Jyoti Raghoba Jagtap is a 33-year-old activist and a psychology graduate from Pune. She took activism during her college days and actively spoke for women’s rights. She was a member of Rashtra Seva Dal (grassroots organisation of the Indian National Congress) before she joined the Kabir Kala Manch troupe in 2007 at the age of 20. She is known to be a fierce and powerful orator.
Life and Activism
She has a master’s degree in psychology from Sir Parashurambhau College, Pune. She was pursuing a course in advanced counseling and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy from a private institute in Pune and was aspiring to establish her clinic before her arrest.
Circumstances of Arrest
She was arrested by Anti – Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra in 2020 and was later taken into custody by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). She is accused of her alleged role in Elgar Parishad – a coalition of over 200 Dalit and non-profit organizations commemorating the 200th anniversary of the victory of the Bhima Koregaon battle – which is said to be the root cause of the violence that erupted in Pune following the event.
Charges & Allegations
In the charge sheet filed against her, NIA accused her of being a “trained cadre of the CPI (Maoist) who attended meetings to organise the Elgar Parishad.” She is also accused of receiving training from Maoists in the jungles. She is booked under charges of sedition, waging war against the government, promoting enmity between two sections, criminal conspiracy of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections related to terrorism-related activities under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) along with Sections 153A, 505, 117 and 120 of the Indian Penal Code.
She tested positive for Covid 19 along with several other prison inmates and recuperated earlier this year. She is currently lodged in Byculla Jail in Mumbai and spent her birthday in prison for the first time on August 20, 2021.
In April 2022, Jagtap filed a discharge application in the NIA special court on the grounds that there was a delay of eight days in the filing of the First Information Report (FIR) and that despite being an accused in the FIR she had not been arrested for over two years.