Days after he was released from the Visakhapatnam Central Prison in Andhra Pradesh, Maoist ideologue Kobad Ghandy was arrested by the Jharkhand police in Achampet in Telangana’s Nagarkurnool district on Saturday.
According to reports, Ghandy was at an Achampet court for a hearing on an old case, following which he planned to travel to Mumbai.
DC reported that the case which was pending since 2010, and pertained to an attack on the Amrabad police station, where Ghandy was charged with possessing explosives to help the Maoists.
A soon as Ghandy came out of the Achampet court, a police team from Jharkhand was waiting outside and whisked him away. It was also reported that the team was accompanied by officials from the Andhra Pradesh State Intelligence Bureau (APSIB).
Activists protested after the Jharkand police allegedly flew him to Ranchi without producing him in a Hyderabad court, citing paucity of time.
The Civil Liberties Committee (CLC) has also condemned the arrest of Kobad, terming it as “illegal detention.”
Soon after his arrest, a hand written press note, purportedly written by Ghandy began doing the rounds on social media.
“After being acquitted in all cases and spending eight years and three months in jail, when I, Kobad Ghandy was finally released from jail, I was re-arrested by the Jharkhand Police just three days after release. On Dec 16, 2017, I was attending the Achempet Court (near Hyderabad), the Jharkhand, accompanied by the APSIB arrested me and took me by flight to Ranchi,” the letter read.
“I am 71 years old and have serious health ailments. Immediately after release, I had a check-up at the Apollo Hospital, Hyderabad, which recommended at least one month’s complete rest. It is clear the police methods are being used to kill legally, given I am 71 years old and in very poor health. Since seven years, they did not bother about this case, but in order to keep me in jail as an undertrial indefinitely, they arrested me immediately on release,” he added.
In conclusion, the letter signed by Ghandy says, “If anything serious happens to my health in jail with this arrest, I will hold the government responsible. Given that I have been acquitted in all cases, that most have been acquitted in this case, and my age and health condition, demand my immediate release.”
The top leader of outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist, who was facing trial in several cases including murder and sabotage, was granted bail by courts in five cases.
Ghandy was brought to the jail in Visakhapatnam in April this year in connection with eight cases but was acquitted in three of them.
Arrested in Delhi in 2009 when he was trying to set up a network in the national capital, Ghandy was charged under the Explosive Substances Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Indian Penal Code.
He was initially lodged in Cherlapally central jail in Hyderabad for three months in connection with the assassination of former Congress legislator C. Narsi Reddy in August 2005.
Ghandy was also facing trial in the murder of former Andhra Pradesh Assembly speaker D. Sripada Rao in 1999 and for a conspiracy to kill the personnel of anti-Maoist force Greyhounds and police in Gunurkayi village of Visakhapatnam district in 2008.
According to police, the former member of the Central Committee of Maoist outfit was allegedly operating with several alias including Azad, Aravind, Kamal and Saleem and had links with revolutionary groups in various countries including Philippines, Peru and Nepal.
In 2015, the ailing Maoist leader went on a hunger strike in Tihar Jail to protest his repeated transfer in jail wards.
He was acquitted by Delhi’s Patiala House Court last year but he remained in prison due to other cases pending against him.
Ghandy, who studied in prestigious Doon School in Dehradun and Elphinstone College, Mumbai, was reportedly elected to the Maoist Politburo in 2007 and went underground after the merger of the Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist People’s War Group and the Maoist Communist Centre of India in 2004.