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Happy Birthday, Seema Azad!

Seema Azad’s bail petition is scheduled to come up for hearing in the Allahabad High Court tomorrow, Monday, August 6th. Everyone is hopeful that she will be granted bail. In the meanwhile, today was a day to celebrate Seema’s birthday and demand her release. The event at Jantar Mantar in Delhi organized by PUCL, Jan Hastakshep, PUDR and several other organizations, was lively. Resounding slogans were raised in support of Seema and her husband Vishwavijay as well as in support of Soni Sori, Lingaram Kodopi, Kartam Joga, Jiten Marandi and others. Among those joining the occasion were Seema’s co-accused Anu (a.ka. Kanchan), who is currently out on bail, Dr. Binayak Sen, Kavita Srivastava, Himanshu Kumar, Ajay TG, Prashant Rahi, Ravi Kumar Jain (Seema’s wonderful lawyer), Bezwada Wilson, Mahtab Alam, Panini Anand, Prabhakar Sinh and many others. It was particularly heartrending how many of these are people who have themselves been wronged by the justice system and are out on bail only due to the tireless work of their families, lawyers, activists and other supporters. The highlight of the evening was a captivating play written and performed by Anu and friends. Touching on a gamut of topics dealing with the depredations in the name of development, the nexus between the politicians, “industrialists” and the police and, most of all, the resistance to it, it kept the audience spellbound. In fact the policemen posted for the occasion at the venue by the Delhi administration seemed drawn in by the performance. We suspect at least some of them would have broken out in applause but for their own fear of their superiors.