Hereby we publish this statement we have received.



14th December 2023

It has come to light that the police have slapped the draconian UAPA on Neelam Verma, Sagar Sharma, Manoranjan D, Amol Shinde, and Vishal Sharma, the five persons held for releasing gas canisters in both the outside premises and inside the Lok Sabha mid-session on 13th December. The Indian state is treating this incident as a ‘terror attack’ and is charging these five individuals under the draconian anti-terror laws. It’s pertinent to point out that all four individuals committed the act as a form of political protest and exploding harmless coloured gas canisters is part of their protest, not an act “terror.” Sagar Sharma is an e-rickshaw driver and the son of a carpenter, Amol Shinde comes from a family of Dalit landless peasants unable to get a job in the Indian armed forces while Neelam Verma and Manoranjan D are MPhil and Engineering degree holders respectively who are both unemployed, with Neelam even cleared the Haryana Teacher Eligibility Test but still not landing a job. Vishal Sharma has also been roped into this case after he provided shelter to the four individuals and was not even involved in the act. Lalit Ojha, a sixth accused and also an unemployed youth is yet to be brought into police custody but has been charged. The political protest of these individuals against the Indian state and its brahmanical Hindutva fascist nature represents the angst of the working class, the peasantry, the academics and the middle class, all of whom are bearing the brunt of the BJP’s Hindutva-corporate nexus politics. The protest slogans raised by the four were slogans of both patriotism towards the people of India as well as dissent against the dictatorial politics of the ruling class.

While the police is claiming that charging these individuals with UAPA is “appropriate action,” it is an alarming attempt by the Indian state to shift the discourse away from the political anger and protest of the people against the affairs of the Parliament, the representation of Narendra Modi’s so-called New India. The Patiala House Courts has gone ahead and suggested the role of ‘terrorist organizations’ and ‘other countries,’ ignoring the fact the protestors distributed pamphlets showing Prime Minister Modi as a missing person with his reward to be paid by the Swiss bank, a satire on the ruling class and the absence of the Prime Minister. The Court instead, only saw this as a ‘conspiracy attack’ against the state, thus putting the five individuals under 7 day police remand. This protest also occurred on the 21st anniversary of the 2001 Parliament bombing, for which Afzal Guru was wrongfully and with limited evidence, given the death penalty to “satisfy the collective consciousness of society.” On 8th April 1929, the duo of Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt exploded harmless explosives in the Central Legislative Assembly as a form of political protest and were met with the very same echoes of “terror attacks” as these six individuals are now being charged with. Even Dr. Ambedkar stated, “when there was no way left for constitutional methods for achieving economic and social objectives, there was a great deal of justification for unconstitutional methods.”

Amidst the rising tide of brahmanical Hindutva fascism where educators are finding no permanent jobs and the AdHoc staff continuously lose their employment, where caste atrocities are rampantly rising with daily incidents of Dalit students being attacked and forced to clean toilets becoming part of the news cycle, where employment, food, water and shelter for the labouring people are constantly shrinking, the protest of the people must be protected and be the central part of discourse, instead of notions such as “breach of security” and “security threats.” On these same arguments, even peaceful protests for which police permissions are sought, are also stopped and protestors attacked. Democratic spaces are consistently shrinking and constitutional means of dissenting are being robbed from the people. Hitting at the very nature of arbitrary sanctions and ‘tanashahi farmaans’ Bhagat Singh had correctly said, “the sanctity of law can be maintained only so long as it is the expression of the will of the people.” Therefore, the question for the present is not a question of protecting the security of those in power, but a question of protecting the democratic rights of the oppressed and exploited of this country from those in power.

Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), therefore, condemns the use of UAPA against Neelam Verma, Sagar Sharma, Manoranjan D, Amol Shinde, Vishal Sharma and Lalit Ojha for an act of protest.

CASR demands the immediate withdrawal of charges against these six individuals and their unconditional release!


Constituents: (AIRSO, AISA, AISF, APCR, BASF, BSM, Bhim Army, bsCEM, CEM, CRPP, CTF, DISSC, DSU, DTF, Forum Against Repression Telengana, Fraternity, IAPL, Innocence Network, Karnataka Jan Shakti, Progressive Lawyers Association, Mazdoor Adhikar Sanghthan, Mazdoor Patrika, Morcha Patrika, NAPM, Nishant Natya Manch, Nowruz, NTUI, People’s Watch, Rihai Manch, Samajvadi Jan Parishad, Samajvadi Lok Manch, Bahujan Samajvadi Manch, SFI, United Against Hate, United Peace Alliance, WSS, Y4S)

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