Rss

  • stumble
  • youtube
  • linkedin

Archives for : political prisoners

Press Release- Stop Harassment of senior citizen under trial Kobad Ghandy

COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS
185/3, FOURTH FLOOR, ZAKIR NAGAR, NEW DELHI-110025
17/07/2014
 
STOP HARASSMENT OF SENIOR CITIZEN UNDER-TRIAL POLITICAL PRISONER KOBAD GHANDY!
GIVE KOBAD GHANDY ALL FACILITES DUE TO A SENIOR CITIZEN!
 
IN SOLIDARITY WITH ANUP ROY LODGED IN THE PRESIDENCY JAIL IN CALCUTTA WHO IS ON FAST UNTO DEATH DEMANDING POLITICAL PRISONER STATUS!
 
As an under-trial political prisoner, Kobad Ghandy was initially lodged in the High Risk Ward (a jail within a jail) of Jail no 3 of the Central Jail, Tihar in New Delhi. For Kobad Ghandy who is a heart patient, with acute Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), cervical and lower lumbar spondilytis
and a protracted case of prostrate problem for which he is undergoing treatment on an irregular basis, life in the High Risk Ward itself is a matter of risk for his own existence. For someone who is in his late 60s Kobad Ghandy had to literally fight for every little facility keeping in mind his age as well as the fragile constitution that he has. Representations after representations were send to the authorities—the jail superintendent as well as the DG prisons and to the judge who visits the prisons—for each and every small but very vital need of the prisoner that would make life slightly better in an otherwise hostile and alienating atmosphere of a jail within a jail.
Till the secret execution of Mohd. Afzal Guru, in Jail 3, at the High Risk Ward, Kobad Ghandy could stay in that jail without facing the constant threat of being shifted. During that period he could manage a chair and a table to sit and write, a bed block and also access to books and writing pad, all after careful scrutiny by the jail authorities. The jail authorities willy nilly had agreed to let him access the supply of health supplements that was provided by his sister. With Afzal’s execution everyone was shifted from the Jail 3 High Risk Ward to other prisons. Kobad Ghandy after lot of resistance was also made to shift to Jail 1, Ward 6. He was made to carry all his belongings with little help from the authorities. Given a stiff back and fragile health it was a harrowing experience for him. Around that time when the CRPP met him he had made it very clear that another transfer would ruin his well being completely as it took him several weeks to recover from the toll of the shifting process. He has also been reporting about the insensitivity of the jail authorities as it was difficult for him to carry water in a bucket from far away (more than 100 m) for his daily chores and painful experience of leaning and washing clothes. Normally for other senior citizens and ailing inmates helpers (sevadaars) are provided. But the jail authorities have refused Kobad Ghandy any such provisions. It is in the same jail that another political prisoner Jagtar Singh Hawara is completely bed ridden after severe back problem which despite repeated applications the authorities have turned a deaf ear.
While in Jail 1, Kobad Ghandy had formally approached the authorities to shift him to the Senior Citizen’s Ward in Tihar Jail, which the authorities refused. He then had demanded that he be given the same facilities in the jail where he is lodged. Only a few months before had he managed to get a bed block in Jail 1. And now the authorities have decided that he be shifted to Jail 2. In protest, Kobad Ghandy has resorted to hunger strike. His family (sister) received information about the hunger strike and alerted the CRPP. Further it was told later that Kobad Ghandy was forcibly taken away in the evening of 16 July 2014 on a stretcher to Jail No.2 when he was on hunger strike. We don’t know if the authorities would extend the same facilities in the new jail as he will have to start from scratch writing applications for everything that he received in the previous jail. This normally takes at least a couple of months if the authorities are sensitive enough to grant him the facilities. Otherwise you are left to tend with your tenacity to deal with sadistic and corrupt prison officials. It would be important to note that Kobad Ghandy is the only senior citizen in the High Risk Ward of Tihar Jail. To treat a senior citizen who is an under trial like this inside the prison is inhuman.
We demand that the harassment meted out to Kobad Ghandy by shifting him periodically from one jail to the other be stopped forthwith. We reiterate that he be given all the facilities that are due to a senior citizen inside the prison. The discrimination meted out to him is inhuman and unlawful!
Anup Roy a political prisoner alleged to be a Maoist has been on fast unto death demanding for political prisoner status as per the West Bengal Correctional Services Act (1992). Already there are several prisoners who have got the status under the umbrella of this act. One may recall that in a historic judgement, the Kolkata High Court had granted political prisoner status to many of the political prisoners in West Bengal as per the West Bengal Correctional Services Act. Later the Mamta Banerjee government has gone ahead and amended this act through her brutal majority in the West Bengal assembly. Not satisfied her government has approached the Supreme Court to cancel the HC judgement conferring political prisoner status to many of the political prisoners in West Bengal. The Supreme Court while admitting the petition has refused to issue a stay order to the HC judgement.
Anup Roy’s struggle for political prisoner status brings home once again the important issue in the subcontinent, of the Indian State’s diffidence to recognize the category of Political Prisoners which is internationally accepted in many democratic countries as enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the UN (ICCPR). The real challenge before India which claims to be the largest democracy in the world is whether it has the political will to recognize this important issue which reverberates from the various prisons in the subcontinent where hundreds of thousands of political prisoners are raising their demand from within the four walls of the dungeons braving all kinds of mistreatment and isolation.
We fear that Anup Roy’s health is in a critical condition as he has entered the sixth day of his fast unto death. We demand that Anup Roy be granted the political prisoner status immediately without any further act that smacks of vindictiveness!
In Solidarity,
SAR Geelani
President,
Amit Bhattacharyya
Secretary General
Sukhendu Bhattacharjee
Vice President
Bojja Tharakam
Vice President
Rona Wilson
Secretary, Public Relations

Related posts

Political Prisoners languishing in abysmal conditions in West Bengal jails: Plight of Prasun Chatterjee

June 28, 2014

 

By Amit Bhattacharyya

Attempts at curbing the rights of Political Prisoners have started after the coming of the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC-government to power in West Bengal. A few months ago, the WB government introduced a bill in the legislative assembly to curb the rights of political prisoners by making an amendment to Section 24 of the West Bengal Correctional Services Act of 1992 passed by the earlier left-front government. The essence of the amendment is that no member of any organization banned by the government would henceforth enjoy the rights of political prisoners.

The main targets of this legislative measure were the Maoists, KLO and ‘terrorists’ belonging to some Muslim organizations. It is interesting to point out that all these prisoners are accused of taking part in seditious activities and thus committing ‘offences’ of a political nature and should therefore be the first to be treated as political prisoners. The TMC government under Mamata Banerjee made this amendment at a time when it had already appealed to the Supreme Court for a stay order challenging the High Court verdict(Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia, J in the case between Mr. Subhashis Roy for the petitioners and Ms. Anusua Sinha for the State vide CRR 463 of 2012 with CRR 1312 of 2012 with CRR 4000 of 2011 dated 08/08/2012) that gave political prisoner status to Gaur Narayan Chakraborty, V. Venkateswara Reddy, Sambhu Soren, Sagun Murmu, Chhatradhar Mahato, suksanti Baskey and Prasun Chatterjee—all ‘Maoist’ political prisoners. The appeal for stay by the WB government was rejected by the Supreme Court, but it was admitted for future discussion.

Such a measure for amendment initiated by the Mamata Banerjee-led government betrays a revengeful attitude against the Maoists and other political dissenters. It was this Mamata Banerjee who made a pledge during election meetings before the WB Legislative Assembly elections to release all political prisoners if she was voted into power; but she conveniently broke that promise after coming to power.

The amendment to Section 24 was put into effect from November 2013. What will be the fate of those who started enjoying such privileges before the amendment was passed? They would continue to enjoy those rights. But what do we see in practice? It is a well-planned conspiracy to curb the legitimate rights of political prisoners given by the Kolkata High court. We have heard about such attempts accompanied by misbehavior with political prisoners in jail in Dum Dum and Hoogli Jail. Very recently we have come to know about such attempts in the distant Purulia Jail where political prisoners have been forced to pass their days in a condition that beggars description. High Court verdict is being deliberately flouted by the prison officials.

Prasun Chatterjee, a political prisoner incarcerated under the UAPA has been languishing in Purulia jail for quite some time after being transferred from Medinipur Central Correctional Home where he had been staying since 2009. Although he has been given the status of political prisoner by the Kolkata High Court, his legal rights have been curbed by the jail authorities and he is forced to pass his days in prison in abysmal conditions.

Unlike some prisons in West Bengal, the cells in Purulia jail do not have any ceiling fan facility. As the High Court gave certain rights and facilities to political prisoners and the installation of ceiling fans in cells is part of those, the jail authorities has placed a table fan outside the cell gate. However, air cannot pass through the iron rods and leaves the prisoner sweating in the blazing summer inside the cell. It is a violation of High Court directives and a punishable offense. In response to the HC order for the installation of ceiling fans, fans were bought but these are dumped in the go-down without being installed. Prasun asked for a petition form to apply to the ADG (Prison) for redress, but he was not given any. That forced him to apply in a plain white paper; but there was no response. He does not know if that had reached the destination at all.

Prasun does not have the right to meet other prisoners accused of having ‘Maoist’ connection. He has also been denied access to books. When asked, the authorities retort by saying that what they act in accordance with the directives of Mamata Banerjee.

Many rooms in Purulia jail are lying vacant in which there are also light and fans. However, he is forced to stay in cells meant for prisoners with infectious diseases such as leprosy, TB, chicken pox etc. There is no water facility inside the cells. In case of need, he has to tell other prisoners to fetch drinking water for him from a distance. Even inside the cell compound, there is no water tank. So other people are asked to bring water for him in buckets.

The distance between Purulia Jail and Medinipur Court is nearly 210 kms. Thus for every production, the prisoner has to travel nearly 420 kms a day. Those among Prasun’s co-accused who go to Medinipur Court from Kolkata have to cover a lesser distance. Each of them is given Rs.100.00 for production. For Prasun, however, for two days no money was given. So he went without any food. When asked, the jail authorities ridiculed him by saying “Should we have to feed even the accused” (Ashamider-o Khaoate hobe naki)? Their cruelty knows no bounds. Later on, after much protest, he initially could get Rs.30.00 and then Rs.50.00. For the last two months or more, he has not been produced at all, thereby denying him the right to defend himself.

Prasun Chattopadhyay, a political prisoner, is thus being forced to pass his days in abysmal conditions. Inside the prison, heat and dust tell on the prisoners’ heath. For quite some time, Prasun has thus been suffering from asthma and allergic ailments.

Prasun dreamt of a society free from exploitation. For this ‘offence’, for this belief in a better world, he was taken into custody in 2009 and booked without any specific charges under the draconian UAPA—an act that makes a mockery of democracy in this ‘land of the largest democracy’ of the world. He was arrested by the earlier left-front government and his incarceration continued under the new West Bengal government. He has already spent five years in prison. His brother Pradip is also in prison for as many years. Meantime, their ailing father has breathed his last at home. And this cruel state and governments, irrespective of their hues—left or right—with its genetically modified repressive forces have been silently trying to cripple dissident voices with utmost brutality by trampling down verdicts of the High Court. Should we not raise our voice and demand their freedom?

– See more at: http://sanhati.com/excerpted/10510/#sthash.YjciMfHo.Cy66Dlgv.dpuf

Related posts

#India needs an anti-fascist force, says Dalit activist acquitted after 40 months in jail

The country needs an anti-fascist force, says activist acquitted after 40 months in jail
Sudhir Dhawale, a dalit rights activist accused of having Maoist links, was declared innocent on May 15.
Aarefa Johari · 
Scroll.in
 

Photo Credit:

Loading article content

On May 20, after spending three years and four months in Nagpur Central Jail for crimes he did not commit, dalit rights activist Sudhir Dhawale finally walked out as a free man.

His arrest in January 2011 had outraged social activists in Maharashtra. Dhawale is a well-known poet, political commentator and publisher of Marathi magazine Vidrohi, and had attended a dalit literary gathering in Wardha district just before he was detained by the police. He was charged with sedition and, under the controversial Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, accused of being a member of a terrorist organisation and waging war against the state. Meanwhile in Mumbai, the police barged into his modest home where his young sons were alone, gathered several books as evidence and allegedly coerced his wife to sign the list of seized articles.

Last week, after the prosecution failed to prove even a single case against him, the sessions court finally acquitted Dhawale – and eight other political prisoners – of all charges. His acquittal has come four months after Arun Ferreira, another Mumbai-based social activist who spent five years in jail for being an alleged Maoist, was cleared of all charges against him. Just two weeks before Dhawale’s release, however, GN Saibaba, a Delhi University professor, was arrested by the Maharashtra police for allegedly having links with Maoists.

Despite being forced to spend 40 months in prison without bail, Dhawale is cheerful and completely unresentful. “I have been saying for a long time that the Indian state is fascist, anti-people and has been involved in the atrocities committed against marginalised people,” Dhawale told Scroll.in in Mumbai just before a meeting with members of the organisation that he founded, the Republican Panthers Jatiya Antachi Chalwal (annihilation of caste movement). The group works across Maharashtra to organise marginalised groups and respond to hate crimes, and Dhawale has already plunged back into work.

Unsurprisingly, his biggest concern these days is India’s newly-elected Bharatiya Janata Party-led Democratic Alliance government under Narendra Modi. “As such, the BJP and Congress are two sides of the same coin, with similar ideologies that disregard the poor and the marginalised,” said Dhawale. “But the BJP – which is essentially the RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] – is more openly fascist, so we will have to be prepared for more oppression.”

For nearly a year, the BJP has been criticising the former Congress-led government for being too soft on Naxalism, despite the fact that thousands of paramilitary troops are stationed all over central India’s Maoist-affected areas. “Usually, actual military forces are used to protect foreign borders, not fight a country’s internal wars. But who knows, the Modi government could do anything,” said Dhawale.

Most of the development that Modi has been promising, he claimed, will actually benefit multinational companies. “Most of these multinationals have their eyes set on acquiring land in central India, which is rich in natural resources but is also the place where most adivasis live,” said Dhawale.

Throughout his jail term, Dhawale had been occupied with trying to understand the nature of fascism and people’s movements. He wrote five political commentaries in prison, of which two have been published. One is about the Shiv Sena’s deceased founder Bal Thackeray. The second is on Anna Hazare and his movement against corruption. “Hazare did start a jan andolan, but it was obvious that it was a movement for the middle-classes, attempting to address only the symptoms of a corrupt system and not the system itself,” said Dhawale.

While Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal have become the face of people’s movements, Dhawale believes the focus needs to shift to the many smaller, scattered grassroots movements across the country that are already working for the marginalised. “With this new government, it is time for all these movements to come together, be vigilant and create a strong anti-fascist force.”

Related posts

Arun Ferreira – Torture and Human Rights Violations of Political Prisoners

 

Vivek BendreArun Ferreira after his release from Nagpur Central Jail on February 4.

ARUN FERREIRA was neither a firebrand activist nor a rabble-rouser. Rather, he was known for his work among the poor and the marginalised. So his arrest in 2007 on the charge of being a Maoist shook Mumbai. It seemed improbable that Ferreira, the convent-educated and middle-class man next door who lived in a well-heeled suburb of the city, could be a naxalite.

There were protests and petitions following Ferreira’s arrest, but to no avail. From all accounts, it seemed to be another case of gross injustice and violation of human rights where the victim was falsely implicated and branded anti-national to suit some hidden agenda. Investigations and interrogations yielded little, and in spite of the absence of proof to incriminate him, Ferreira continued to languish in Nagpur Central Jail.

After almost five years allegedly suffering relentless torture and fighting what seemed a losing battle, on February 4, Ferreira became a free man. For lack of substantial evidence, he was acquitted in all 11 cases against him.

“My case is really nothing special,” Ferreira told Frontline. “The real issue is the way political prisoners are treated and the blatant violation of human rights of prisoners.” According to Ferreira, he was in Nagpur in 2007 when many people were being arrested for naxalite activities. Even Dalits who were distributing literature and mobilising people after the Khairlanji massacre were taken into custody and branded naxalites. “I think the police had to show the numbers and we were easy targets,” he said.

Ferreira was arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 2004, which is applied to people the state believes are terrorists. Seven charges were slapped on him, the main accusation being that he was a naxalite involved in a conspiracy to mobilise the naxalite movement.

The police said they had been tipped off that Ferreira along with Dhanendra Bhurule, a journalist recognised for his writings on social injustice, and Naresh Bansode, an activist, were meeting senior naxalite leader Ashok Satya Reddy alias Murali in Nagpur to organise a secret meeting of members at Deekshaboomi on May 8, 2007. The police had been tracking Murali’s movements and believed that the three were part of the conspiracy.

A police official said on condition of anonymity: “Ferreira was definitely a naxalite sympathiser. Perhaps he shouldn’t have been arrested, but they had evidence that he was working with people in the naxalite belt.”

Ferreira said he was beaten, tortured, humiliated and kept in the dreaded “anda” cell, meant for hardened criminals. “More than the brutal, claustrophobic aesthetic of the anda, it’s the absence of human contact that chokes you. If you’re in the anda, you spend 15 hours or more alone in your cell. The only people you see are the guards and occasionally the other inmates in your section. The horrors of the anda are well known to prisoners in Nagpur jail, and they would rather face the severest of beatings than be banished to the anda,” he wrote in his diary.

“They wanted me to disclose the location of a cache of arms and explosives or information on my supposed links with Maoists. To make me more amenable to their demands, they stretched my body out completely, using an updated version of the medieval torture technique of [the rack]. My arms were tied to a window grill high above, while two policemen stood on my stretched thighs to keep me pinned to the floor. This was calculated to cause maximum pain without leaving any external injuries.”

Ferreira also writes about the police concocting evidence, the endemic delays in the justice system, and the living conditions in the barracks, including the nexus between prisoners and jailors.

After months of interrogations and two rounds of narcoanalysis, the authorities still had nothing substantial on Ferreira. He, along with 12 other inmates, went on an indefinite hunger strike demanding an end to their isolation, to stop arresting social activists branding them naxalites, and not to force undertrials to wear uniforms. In September 2011, he was eventually acquitted of all charges and released. The court said it found the evidence supplied by the police contradictory.

However, as Ferreira exited the jail premises and was walking towards his waiting parents and wife, a posse of plainclothes policemen ambushed and bundled him off in an unmarked vehicle. He was once again arrested and charged with naxalite activities. This time it was over his alleged involvement in a police-naxalite encounter near Jafargarh under Korchi tehsil in Gadchiroli district in April 2007.

Once again he faced the cycle of torture, bail applications and trial days. However, unlike the first arrest, this time the public outcry against the injustice was massive. The court finally granted him bail in January 2012.

Ferreira’s case should highlight the need for the implementation of police reforms, said Father Cedric Prakash, a human rights activist. “The brutal and violent methods used against prisoners need to be addressed.”

Ferreira has filed a Rs.25 lakh suit against the Maharashtra government for the injustice meted out to him. He says he will continue his social work among the tribal people and the poor. While in prison, he began studying for a degree in law, which he hopes to complete in the next three years.

Anupama Katakam

 Read more here — http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/free-at-last/article5698848.ece

Related posts

Press Release – Appeal by 177 undertrial prisoners on indefinite Hunger strike

Indefinite Hunger Strike to commence on 30th January 2014

By 177 undertrial prisoners of Nagpur Central Prison

 

Sudhir Dhawale at Free Binayk Sen Protest in Mumbai

Sudhir Dhawale at Free Binayk Sen Protest in Mumbai

 

This is an appeal to intellectuals and human rights organizations/activists about the Indefinite Hunger Strike that will be launched from Thursday 30th January 2014 by at least 177 under trial prisoners, including 7 women, who are detained in Nagpur Central Prison Nagpur, Maharashtra.  The prisoners who are going to participate in the strike are all under trial prisoners who have been charged under UAPA, MCOCA, and/or murder charges under IPC).

It is a settled principle of law and a directive of the APEX COURT of this country that “BAIL is the rule and Jail is an exception”.

In spite of repeated rulings of the Supreme Court that bail ought to be granted at the earliest and that the gravity of the charges should not be the reason for not granting bail.  The prison population is ever increasing and hundereds and thousands of under trial prisoners are languishing in jails because bail has been denied to them.

The under trial prisoners are thus deprived of their legal and constitutional right of getting bail, even in lingering procrastinated trials. Besides, almost all are denied their right of physical attendance in courts, fair and speedy trials and reasonably speedy Judgments.

The prisoners of Nagpur central jail, having tried all means, such as petitioning the Bombay High Court, government of Maharashtra, felt that they had no other no alternative but to launch an Indefinite Hunger Strike till their demands are achieved.

A memorandum dated 20th January 2014 and signed by 177 under trial prisoners has been sent to the Honourable Chief Justice of Bombay High Court with copies to Principal Judge, Bombay High Court (Nagpur Bench) and other officials through the Superintendent of Nagpur Central Prison Nagpur. The memorandum includes the following demands:

 

  1. The directives of Honorable Supreme Court that “Bail is the rule and Jail is an exception” should be implemented as a principle with regard to bail and bail should be granted in a definite and short time period;
  2. Those charges with supposedly serious crimes should also be granted bail.  after charge sheet is filed, albeit with conditions if required;
  3. In order to establish the right of fair and speedy trial to all Accused, after the closure of a trial, Judgment should be delivered in a relatively definite and short time period.  If the trial is delayed due to some unavoidable reasons, then the under trial bail should be granted bail.  More so in the cases of those under trial prisoners whose bail application/s has/have been refused earlier.
  4. The right of a fair trial cannot be established through Video Conference (V.C.) method. V.C.s should not be an option during trials and under trial prisoners must be compulsorily brought to court on their trial dates.

Friends, we are committed to sit on Indefinite Hunger Strike till our demands are mrt.  The success of our struggle cannot be achieved without your solidarity and active support from outside.  So it is our humble and hopeful appeal to you to kindly extend your support in favour of our just demands and struggle.

 

With regards

1]            Sudhir Dhawale

2]            Diwakar Jha

3]            Gautam Pillewan

and other under trial prisoners.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Related posts

#India – Prashant Rahi, who was trying to help cases of political prisoners arrested #WTFnews

Prashant Rahi, who was single-handedly trying to help with the cases of political prisoners all over India, and visiting them in jail was arrested day before yesterday. He was picked up by Maharashtra ATS when he was in Raipur court to arrange for legal matters of some prisoners there. The Maharashtra police took him to Gadchiroli secretly, and charged him with the same case as Hem Mishra. They have also cooked up a story of arresting him from Gondia in Maharashtra.

After JNU ex-student, 2 more held for Naxal link

Soumittra S Bose, TNN | Sep 3, 2013,

After JNU ex-student, 2 more held for Naxal link
Rahi, alias Prashant Sanglikar, who had his schooling in Mumbai, was picked up from the Deori bus-stand in Gondia district on Sunday.
NAGPUR: Gadchiroli police have arrested 52-year-old Prashant Rahi, an Uttarakhand-based journalist-turned-activist and front organization member, and Vijay Teerki, of Chhattisgarh, for their alleged links with Naxalites. Rahi, alias Prashant Sanglikar, who had his schooling in Mumbai, was picked up from the Deori bus-stand in Gondia district on Sunday, while he and Teerki were “heading to Naxal-stronghold Abujmadh to meet a central committee (CC) member”, according to the cops.

Sources in Gadchiroli police said they learnt about Rahi’s mission from Hem Mishra who was arrested on August 22 from near Morewada village in Aheri, south Gadchiroli. Mishra, a former Jawaharlal Nehru University student and who is also from Uttarakhand, was arrested along with Pandu Narote and Mahesh Teerki. According to the police, the trio was carrying messages to senior Naxal cadre Narmada-akka, a divisional committee member, in Abujmadh. The Naxal HQ, which is on the Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh border, is about 80kms from Aheri as well as Deori.

Police said that Rahi too was carrying documents to a senior central committee member based in Abujmadh. His arrest may not be a big catch but it shows the increased inroads that Naxalites have made into urban areas. Earlier, Naxal cadre Kobad Gandhy was caught in New Delhi, Vernon Gonsalves and Shridhar Srinivasan in Govandi in Mumbai, and Sudhir Dhawale who used to reside in his wife’s nursing quarters in Byculla in Mumbai.

Rahi, who was one of the main campaigners during the Tehri dam protest in the ’80s and ’90s, attended school and college in Mumbai and then moved on to complete his engineering degree from Benaras Hindu University. His daughter Sikha assisted Aamir Khan in ‘Taare Zameen Par‘.

Sources in the Gadchiroli police department said that there was intelligence input about a senior-level meeting of the Naxalites to be held in Abujmadh for which several top rebel leaders were to assemble. The police and intelligence wing is now scanning through the Naxal literatures and other related documents found with Rahi and Teerki.

The two were produced before a Gadchiroli court which remanded them to police custody for 13 days after being slapped with charges under relevant sections of Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act. The court has also extended the remand of Mishra and two others for another 13 days. Mishra was also allegedly carrying a microchip to be delivered to Narmada. The cops have now ‘cloned’ the microchip to uncover the contents.

Police feel that information regarding the Naxalites’ plans and networks in the metros as a part of their objective to spread the rebel movement in urban centres could be retrieved from the documents and records seized from Rahi and Mishra. The Naxalites’ aim to combine jungle welfare with urban movement is now well documented. A senior officer said that the seized materials would help corroborate and bring forth many new facets regarding Naxalites’ plans.

Rahi, who originally hails from Nashik, had earlier served a three-year term in Uttarakhand after being arrested by the police in Dehradun in 2007. Later, his wife Chandrakala Tiwari too had been picked up. According to the police, the couple was actively working with the Uttarakhand Zonal Committee of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). Rahi and Tiwari were released about 18 months ago.

DIG (Naxal Range) Ravindra Kadam said that Rahi has so far remained tight-lipped about his destination. “Rahi was accompanied by Vijay who claims to be a sarpanch from Beloda village of Kanker in Chhattisgarh but we strongly believe they have close links with the Naxalites,” said Kadam.

He added that the duo was set to enter Abujmadh on foot from Aldendi village after reaching there from Beloda on bike. It’s learnt that the cops had been trailing Rahi from Uttarakhand. He was pinned down through his mobile phone location in Delhi and Raipur before being finally trapped in Deori. “After nabbing Mishra, we knew that there was another person who would be heading towards Abujmadh accompanied by local guides. We also knew that he would be coming with important documents,” said Kadam.

Sources in the police department also claimed that Rahi worked with the front organizations like Forum Against War on People, Revolutionary Democratic Front (India) and Committee for Release of Political Prisoners.

Who is Prashant Rahi?

Grew up in Mumbai, studied at St Stanislaus School in Bandra, followed by Ruia College, Matunga.

Went on to study engineering at Banaras Hindu University in 1977.

At BHU, briefly met human rights activist Dr Binayak Sen and was inspired by his work in impoverished villages.

Was exposed to various youth movements and was involved in fighting for the rights of villagers in Uttar Pradesh. Was an integral part of the struggle against the Tehri dam.

Worked as a journalist with Himachal Times and the Statesman.

Arrested in December 2007, seven months after Sen was arrested on charges of sedition.

Spent three years and eight months in jails in Uttarakhand, including Haldwani, Udham Singh Nagar, Dehradun, Pauri Garhwal and Haridwar. Most of his prison years were spent in solitary confineme

Enhanced by Zemanta

Related posts

Resist Silent Emergency!-‘People’s Hearing on FABRICATED CASES’-Sept28-29

Dear Friends,

Sub: Invitation to a ‘PEOPLE’S HEARING ON FABRICATED CASES’

Venue: Constitution Club, New Delhi

Dates: September 28 – 29, 2012, Friday, Saturday.

The nightmare of the infamous Emergency of Mrs. Indira Gandhi was supposed to be over in 1977 when it was lifted after two years due to large scale public protest. Political parties, institutions and individuals who defended Emergency were discredited. The sigh of relief evoked a hope for a functioning democracy in India.

But today, we are entering into a similar phase of authoritarian governance without any formal declaration of Emergency. This Silent Emergency has regulated, controlled and restricted all space for democratic public protests against ruling governments. Custodial deaths and encounter killings have become a routine phenomenon. Rape, murder, loot, torture and arrests in Manipur, Nagaland and other north eastern states as well as Kashmir have even crossed the excesses of the Emergency period. Many discriminatory laws have been enacted to silence the Media without a censorship. Several discriminatory laws were enacted to enhance and strengthen the power of the State over civil society and crush dissent.

Laws to facilitate the corporate control and loot over the resources of people are being enacted. This has also become a major reason for the human rights violations against adivasis, dalits, minorities, farmers, fisher people, workers, activists and human rights movements. The human rights defenders who take up burning issues of the people are being targeted. False cases are being fabricated against activists, people’s movements, media, theatre activists, minorities, self-determination movements, dalits and adivasis in a major way. Thus thousands of innocent people are languishing in Indian jails without any trial.

In this context of the Silent Emergency in our country we would like to invite you to attend the ‘PEOPLE’S HEARING ON FABRICATED CASES’ which has the following objectives:

1. To defend fundamental rights, human rights and the Indian Constitution to preserve our democracy

2. To popularize some of the most brazen cases of fabrication of false charges against political dissidents and members of the Muslim, dalit and adivasi communities

3. To facilitate further legal action for freedom of these innocent people

4. To generate pressure on the mainstream media to play a more socially responsible role

5. To generate pressure on the institutions of Indian State for the release of undertrials.

The Programme:

The organizers expect the participation of around 50 victims, their family members or friends whose testimonies will be heard by a jury comprising of judges, lawyers, journalists, human rights activists and artists. After listening to all the presentations the Jury will report their observations and conclusions with clear recommendations for various institutions of the Indian State.

Organisers: Solidarity Youth MovementKerala, Indian Social Action Forum – INSAF, PUCL, AISA, SIO, Right to Food Campaign, KSMTF (Kerala Swathantra Matsya Tizhilali Federation), PPSS (Anti Posco Movement), ICR, Focus on the Global South, Justice for Maudany Forum, Visual Search, Moving Republic, SAHELI, Pedestrian Pictures, National Campaign Against Fabrication of False Cases, www.fabricated.in, Jamia Teachers Solidarity Assiciation, Jamia Student Solidarity Forum, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, National Adivasi Alliance, Kabani – The Other Direction, Human Rights Alert, Dalit Human Rights Movement (DHRM) – Kerala, Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity, Action for Social Equality, INSOCO – Indian Solidarity Committee for freedom democracy & human rights, Center for Harmony and Peace – Varanasi, PUDR, Socialist Front, Student of Resistance.
People’s Hearing on Fabricated Cases

Sept 28-29 Constitution Club, New Delhi

Programme Schedule

28-09-2012, Friday

Inaugural Session: 10am – 11.30am

11.30am – 1.30pm
Issue
Speaker

1
Koodankulam Anti Nuclear
P K Sundaram

2
Anti POSCO Struggle
Abhay Sahoo

3
Jaitapur Anti Nuclear
Vaishali Patil

4
Farmers Group, Madhya Pradesh
Dr. Sunilam

LUNCH BREAK

2.30pm – 6pm
Issue/Case
Speaker

5
Journalist Mhd Ahmed Kazmi
Shauzab Kazmi

6
Soni Sori
Himanshu Kumar

7
Gujarat Fabricated Cases
Zakiya Soman

8
Faseeh Mahmood
Sabih Mahmood, Manisha Sethi

9
Journalist Shahina KK
Shahina KK

10
Seema Azad, UP
Seema Azad

11
Jharkhand
Dayamani Barla

12
Odisha
Prafulla Samantara

13
Chattisgharh
Ajay T.G

14
DHRM, Kerala
Suresh

15
Email Surveillance Victims, Kerala
T. Mohammed Vellom
29-09-2012, Saturday

10am – 1.00pm
Issues
Speaker

16
Kashmir & North East
Anjum Zamrud Habib, Babloo Loitongbam, Kaka D Iralu, Neena Ningombam

17
Abdul Nasar Maudany
Dr. Sebastin Pol, Omar Mukhtar
LUNCH BREAK

2.00pm – 3.30pm
Issues
Speaker

1
Prisoners Issue
SAR Geelani

2
Repressive Laws
Preeti Chauhan, PUDR

3
Increasing repressive state under neoliberalism
Colin Gonsalves
3.30pm – 6.00pm

Concluding Session: Comments from the Jury

Jury:
Justice Rajindar Sachar
Dr. Binayak Sen
Saba Naqvi
Ajit Shahi
Dr. Ram Puniyani
K Satchidanandan

Related posts

Resist Silent Emergency!-‘People’s Hearing on FABRICATED CASES’-Sept28-29

Dear Friends,

Sub: Invitation to a ‘PEOPLE’S HEARING ON FABRICATED CASES’

Venue: Constitution Club, New Delhi

Dates: September 28 – 29, 2012, Friday, Saturday.

The nightmare of the infamous Emergency of Mrs. Indira Gandhi was supposed to be over in 1977 when it was lifted after two years due to large scale public protest. Political parties, institutions and individuals who defended Emergency were discredited. The sigh of relief evoked a hope for a functioning democracy in India.

But today, we are entering into a similar phase of authoritarian governance without any formal declaration of Emergency. This Silent Emergency has regulated, controlled and restricted all space for democratic public protests against ruling governments. Custodial deaths and encounter killings have become a routine phenomenon. Rape, murder, loot, torture and arrests in Manipur, Nagaland and other north eastern states as well as Kashmir have even crossed the excesses of the Emergency period. Many discriminatory laws have been enacted to silence the Media without a censorship. Several discriminatory laws were enacted to enhance and strengthen the power of the State over civil society and crush dissent.

Laws to facilitate the corporate control and loot over the resources of people are being enacted. This has also become a major reason for the human rights violations against adivasis, dalits, minorities, farmers, fisher people, workers, activists and human rights movements. The human rights defenders who take up burning issues of the people are being targeted. False cases are being fabricated against activists, people’s movements, media, theatre activists, minorities, self-determination movements, dalits and adivasis in a major way. Thus thousands of innocent people are languishing in Indian jails without any trial.

In this context of the Silent Emergency in our country we would like to invite you to attend the ‘PEOPLE’S HEARING ON FABRICATED CASES’ which has the following objectives:

1. To defend fundamental rights, human rights and the Indian Constitution to preserve our democracy

2. To popularize some of the most brazen cases of fabrication of false charges against political dissidents and members of the Muslim, dalit and adivasi communities

3. To facilitate further legal action for freedom of these innocent people

4. To generate pressure on the mainstream media to play a more socially responsible role

5. To generate pressure on the institutions of Indian State for the release of undertrials.

The Programme:

The organizers expect the participation of around 50 victims, their family members or friends whose testimonies will be heard by a jury comprising of judges, lawyers, journalists, human rights activists and artists. After listening to all the presentations the Jury will report their observations and conclusions with clear recommendations for various institutions of the Indian State.

Organisers: Solidarity Youth MovementKerala, Indian Social Action Forum – INSAF, PUCL, AISA, SIO, Right to Food Campaign, KSMTF (Kerala Swathantra Matsya Tizhilali Federation), PPSS (Anti Posco Movement), ICR, Focus on the Global South, Justice for Maudany Forum, Visual Search, Moving Republic, SAHELI, Pedestrian Pictures, National Campaign Against Fabrication of False Cases, www.fabricated.in, Jamia Teachers Solidarity Assiciation, Jamia Student Solidarity Forum, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, National Adivasi Alliance, Kabani – The Other Direction, Human Rights Alert, Dalit Human Rights Movement (DHRM) – Kerala, Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity, Action for Social Equality, INSOCO – Indian Solidarity Committee for freedom democracy & human rights, Center for Harmony and Peace – Varanasi, PUDR, Socialist Front, Student of Resistance.
People’s Hearing on Fabricated Cases

Sept 28-29 Constitution Club, New Delhi

Programme Schedule

28-09-2012, Friday

Inaugural Session: 10am – 11.30am

11.30am – 1.30pm
Issue
Speaker

1
Koodankulam Anti Nuclear
P K Sundaram

2
Anti POSCO Struggle
Abhay Sahoo

3
Jaitapur Anti Nuclear
Vaishali Patil

4
Farmers Group, Madhya Pradesh
Dr. Sunilam

LUNCH BREAK

2.30pm – 6pm
Issue/Case
Speaker

5
Journalist Mhd Ahmed Kazmi
Shauzab Kazmi

6
Soni Sori
Himanshu Kumar

7
Gujarat Fabricated Cases
Zakiya Soman

8
Faseeh Mahmood
Sabih Mahmood, Manisha Sethi

9
Journalist Shahina KK
Shahina KK

10
Seema Azad, UP
Seema Azad

11
Jharkhand
Dayamani Barla

12
Odisha
Prafulla Samantara

13
Chattisgharh
Ajay T.G

14
DHRM, Kerala
Suresh

15
Email Surveillance Victims, Kerala
T. Mohammed Vellom
29-09-2012, Saturday

10am – 1.00pm
Issues
Speaker

16
Kashmir & North East
Anjum Zamrud Habib, Babloo Loitongbam, Kaka D Iralu, Neena Ningombam

17
Abdul Nasar Maudany
Dr. Sebastin Pol, Omar Mukhtar
LUNCH BREAK

2.00pm – 3.30pm
Issues
Speaker

1
Prisoners Issue
SAR Geelani

2
Repressive Laws
Preeti Chauhan, PUDR

3
Increasing repressive state under neoliberalism
Colin Gonsalves
3.30pm – 6.00pm

Concluding Session: Comments from the Jury

Jury:
Justice Rajindar Sachar
Dr. Binayak Sen
Saba Naqvi
Ajit Shahi
Dr. Ram Puniyani
K Satchidanandan

Related posts

INVITATION- Seema Azad and Vishwavijay – speak in JNU on 3rd September

The singer was singing
And they question him
Why do you sing?
He answers them
as they seize him
Because I sing
And they have searched him:
In his breast only his heart
In his heart only his people
In his voice only his sorrow
In his sorrow only his prison
And they have searched his prison
To find only themselves in chains
Mahmoud Darwish

Friends,
As it is well known Seema Azad and Vishwavijay, two civil rights activists,

editor of a well known magazines and literary persons were arrested in
2010, were arrested from Khuldabad, Allahabad. Their ‘crime’ was that
they possessed literature of Bhagat Singh. The state saw them as ‘potential
terrorists’ as threat to the country. They were sentenced for life on charges
of criminal conspiracy, waging war and under several provisions of the
draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
As the Organising Secretary of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) in
Uttar Pradesh and editor of the  magazine Dastak Seema had
consistently reported and gave  voice to the growing dissent of the
people against the anti-people  policies of the government in the
form of Ganga Expressway which  brought forth the nexus of the
politicians, bureaucrats and the  land mafia. As we may recall the
Ganga Expressway can result in  the displacement of thousands of
peasantry. It was her initiative to  expose the increasing arbitrary
arrests, torture and incarceration  of Muslim youth in Azamgarh.

The magazine Dastak became a vehicle for expressing the voice of the
voiceless. And this is precisely what the government would want us to
believe as ‘waging war against the state’! And this is why the police officer
would find fault with both of them, for ‘waging war’ with the state, for
reading Bhagat Singh at a time when the state is flaunting a sham ‘growth
rate’, but the material condition of the people are deteriorating every day!
The verdict against Seema Azad and Vishwa Vijay w against the grain of
fundamental rights of the people of the subcontinent as it goes a long way
in criminally profiling any political dissent or opinion or even spreading
that as ‘waging war’ against the state. The state would tell us how we
should think and express ourselves. We can be only part of the state in
‘managing’ the perception of the people.

Seema and Vishwavijay were finally granted bail by the Allahabad High
Court this August. Huge public pressure that was mounted on the court by
consistent campaign by civil rights and democratic activists finally forced
the court to grant them bail. Although this is indeed a huge victory for the
democratic movement, it is also a grim reminder that even now thousands
of activists including cultural activists are still being incarcerated after
being framed as ‘terrorists’ or ‘extremists’ just because they dare to raise
their voices against exploitation and oppression of the people. Sudhir
Dhawale, Jeetan Marandi, Deepak Dengle or Utpal Bashke are a few
among the thousands who are languishing in various jails of the country,
charged with the ‘crime’ of being fearless cultural and literary activists who
stood by people’s resistance for land, livelihood and dignity. The fight to
release all these political prisoners must go on. As a part of that effort, we
invite you to this convention, where along with Seema and Vishwavijay
many other well known poets and writers will raise their voice against the
war that has been declared on our
fundamental rights by the Indian state.

उठाने ही होंगे  अभिव्यभि केख़तरे दमन के भख़लाफ़ प्रभतरोध की सस्ं कृभत

Uthane hi honge abhivyakti ke khatre: daman ke khilaf pratirodh ki sanskriti”

Speakers:
Seema Azad
Vishwavijay
Anjani
Manager pandey
Pankaj Bisht
Mangalesh Dabral
Madan Kas

Ranjit Verma
Neelabh Ashq
Anuj Lugun
Kapilesh Bhoj
Prashant Rahi
Vidrohi

3rd of September in SSS Auditorium JNU at 2pm.

Related posts

Calcutta High Court proposes equal facilities for all prisoners #goodnews #prisoner

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Kolkata, August 28, 2012

Image
There is good news for the thousands of prisoners, under trials or convicts, in Bengal. In its landmark verdict the Calcutta High Court on August 8 held that every prisoner, irrespective of class, colour, creed and race, was also entitled to special amenities provided for the political prisoners under the West Bengal Correction Services Act 1992. In his 30-page verdict, justice KS Ahluwalia held that what the Act proposes to give to the political prisoners are basic amenities, which are necessary for dignified human living, to which all prisoners ought to be entitled.

“Therefore, all these amenities except a separate kitchen should be provided to all prisoners. A common kitchen having proper hygiene and infrastructure run by the prisoners should be available to all the prisoners, irrespective of any class to which a prisoner belongs. For distribution of food, the State cannot create classes. However, it may provide food considering the health of an inmate.

A weak or sick may require healthier or special diet. Common reading room having newspapers, magazines and other books at fixed hours should be available to all prisoners,” the judge suggested.

“A slight improvement in the living conditions in prisons will erode the classification. Therefore, in changing times, the state is called upon to look into the provisions of the Act with a new humanistic approach and explore the feasibility that the prisons guided by reformative and restorative policy provide basic amenities to all and there remains no need to assign nomenclature to the prisoners for providing better facilities to one class ousting the other,” the judge said.

Holding the classification of prisoners and providing different amenities, prima facie, unconstitutional, the judge said: “To grade prisoners according to their status is alien to the constitution. There can be no distinction of a rich or poor prisoner and political prisoner or other prisoner while distributing basic amenities, which are necessary for a dignified human life.

The state, if it so desires, may consider to dispense with the classification of the prisoners and strive to make prisons the model jails as an example for other states to follow,” the judge said.

The judge ended his verdict by quoting the words of Nelson Mandela, who fought relentlessly against apartheid and remained confined for 27 years, for guiding the vision of everyone for betterment of jails: “It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones”.

Purulia armsdrop convict and British national, Peter Bleach, who spent eight years in a city jail, welcomed the verdict. “This ruling will have far reaching effects. It will assist in the extradition of wanted foreigners to India because it will reassure foreign courts that Indian courts will indeed intervene and ensure justice and fair treatment in jail,” Bleach told HT from London.

The ruling came on a batch of petitions filed by advocate Subhasish Roy on behalf of seven alleged Maoists, including Chhatradhar Mahato, who have also been charged with waging of war against the state, seeking the status of political prisoner.

Related posts