This article makes no attempt at deciphering the right or wrong of the case and leaves it to the reader's perception to determine the truthiness of the matter.
Bhima Koregaon, is not just a place remembered for its brutal attacks, bizarre arrests and human rights violations in 2018, but has a history that goes back two hundred years. In the 1818 war between Marathas and British, the Meher community, a down-trodden caste, faced great humiliation at the hands of the upper caste, so-called, "pure" community. Shunned for years at the hands of the privileged, they decided to fight their own battle under the wings of the British army. Armed with superior weapons, the British ceased their victory and with them emerged the Mehers, to celebrate their triumph.
The unseen history has many sides to a tale, and the other emerges from the Maratha and the Hindutva community. Their version is that the Mehers, were never recruited by the British in their army, and any celebration of the Colonizers win, is a sentiment of being " Anti national" . However, as per findings, the war memorial does mention the name if the martyrs from the Meher community.
Another element associated with the past battle will bring us closer to the present. The Mausoleum of Chattrapati Sambhaji Maharaj was discovered by V.C.Bendre in 1939.
Mahar community claims that the last rights of Sambhaji Maharaj were performed by GovindMeher. On the other hand, the Marathas allege that, the body was sewed and cremated by them.
To bring home their point, the family of Govind Meher put signboards directing the path to the Mausoleum of Sambhaji Maharaj.
Some ruffians removed the banners and were later arrested.
On the 29th of December, Govind Meher's memorial was found vandalized. However, after peace was restored, according to the Police, a meeting took place on 31st December, which led to the brawl on 1 January.
This meeting was organized by the Elgar Parishad Conclave, which is known to be funded by the banned organization Communist Party of India (CPI). The conglomeration saw many left winged activists, who are known to make certain " inflammatory" speeches that led to the law and order situation the next day.
The Elgar Parishad it has been said is trying to " politicize" the Dalits to fight against oppression by the Hindutva community.
On the 1 January 2018, several people were coming down from all over Maharashtra to pay their tribute to the sacrifices of their soldiers. Many people were attacked including women and children, who had to face the wrath of agitated men.
What happened next, caught the eye of Amnesty International and several human rights activists and organizations across the country.
The Police detained five "urban naxals" on the grounds of documents found, including, a letter that talked about some " Rajiv Gandhi type" attack. They were charged for having conspired to " wage a war" against the nation. The five detainees at this point were, SudhirDhawale, a Dalit rights activist, Surendra Gadling, an advocate who fought for labour rights and mostly took cases ‘pro bono', the next is Mahesh Raut, a person who devoted his life for Adivasi rights, Rona Wilson and ShomaSen, a women's right activist.
The next clampdown was in August with the arrest of GautamNavlakha, VarvaraRao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira.
All the accused were booked under the unlawful activities (prevention) Act 1967 along with several provisions of the Indian Penal Code.
The high profile case, which threatened the country's security and integrity, was transferred to the National Investigation Agency. The NIA is probing into the matter further, to find the deep-rooted conspiracy to split the country.
The NIA has recently arrested Hany Babu, an assistant Professor in Delhi University.
A report published by Amnesty International and Citizen lab states that they have uncovered the " spyware campaign", that targeted atleast nine human rights activists. Spearphishing mails were " carefully" sent to the recipients who were caught in the web of Indian authorities. The report points out the presence of 12 Spearphishing emails. These mails consist of links, which if clicked, can spy on the internet activity of the user. Apparently, three of the arrestees were earlier a target of a virus called 'pegasus spyware' which is a ‘commercial product only told to Government Entities'.
Amnesty pleads the authorities to protect and preserve the rights of privacy, guaranteed by the Constitution of India and provide procedural safeguards under section 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000. The section provides for the Government to intercept, monitor and decrypt information.
The case is still under investigation and though a lot has been said and written about it, it is cloaked by an air of mystery that surrounds it.
This case like any other has two sides of a coin and sitting far away from the eye of the storm, it is almost impossible, if not incorrect to form rigid opinions.
If on one end the country is trying to protect the state from being overthrown, on the other side, there are humans who are languishing in prisons devoid of basic human needs and protection. A systematic approach and balance is imperative to protect the country but at the same time, value basic human dignity.