These arrested Tuesday had been Telugu-language poet Varavara Rao in Hyderabad, Vernon Gonzalves and Arun Farreira in Mumbai, and Gautam Navalakha and Sudha Bhardwaj in New Delhi and a neighbouring city, the Press Belief of India information company stated.
The federal government crackdown was condemned by Aakar Patel, government director of Amnesty Worldwide India, who stated the arrests threatened core human rights values.
“All these folks have a historical past of working to guard the rights of a few of India’s most poor and marginalized folks. Their arrests elevate disturbing questions on whether or not they’re being focused for his or her activism,” Patel stated.
Amitabh Behar, CEO of Oxfam India, stated the federal government ought to defend folks’s rights to freedom of expression, affiliation, and peaceable meeting as an alternative of making an environment of concern.
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Police stated the 5 activists arrested on Tuesday incited Dalits, members of Hinduism’s lowest caste, to counter right-wing teams at a rally on Dec. 31, resulting in violent clashes that left one particular person useless.
In June, police arrested 5 different activists on suspicion of additionally inciting the Dalits, who’ve been marginalized for hundreds of years and compelled to carry out jobs thought of unacceptable by different castes.
Caste prejudice is endemic in Hindu-majority India, though the structure outlaws the apply and has made it against the law punishable by as much as a 12 months in jail.