India: Government attacks the poor under sham pretense–thousands arrested falsely or disappeared

Counter terror ops a facade for anti-people policies, say activists

New Delhi | Deccan Herald | 26 June 2012

Cases of men and women disappearing, false cases and illegal detentions have become rampant in the name of fighting “maoism and terrorism”, alleged activists at a convention held in Delhi on Tuesday.

Activists demanded withdrawal of the undeclared emergency imposed in 1975 terming it as a “draconian law” at the convention held on Anti-emergency Day observed on June 26. They said that a new wave of “counter terrorism” has been evolved “in the name of IPC” to terrorise people from backward communities.

Kuldip Nayar, who has been raising concerns over undeclared emergency for several years said, “In June 1975 the press was stopped because the government decided to impose censorship. But some media publications fought back. Similarly, today people need to fight back rather than depending on the government.”

Dr Binayak Sen, who spent two and a half years in prison said, “I took this message while walking out of the prison that it is our duty to fight for thousands who are imprisoned for no reason.”

Chandrakala, who was imprisoned for 15 months in Uttarakhand said commoners cannot raise their voice against wrong doings of the government despite living in a democratic society.

Activists demanded release of Seema Azad, a journalist and her husband Vishwa Vijay who were arrested in Allahabad two years ago on grounds of being associated with the Communist Party of India (maoist) and waging war against the government.

The sessions court at Allahabad had announced life imprisonment to both Seema and Vishwa on June 8, 2012.

Ravi Kiran Jain, senior advocate with Allahabad High Court who argued Seema’s case pointed out that no investigation was carried out beyond the FIR filed in June 2010 to prove that they pose national threat.

The convention highlighted that several people are picked up and labeled as “threat to national security” without a proof. “Close to 6,800 people have been wrongly arrested in Tamil Nadu and the situation is similar across the country,” said Bhasha, member of Jan Sanskriti Manch.

Nearly 1,700 poor people are imprisoned in Chattisgarh without a particular reason, said Swami Agnivesh.

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