Category Archives: Other Political Prisoners in India

[Fabricated] Fact Sheet: Miscarriage of Justice in the Seema Azad and Vishwa Vijay Case

The case of Seema Azad and her husband Vishwa Vijay is based upon instructions from higher authorities to arrest them. The case of the prosecution in the FIR quite clearly shows that they were arrested on such instructions. The material allegations in the FIR are as follows:

Read the rest of the article here.

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[Amnesty International] EXECUTION OF BALWANT SINGH WOULD BE A STEP BACK FOR INDIA

The execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana must be halted and an official moratorium on capital punishment established in India, Amnesty International said in an open letter to the country’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Balwant Singh’s execution is scheduled for 31 March 2012, in Punjab state.

Read the whole press release here.

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[Status Message] Tribals Caught in Penal and Forest Offences

Mersingh Korku a feeble man, aged 75 years, of Ghorpadmal; a remote tribal village of Betul district, has been threat to state so much so that there are half a dozen cases filed against him, and together two dozen against his fellow village man. When tribal of Ghorpadmal of Betul district were arrested two months back, it took them 45 days and had cost 15 thousand rupees to secure bail, as their files were missing. Yet they have two dozen cases in which they could not secure bail, as they have no money to apply for bail, there is permanent arrest warrant issued against them, magistrate was considerate enough to grant them bail in one case.

Tribals of Betul and Harda district, associated with Shramik Adivasi Sangathan, are trapped into vicious circle cases of penal and forest offences, filed by authorities in retaliation during 2003 to 2007. Many of them have 4 to 5 cases each against them, by the time they arrange bail in second, they realize that they have jumped bail in first one as they have not attendant hearing, the reason being; tribal sometimes were out on work; have no money. Our tribal activists have as many as 60 cases against them; in many cases there is permanent arrest warrant issued against them.

We need support to secure bail and fight these cases. Money can be sent directly or through Cheque to the account of Anurag Modi, CBI, Betul, IFS code cbin0281071. A/CNo 1293382984. Anyone donating around ten thousand need 80G exemptions may contact. Queries are welcome at sasbetul@yahoo.com

Anurag Modi/Shamim Modi

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[Koodankulam] Statement issued by human rights activists today about the Arrests of Satish kumar and Vanni Arasu

We, the undersigned would like to call attention to a news item that appeared in The Hindu, dated March 24, 2012. Titled, Youth Leader held on Sedition Charges, the report goes on to speak of Satish alias Satish Kumar (30), State Convenor of Tamilaga Ilaignar Ezuchi Pasarai being held on sedition charges.

We are astonished and shocked at this piece of news. Satish Kumar was indeed arrested on March 23, 2012, but according to information received by his family, he has been charged with Sections 143, 188 and 34 of the IPC, none of which has anything to do with ‘sedition’. Section 143 (Unlawful Assembly), Section 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), Section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).
Satish Kumar was one amongst many hundreds who participated in a rally that was held in Tirunelveli on March 23. Many of the rallyists including MDMK leader Vaiko and Periyar DK leader Kolathur Mani, were arrested. While the others were released, Satish was not. Contrary to all established procedure he was arrested, kept in an unknown place for several hours and produced before a magistrate around midnight. He was subsequently remanded and lodged in Palayamkottai jail.
The news report however does not state any of this, and instead notes that he was apprehended in the district when he arrived there on Friday. The news report further notes that Satish Kumar is believed to be associated with the agitation against the Kudangulam Nuclear Power Plant. The report also quotes Tirunelveli Deputy Inspector General of Police V Varadaraju as saying that the ‘accused’ was involved in a case pertaining to the training of suspected Maoist cadres in 2002.

We are shocked that the actual details of the arrest are sought to be overwritten by statements that suggest Satish Kumar was engaged in seditious activity. We are particularly concerned that this is not the only instance where those who have protested against the Kudangulam plant are being subject to arbitrary arrests. Mukilan another anti-Kudankulam protester was arrested some days ago and Vanniarasu who was present at the March 23 rally was arrested subsequent to Satish Kumar’s arrest.

Given the nature of these arrests, we are forced to conclude that the police are engaged in weaving a conspiracy around the three arrested men with the intention of implicating them in false sedition charges. We also strongly condemn these and other attempts to malign and criminalise those who are engaged in a peaceful and legitimate struggle against the Kudangulam Nuclear Plant.

We demand that all three men be immediately released.

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[Death Penalty] Balwant Singh Rajoana to be Killed by Hanging, on 31 March 2012 at 9am in Central Jail, Patiala

From the Worldwide Sikh Diaspora

[…] a delegation of Sikhs from a number of countries will later this morning meet with UN officials in Geneva and make a submission to the UN Human Rights Council. The submission will request the UN to take action against India to end the death penalty.

The submission produced by the Sikh Federation (UK) states: ‘the first step is to put pressure on India to endorse the moratorium at the General Assembly of the UN later this year with a view to exerting sufficient pressure so India completely abolishes the death penalty within 12 months.’

Sikhs will also be requesting an immediate public statement from the UN Human Rights Council condemning the imminent execution of Balwant Singh […]

From DNA: Execution of Balwant Singh taking political overtures

The execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana, a co-accused in the killing of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh in 1995, is taking political connotations in the state even as top leadership of main parties SAD and Congress treaded cautiously on the issue here today.

[…]

Beant Singh was killed in the high-security Punjab civil secretariat in Chandigarh, when a suicide bomber, Dilawar Singh, blew himself up, on August 31, 1995. Rajoana was the second human bomb to be used in case Dilawar failed in his mission.

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[Tehelka] Student, Activist, Naxalite? Framed!

The story of Vittala is uncannily similar to Lingaram Kodopi. On 10 September 2011, Kodopi, a tribal journalist from Chhattisgarh, was arrested and falsely accused of being a Maoist. Vittala’s story is no different. The 22-year-old tribal, a first-year student of Mass Communication and Journalism from Mangalore University and his father were arrested from their house by the elite anti-Naxal force (ANF) of the Karnataka Police on charges of aiding Maoists.

[…]

Vittala and his father have been booked under Sections 10 and 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and under Sections 34 and 121 of the Indian Penal Code. During the search of the house, the police claims to have found handbills, paper cuttings on Naxal issues, binoculars and other related materials.

“The binoculars recovered from him were purchased four years ago during the Laksha Deepotsava festival in Dharmasthala,” says Vittala’s friends. “The handbills were of DYFI programmes and other than that, the police recovered 250 gm of tea and sugar from his house.” […]

Read the full article here.

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[Resist POSCO] Open Letter to Naveen Pattnaik, CM of Odisha State Re: POSCO-related Attacks on Villagers

Open Letter by Korean Organisations to Naveen Pattnaik, the Chief Minister of Odisha State, India

The Chief Minister of Odisha State, Naveen Pattnaik
Bhubaneswar-751001.
Odisha, India
March 23, 2012

We -human rights, labor, and civic organizations in Korea- are writing to you with our deep concern regarding the current attacks continuously made to villagers who are opposing the construction of POSCO steel plant.

Even 6 years have been passed since the project in Odisha State had begun, POSCO could never have had approval from the villagers. And conflicts surrounding the construction of ironworks are continued.

The villagers made their peaceful resistance lying down on the roads while the government of Odisha State mobilizing the police to take their lands by force. This was on the rise to international community, including Korea, as a human rights issue.

Recent few months, however, the villagers and Anti-POSCO activists are being attacked by anonymous groups of armed men. On December 14, one person was killed and many were injured by a group of armed mafias while protesting. Bapi Sharkel is suspected to be the leader of this attack, however, Odisha police had not made proper investigation on this. Rather, questions are suggested that Odisha State is securing him.

Odisha State had not made fair work on Bapi Sarkhel, principal offender of the violence on December 14, and even had released him on February 29. And after 2 days from his release, another villager was attacked by an unidentified armed man.

A group of armed men came around 1PM on March 2, 2012 and took away Umakant Biswal, a known activist of the Anti-POSCO struggle. We got reports that he has been kept in Paradip police station and is being physically and mentally tortured. We do not know whether the attackers were the police, or the group of Bapi Sarkhel. What is certain, however, is that Umakant Biswal, who was injured, could not exercise his legal rights. We are aware of the fact that, as per the Indian Criminal code, the police are supposed to produce him before the magistrate within 24 hours of arrest. However, more than 24 hours have passed but he has not been produced before the magistrate. No one including the villagers, lawyer or even the parents is allowed to meet him in the police station.

We are concerning on the reason that why Bapi Sarkhel didn’t went through appropriate investigation and the testimony that he had received all kind of conveniences. Also, we strongly question the correlation between his release and the violence 2 days after that. If POSCO and the Odisha State government who wants to push ahead the construction are behind this series of incidents, this is gross abuse of human rights as well as significant part that damages the legitimacy of POSCO project.

There are many cases in korea which government and corporations oppressed the resistance of civilians by mobilizing gangsters over developments. The development project that does not protect right to life and right to live could never be successful.

We request Naveen Pattnaik, the Chief Minister of Odisha State

– To make thorough investigation into Bapi Sarkhel, including the criminals of the violence on December 14, 2011.

– To punish the offenders who had attacked Umakant Biswal and the police who had violated the article 57 of the code of criminal procedure and had refused to hospitalizing and conference with attorney.

– To stop the suppression on the villagers who oppose the construction of POSCO.

– Not to push ahead the construction without the consent of villagers.

Sincerely yours,

Advocates Public Interests Lawyers
Corporation For All
Energy & Climate Policy Institute for Just Transition
International Solidarity Committee of Minbyun
Korean House for International Solidarity
Korean Lawyers for Public Interest and Human Rights
Network for Glocal Activism
People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy
People’s Solidarity for Social Progress
Public Interest Lawyers’ Group Gonggam
SARANGBANG group for human rights

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[Kracktivist] Hunger Strike by more than 200 Political Prisoners in Maharashtra

Today, 23rd March, day of hanging of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukdev were hanged in jail by the British, is being observed by a day-long hunger strike by over 200 `political prisoners‘ in various jails in Maharashtra, including the Angela Sontakkey and four women prisoners in Byculla women’s jail and Sidharth Bhosale and Deepak Dengle of Kabir Kala Manch who are lodged at Arthur Road jail. […]

Go here for the entire post.

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[Resist POSCO] More Leaders of the Anti-POSCO Movement still in Jail under False Charges – Join the Struggle

Though Abhai Sahoo, the leader of anti-POSCO movement, was released on bail, there are five more activists, including former CPI MLA Narayan Reddy, from the movement is still in jail with fabricated false charges. The police also fabricated cases against Prasanth Paikre, the second most leader of the movement, and he is now in underground. Odisha State Government and police are trying to suppress the movement by fabricating false cases against leaders and activists. Around 800 activists are facing 200 fabricated false cases in the anti-POSCO movement. The movement is struggling hard to mobilize finance and legal help for those who are in jail. Please call up on your friends to mobilize support for the anti-POSCO movement.

One of the comments from this post:

Thanks for asking if you can do something. All of us can do a lot within our limitations. Please see if you can involve yourself in either one or more of the following actions: 1. You can make more friends in this group and ask your friends to make more friends and supporters for the anti-POSCO struggle. 2. The struggle needs financial resources. If you can collect support, we can connect you to the right person in the movement. 3. The struggle needs support of various skills, in writing, medical care, posters, video documentation, legal aid, etc. Perhaps you may be able to contribute in any of these. 4. Support through solidarity meetings or protests needs to be organised in different parts of the country. This is also one of the areas of involvement. 5. Fact-finding teams can be sent to the anti-POSCO movement and then, such a report can be publicised. And I am sure, if all of us think together, many other ways of support can be thought of. Do respond.

Here’s the facebook group: Resist POSCO

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