The law takes its own course, but for rights activists assailed by the UAPA, that path is overly tortuous and weighted down by fraudulent police chargesheets. The charges are grave, but can scarcely survive judicial scrutiny, say supporters of Varavara Rao and Umar Khalid, of Akhil Gogoi, Natasha Narwal and Khalid Saifi. As the cases snail on in court, horrible prison conditions have taken a toll on all. Their spirit of resistance, borne along on idealism, will outlive this trial.
Top, the finished mural of Akhil Gogoi in Guwahati; below, the work scrubbed out under police pressure.
Last month, the detention of four artists in Guwahati for painting a mural of peasant activist Akhil Gogoi has renewed outrage about the plight...