Statement by Indian Association of People’s Lawyers
CONDEMN THE MOTIVATED AND MISCHIEVOUS TARGETTING OF THE LAWYERS COLLECTIVE BY THE UNION HOME MINISTRY!
RESIST THE ATTACK ON HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYERS!
Latest to the list of peoples’ activists and lawyers being hounded by the State is the LAWYERS COLLECTIVE (LC), a Trust run since the past 35 years by noted Human Rights lawyers such as Indira Jaising and Anand Grover. The Union Home Ministry had recently suspended the LC’s license to receive foreign funds for six months. As in the case of Greenpeace, the FCRA has once again been used as a tool in an attempt to silence activists and organizations protesting the anti-people action and policies of the state.
Indira Jaising, a former Additional Solicitor General, has relentlessly fought against Human rights violations. She has defended Teesta Setalwad in the foreign fund violation case against her Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace. A few days before the suspension order, Indira Jaising had spoken at a function of Rana Ayub’s book release that exposed the role of the Modi administration in the Gujarat 2002 communal pogrom. The LAWYERS COLLECTIVE has during its 35 years of functioning, taken up legal battles on issues of domestic violence, discrimination against people living with HIV, against section 377 IPC, as well as ensuring affordable medicines under the Patents Act, 1970. It is this history of the LC and especially the recent public support by Indira Jaising to activists who have been vociferous critics of the Modi administration, that has made the rulers uncomfortable and hence this victimization. IAPL views this as another attempt by the Modi administration not only to quell any voice of dissent but also to demonize people who have become symbolic in the field of Human rights or in the resistance against the government.
In recent times, the State has been doing all in its power to harass NGOs who have been protesting against the Human Rights violations or who have been raising environmental concerns. This is a ploy to brand such organizations as ‘anti-national’ or working against ‘national’ interests, while the government on the other hand is busy selling the country’s resources and sovereignty to foreign capital. The IAPL calls upon all democrats to expose such motivated and mischievous ploys.
The IAPL believes that all such persecution of activists and Human Rights defenders, including lawyers, and hampering their working, have to be seen in the larger context of an increasing growth of fascism in the country. Such fascism can only be destroyed by peoples’ resistance and hence calls upon all people to collectively condemn this act of victimization of Indira Jaising, Anand Grover and the LAWYERS COLLECTIVE.
Adv. Surendra Gadling (Nagpur),
Adv. Ravindra Balla (Hyderabad),
Adv. Maharukh Adenwalla (Mumbai),
Adv. Sudha Bharadwaj (Raipur)
Adv. Ankit Grewal (Chandigarh)