Khan, Queer Activist

Sandeep Pandey, Socialist Party (India)

Abhishek Shaw, Hyderabad

Anindita Adhikari, PhD student

Shailza Sharma, Lawyer

Kalyani Jaishankar, Self-employed

D Ravi Kanth, Journalist

Minnie Vaid, Documentary filmmaker.

Brinelle D’souza, Academic and Activist

Mukta Srivastava, Social Activist

Naren Singh Rao, Independent Researcher

Dilip Menon, Director Centre for Indian Studies in Africa, Johannesburg

Shobha, Human Rights Activist and Theatre Artist

Vivek Sundara, Rights Activist

G Arunima, Professor, JNU


Kamayani Swami, NAPM

Jothi S J, Director Udayani Social Action Forum

Pradeep Bhattacharya, Writer, Docu Maker

Aditi Maddali, Women’s Studies, TISS

Sukla Sen, Peace Activist

Ingrid Srinath, Civil society defender

N. Sukumar, Professor

Jothi S J, Director Udayani Social Action Forum

Bhuvi Gupta, Communications Consultant

Avi Researcher, Gender and Sexuality

Arjun Sheoran, Advocate | PUCL

Archana Prasad, Academic

Vivek, Activist, Jharkhand

K. Ashraf, Research Scholar, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Talat Aziz, Citizen of India

Arjun Sheoran, Advocate

Seema Kulkarni, Social researcher

Jaleshwar Upadhyay, Senior Journalist

Sunandan K N, Assistant Professor, Azim Premji University, Bangalore

Biraj Mehta, Lecturer

Dipta Bhog, Gender Rights activist

Joseph Mathai, Civil Rights Activist

Kausik Mukhopadhyay, Artist

C P Chandrasekhar, JNU

Himshi Singh, NAPM

Ravi S Kumaraswamy, Social worker

Indira C, Public Health Researcher

Rōmal Lāisram, Founder, Queer Arts Movement (India)

Shireen Maswood, Retd. Teacher, CU, Deptt. of History

Dr V N Sharma, Environment, Social & Human Rights Activist

Jaleshwar Upadhyay, Senior Journalist

Hasina Khan, Activist

Dwaipayan Sen, Historian and Professor.

Sion Kongari, Social Worker

Pradeep Joseph, Citizen of India

Tasneema Zaidi, Child Rights Activist

Mathew Jacob, Human Rights Defenders Alert

K.P. Reji, Artist

Virochan Raote


Kalpana Wilson, South Asia Solidarity Group, UK

Arunima Nair, Researcher

Divita Shandilya, Researcher

Sherin Pradeep, Citizen of Independent India

Mohua Ray, Artist

Gagan Sethi, HRD

Subir Datta, Retired teacher

Brinelle Dsouza, Faculty Member, Tata Institute of Social Sciences

C.T. Joseph, Citizen of Democratic India

Anuradha, Development Professional

Michelle Pradeep, Future of India

Mukta Srivastava, Social Activist, Mumbai

Deepti N, Ph.D. Student, TISS & Journalist

Sukruta Alluri, Researcher, CSSSC

Maimoona Mollah, Activist

Mangalesh Dabral, Poet and Journalist; former Editor.

Lakshmi krishnamurty, Alarippu

Jai Sen, Independent researcher and editor, Delhi

One thought on “Joint Statement Condemning Arrest of Activists and Public Intellectuals”

We look forward to your comments. Comments are subject to moderation as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s