The News Scroll 22 September 2020  Last Updated at 6:12 pm | Source: PTI

Rights bodies protest in Kolkata, alleges BJP govt trying to crush democratic movements

Rights bodies protest in Kolkata, alleges BJP govt trying to crush democratic movements
Kolkata, Sep 22 (PTI) Several Left-wing outfits and rights bodies staged a demonstration in Kolkata on Tuesday against the arrest of activists by the BJP-led government at the Centre, which they alleged was using the NIA to crush democratic movements.

Activists of the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR), Hawker Sangram Committee, Bandi Mukti Committee, AISA and others staged the demonstration at Bowbazar in the central part of the city.

Sujato Bhadra of the APDR said that while activist Umar Khalid was arrested under the UAPA in connection with the Delhi riots, the charges against some local BJP leaders who allegedly gave provocative statements were not being probed.

The same thing was happening in the 2018 Bhima- Koregaon case where the NIA is only cracking down on social activists and intellectuals like Varavara Rao and harassing their friends and families, he said.

"The NIA has summoned eminent IISER-Kolkata professor Partho Sarathi Ray in connection with the Bhima Koregaon incident though he was not present at the spot during the violence. We are apprehensive that Ray''s anti-Centre stand on different issues is the real reason behind this harassment," Bhadra said.

A Bandi Mukti Committee activist said the NIA was also being used to harass political opponents like former Convenor of People''s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) Chhatradhar Mahato.

It is interrogating him repeatedly in old cases for which he had already been tried by the court, completed the jail term and released as per the law, he said.

Mahato recently joined the Trinamool Congress.

"Our rally has been organised to voice and register our protest on all these issues. We want the common people to know how the secular and liberal fabric of this country is being threatened," Bhadra said.

Besides Bhadra, rights activist Abhik Saha and Bhanu Sarkar were among those who addressed the gathering. PTI SUS SOM SOM

Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI
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