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Press Release and teachers’ statement on Hem Mishra, cultural activist’s arrest

Press release

Today various students’ organizations like DSU, AISA, AISF, SIO, Krantikari Naujawan Sabha, Paribartankami Chhatra Sangh, United Dalit Students’ Forum, All India Backward Students’ Forum, Revolutionary Cultural Front, Viplab Sanskritik Manch, krantiukari Sanskritik manch, political organizations like CPIML(New Democracy), Inquilabi Majdoor Sangh, and noted journalists from Uttarakhand Suresh Notiwal, Charu Tiwari, poet Ranjit Verma, DU professors Rakesh Ranjan, Ish Mishra, Anirban Kar and various students and activists from Delhi Uttarakhand and Punjab came to gether to protest against the unjust and illegal arrests of and Prashant Rahi. All the organizations unitedly condemned the arrest and demanded their immediate release. Hem’s father KD MIshra who had visited Hem, informed that Hem was picked up on 20th august from Ballarshah in , the police informed them on 23rd august, produced him in court on 24th august, and shown the arrest from Aheri. Hem was also tortured in the first three days of illegal custody and now he has been booked under UAPA, Section 120 (B) of IPC and sedition charges. The police are still refusing him to meet his lawyer till he is in Police custody.

Sometime between the 20th and the 23rd of August, Hem Mishra, who was till very recently a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University () and is a member of Democratic Students’ Union (DSU) and Revolutionary Cultural Front (RCF) was illegally arrested and detained by the Maharashtra State Police. At the beginning, the police did not produce him within 24 hours of his arrest. Later after being pressurised by media persons they acknowledged that he has been arrested as a ‘prominent Naxal Courier’. This is a ludicrous claim. Hem is a known students and cultural activist in Uttarakhand and Delhi who has been working for the people by raising social issues since his early days in student activism. He is a physically disabled person. Being a sensitive activist and having heard a lot about the Lok Biradari Hospital run by Dr. Prakash Amte, where it is said more than 60000 people visit a year, Hem wished to visit this place in Bhamaragrh. Possibly he was also keen to know if there is any treatment for his persistent pain in the left hand where he had undergone two major surgeries from Vellore in Tamil Nadu. At some point in his journey, he was illegally detained on the 20th August 2013 and till his arrest was declared on the 24th August 2013 he was tortured physically and mentally by the police. He was remanded to police custody for ten days during which time he was not allowed access to a lawyer which is a gross violation of his constitutional rights. It was also reported in the media that two adivasi youths, by the name of Mahesh Tirkey and Pandu Narote were simultaneously picked up by police and were also shown as ‘Naxal Couriers’ along with Hem.

On the 2nd September, a freelance journalist and people’s activist in Uttarakhand, Prashant Rahi, was picked up by the police somewhere in Chhattisgarh and then shown as arrested in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. Prashant Rahi was on his way to visit political prisoners in the various prisons of Chhattisgarh. Media sources and independent civil rights activists confirm that Prashant Rahi was arrested from near by the Raipur Court, Chhattisgarh. He was then produced the next day morning in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra in front of the local magistrate. He has been remanded along with Hem Mishra to police custody for fourteen days. This is a pre-meditated move from the side of the investigating agencies to incriminate both Hem Mishra and Prashant Rahi in a case together. Prashant Rahi a people’s activist was arrested and charged under 121, 121A, 124A, 153B, 120B IPC and section 20 UAPA and was under trial at the Session Court of Rudrapur, Uttarakhand. After languishing in the prison for 3 years and 8 months, he was released on bail on August 21, 2011. Since
then he managed to stay in Rudrapur as his trial was continuing there and
was supposed to conclude this month end. It goes without saying that the
arrest and possible frame-up of Prashant can also prejudice the trial that
is about to conclude. Prashant proclaimed infront of the magistrate that he was abducted by the police in Raipur, Chhattisgarh while the police claimed he was arrested from Maharashtra. The police is spreading virulent false lies to club Hem and Prashant, and trying to implicate them both in false cases.

We strongly condemn the false arrests and framing of student, cultural and democratic rights activists and branding them as ‘maoist’ courier. A memorandum was submitted to the home minister against this. in the coming days we are going o take up various other rprogrammes till Hem and Prashant are released.

—-REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRATIC FRONT

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