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Karnataka Lawyers Protest Bhima Koregaon Arrests, Say 'Government Stifling Dissenting Voices'

On Friday, the People's Lawyers Forum (PLF) protested outside the Karnataka High Court against the alleged arbitrary detention of these activists.

Stacy Pereira |

Updated:August 31, 2018, 1:45 PM IST
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Karnataka Lawyers Protest Bhima Koregaon Arrests, Say 'Government Stifling Dissenting Voices'
Policemen accompany Dalit groups as they stage a protest against the violence in Bhima-Koregaon area of Pune. Image for representation. (PTI)
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Bengaluru: The arrest of five activists by Maharashtra police in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence has caused an unsettling atmosphere across the country.

On Friday, the People's Lawyers Forum (PLF) protested outside the Karnataka High Court against the alleged arbitrary detention of these activists. Lawyers were seen holding placards that read — #NoMoreFakeCharges and #StopTheWitchHunt.

Seconding the Supreme Court’s comment ‘ dissent is the safety valve of democracy', practicing lawyers in Karnataka expressed their solidarity and claimed that those detained were held on fake charges. They said these activists fought for the causes of marginalised and oppressed.

"The people who have been arrested are well known personalities, known for exposing oppressive policies against common man. The Modi government is hell-bent on stifling the dissenting voices", said Shivamanidhan, a lawyer who was part of the protest.

Another lawyer, Renuka Patil, said that detaining the activist under the UAPA Act raises the question on safety of lawyers for doing their job. In order to protect the right-wing fundamentalists, the Maharashtra police are targeting people who fight for Adivasis and Dalits. There is no proof or evidence to show that these people are directly linked to Maoist groups".

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