Left-backed social activists and employees’ unions on Thursday protested against the Union government and demanded the release of human rights activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, poet-activist Prof Varavara Rao and Vernon Gonsalves. The protesters also blocked traffic on the Mohali-Chandigarh road for about two hours.
During the protest, members of the Kirti Kisan Union, Social Rights Sabha Punjab, Naujawan Bharat Sabha, Azad Kisan Sangharsh Committee, Punjab Kisan Union and several other employees’ unions gathered at the Dussehra ground in Phase VIII and marched towards Chandigarh. The protesters were stopped at the Chandigarh border near Gita Bhawan.
Addressing the protesters, the employees’ union leaders said journalists like Gauri Lankesh were killed by some Right-wing outfits which indicates that the Union government wants to eliminate people who are speaking out against the government’s policies.
Addressing the rally, Harnek Singh Mavi said the BJP-led Union government wants to protect the real culprits of the Bhima-Koregaon violence and the government framed well-known human rights activists like Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Prof Varavara Rao and Vernon Gonsalves.
He added that the BJP-led government at the Centre was threatening these human rights activists who were speaking against the policies by portraying them as Urban Naxals.
The protesters also alleged that the real culprit of the Bhima-Koregaon violence was Shamba Ji Bhide and he must be arrested with immediate effect.
Lachman Singh Sewawala said if the rights activists were not released, they will continue their protest across the state and elsewhere in the country.