NEW DELHI: Over 300 prominent citizens appealed for the release of 11 jailed activists, including Varavara Rao and Sudha Bhardwaj, who are yet to get bail despite prisons being overcrowded and some inmates testing COVID positive.
Besides Rao and Bhardwaj, the other jailed activists include Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalvez among others.
The focus should not be on the suppression of dissent in the country, but on the containment of the pandemic in prison and out of it, they said to the central government.
“Incarcerating human rights defenders and student dissenters in these circumstances was disturbing,” they wrote.
The signatories include filmmaker Aparna Sen, academic Nandini Sundar, author Amitava Ghosh, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, theatre artist Ratna Pathak Shah, historian Romila Thapar, writer Ritu Menon, actor Dhritiman Chaterji, activist Harsh Mander and political scientist Zoya Hasan.