'Coup against Constitution', 'chilling', says intelligentsia after arrest of activists

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Aug 28, 2018, 08:49 PM(IST)

File photos of Arundhati Roy and Ramachandra Guha. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

The arrests of the five activists today was followed by howls of protests from the intelligentsia. 

"The simultaneous state-wide arrests are a dangerous sign of a government that fears it is losing its mandate and is falling into panic. That lawyers, poets, writers, Dalit rights activists and intellectuals are being arrested on ludicrous charges... While those who make up lynch mobs and threaten and murder people in broad daylight roam free, tells us very clearly where India is headed," Arundhati Roy told PTI in a message. 

She added that murderers are being honoured and protected and anybody who speaks up for justice or against Hindu majoritarianism is being made into a criminal. "What is happening is absolutely perilous. In the run up to elections, this is an attempted coup against the Indian Constitution and all the freedoms that we cherish," Roy added. 

"As a biographer of Gandhi, I have no doubt that if the Mahatma was alive today, he would don his lawyer's robes and defend Sudha Bharadwaj in court that is assuming the Modi Sarkar hadn't yet detained and arrested him too," said Ramachandra Guha. Guha is the author of Gandhi before India. 

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"Under the Modi regime's undeclared Emergency, rights activists and dissenters are either shot at, killed, or raided, arrested and jailed. The  arrests of Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves, Varavara Rao follow on the heels of the murderous attack on Umar Khalid," said Kavita Krishnan. Krishnan is secretary of the All India Progressive Women's Association. 

She is also a member of the politburo of the Communist Party of India, and the editor of its monthly publication, Liberation.

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"Fascist fangs are now openly bared," said Prashant Bhushan. 

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