Is the Modi government exploiting the pandemic to silence critics in India?

Under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, India’s far-right government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has slyly launched a crackdown on dissidents. Several civil society activists, journalists and community organisers have been targeted with notorious anti-terror laws at a time when the country is grappling with the pandemic.… 

With the arrest of Zargar, who’s in the crucial second trimester of her first pregnancy, and the launch of criminal investigations against several other activists, questions have arisen about whether the Modi government is using the cover of Covid-19 pandemic to “execute an alarmingly authoritarian shakeup of [Indian] democracy”. 

Similar draconian measures are being applied to the UN-disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir, where India’s far-right government removed political autonomy in August last year by enforcing a military curfew and arresting top politicians, former chief ministers and leaders of anti-India separatist movement.

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