Almost a year after the police booked some members of Pune-based Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) for their alleged Naxal links, activists have decided to form the Kabir Kala Manch Defence Committee to support them.
The committee will be formed in Mumbai on Friday, and will likely include Teesta Setalwad, Ratna Pathak Shah and Anand Patwardhan. It will claim that KKM members are innocent and have gone into hiding due to threats from the police. “KKM members come from poor families. It is hard to expect them to put up an effective legal and moral defence. So it is incumbent on others in civil society to step forward in their support,” said Patwardhan.
Founded by Amarnath Chandaliya after the Gujarat riots, KKM is known for its musical ‘protests’ and “shahiri jalsas” on political issues. The group also participated in agitations like the Narmada Bachao Andolan.