The civil rights group Campaign Against State Repression(CASR)*,condemning the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raid on “democratic, farmer, student and anti-displacement activists in East Uttar Pradesh”, has said in a statement that “these raids happening now in Allahabad are part of a larger on-going campaign of political repression being undertaken in Uttar Pradesh”.

Conducted against the offices of Bhagat Singh Students Morcha (BSM) in the Benaras Hindu University and the homes of Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) activists, the statement said, the raids “come in light of the recent attempts at suppression of the Bihar-based Kaimur Mukti Morcha’s leadership which has been at the forefront of the Adivasi struggle in Kaimur plateau against the blatant land-grabbing for creating a tiger reserve in the area.”

Since the morning of 5th September 2023, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been raiding the offices of Bhagat Singh Students Morcha (BSM) in Benaras Hindu University. Simultaneously, NIA has raided the homes of Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) State President Seema Azad, her partner and advocate Vishwavijay, advocate Soni Azad and organiser of a workers’ organisation Ritesh Vidyarthi along with political activist Manish Azad in Allahabad.

Along with these raids, NIA has taken Seema Azad, Vishwavijay, Soni Azad and Ritesh Vidyarthi with them to an unknown location in an unlawful manner that reeks of undemocratic political repression. Information regarding their whereabouts is unavailable.

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