Here’s our top 10 list of those who were unfairly targeted this year.
1. The family of Akhlaq
A year after his murder by goons who claimed he had killed a cow, Akhlaq’s family was charged with possessing beef.
2. Rohith Vemula
Harassed by the Hyderabad University administration in life, maligned by the HRD ministry in death, this brilliant Dalit student became a national icon.
3. Kanhaiya and other JNU students
Wrongly charged with sedition by Delhi police, top BJP leaders and a section of the media, Kanhaiya Kumar used his oratory to turn the tables on his accusers
4. Victims of Chhattisgarh police
From the arrest of a human rights team and fake murder charges against scholars to the harassment of lawyers, journalists and opposition leaders, a police force accused of rights violations is desperate to stamp out critical voices.
5. Kairana’s Muslims
A BJP MP set off a media campaign alleging the Muslims of this UP town had forced Hindus into exile. In fact, nothing of the sort had happened.
6. Khurram Parvez
The well-known Kashmiri human rights defender was first illegally prevented from flying out of Delhi airport, then arrested under the draconian J&K Public Safety Act.
7. Teesta Setalvad
Last year, the well known anti-communalism activist’s NGO was targteted; this year the HRD ministry is trying to make out a case for her to be charged for spreading hate through her educational work.
8. NDTV Hindi
The I&B ministry tried to shut down one of the only channels that does not toe the government line, on spurious charges of endangering security
9. Pakistani artists in India
Competitive populism by political parties was allowed to override the right of Indian directors to employ Pakistani artists on valid visas.
10. A pigeon in Punjab
A pigeon alleged to be a Pakistani agent was detained by the Punjab police and had its wings clipped.