Strongly condemning IT and ED raids on the offices of The Quint, Greenpeace India and The News Minute, the Solidarity Forum for Dissent alleged that those who are critical of the Government, as also those who are exposing and challenging human rights and environmental violations of certain Corporations, are being targeted.
It said that they consider this as not merely an attack on these organisations alone, but on civil society in general, media included.. It sadi that they also note that those who work with and for advancing the rights of vulnerable communities, especially Dalits, Adivasis, LGBT communities and women, are being systemically targeted as well, in such raids across India. Often, this has resulted in arrests of key activists and journalists.
Mathew Philips (SICHREM), Aakar Patel (Amnesty India), Nandini (Greenpeace sponsor). Reshma (Swaraj Sanghatane), Vijay Kumar Seetappa (Karnataka Janarogya Chaluvali), K. P. Singh (Swaraj Abhiyan), Manohar (Human Rights Defenders Alert) and others addressing meda in Bengaluru, today, accused that today’s State appears determined to uproot the foundational principles of a democratic India by criminalising all and every opinion that doesn’t commit to its exclusive and mono-culturist views.
According to them, in the case of Greenpeace, the ED officials had no warrant to search the office. Yet, almost 8 to 10 of them entered Greenpeace office in Bangalore, questioned key officials, searched documents and took away copies of several documents, all without any official communication or authority vested by the due process of law.
They said that this is a direct assault on a bonafide, independently functioning, environmental organisation. “This potentially atomises state surveillance to the level of each individual who support organisations like Greenpeace, the Quint and The News Minute”, they added.