Condemn the arrest of Comrade Hem on fake charges by the Maharashtra police! Resist the ongoing witch-hunt of students, intellectuals and activists who dare to stand up against systemic injustice, oppression and state repression! Immediately & Unconditionally release Hem who was on his way for medical treatment!

Democratic Students’ Union condemns in strongest possible terms the arbitrary arrest of Hem Mishra, one of our activists by the Maharshtra Police. Hem Mishra is from Almora, Uttarakhand. He is the son of K.D Mishra, a retired school teacher. Hem has done his diploma in Mass communication and B.Sc in Mathematics from Uttarakhand. In 2009 he joined BA programme in Center for Chinese Studies, in School of Language Literature and Cultural Studies. He is also a prominent cultural activist and singer. He is active in Democratic Students’ Union and Revolutionary Cultural Front. He is also an executive member of Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP). He is well known among the political circles in Delhi and Uttarakhand as a student and cultural activist.
Hem has been struggling over the years with certain physical challenges in his left hand. He has undergone repeated surgery and the ensuing complications left him in agonizing pain. He has had to undergo two rounds of expensive operations in the recent past from Vellore. He had on several occasions shared his wish to pay a visit to Prakash Amte’s People’s hospital in Bhamaragarh to enquire about the possibility of free treatment therein. Early this week he had left from Delhi with the same purpose and was picked up by the notorious Maharashtra police somewhere in Maharashtra on his way to the hospital. It was on the 24th of August that the police finally admitted his arrest and said he has been sent to Police custody for 10 days. Hem is well known in Delhi and Uttarakhand as a mass activist. Yet the police are trying to frame him with bogus charges like, he is a ‘prominent Naxal courier!!’

Hem has a played a major role in exposing as well as countering the anti-people designs of the state through songs, poetry, plays and street theatres in the capacity of a cultural activist lending his voice to that of the oppressed. He, as part of an organized politics, shares the vision for a radical social transformation of the society towards a new democratic society and a new democratic culture – free of oppression, injustice and inequality.

His arrest therefore doesn’t come as a shock. The state right now is in a spree to clamp down on students and democratic rights activists and trying to stifle voices of dissent. We strongly condemn this witch-hunt of activists. We must unitedly and resolutely fight the fascist designs of the state and its targeting of political activists. His arrest is in continuation of the ongoing clamp down on democratic rights activists that Hem has been framed with such false charges. We are witness to similar framing of Jayeeta Das a student and woman activist of Matangini Mahila Samity, the hounding and framing of Kabir Kala Manch activists and similar witch hunting of other democratic rights and cultural activists. We condemn this arbitrary arrest and demand his immediate and unconditional release.
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