TDN World Desk: Raising conceren over the arrest of human right activists, students and social workers a group of 375 concerned citizens that include writer Arundhati Roy, Amitav Ghosh, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, poet Joy Goswami, noted lyricist Javed Akhtar has demanded immediate release of them on humanitarian ground.

Issuing a joint statement on Tuesday the group of writers, poets, authors, activists, retired civil servants and filmakers have expressed concern over the health of the

The joint statement issued by these eminenet 375 citizens expressed concern over the health of scholars, writers and poets who have been put behind bar amidst covid-19 pandemic.

The statement called on to release Varavara Rao, Sudha Bhardwaj, Shoma Sen, Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalvez, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Sudhir Dhawale and Rona Wilson.

Jailed Assam right activist Akhil Gogoi’s name has found a mention in the statement. Gogoi has repeatedly raised his voice against human rights violations by the state.

“These activists are not convicted criminals. Nor are they planning to flee the country and escape the law. We demand that they be granted bail immediately on humanitarian grounds as their lives are at risk at a time when a pandemic is raging across the country. We have learnt that Mr. Varavara Rao who is 80 years old is already ill and has been removed to a police hospital,”said the statement.

The statement points out the incarciration of young student leaders like Safoora Zargar from Jamia University and JNU, who led the democratic, peaceful public protests in Delhi, challenging the CAA, NPR and NRC and have been implicated in criminal cases and placed behind bars, during the COVID-19 lockdown.

They reminded the government that people are raising voice from abroad as well citing the example of American Bar Association – Center for Human Rights which has called on the Indian government to immediately release human rights defenders being incarcerated in jails across India.