CRPP (India): “Release Debolina Chakrabarti, a social activist and people’s leader!”


Debolina Chakrabarti (center) in 2010 (file photo)

Free six other activists imprisoned for their participation in the Nonadanga anti-eviction struggle!

COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS — Press Release– 17 April 2012

On 8th April 2012, a large police force arrested 69 persons from the Nonadanga area of East Kolkata when they were protesting against the eviction of hundreds of people, many of whom were forced to migrate and set up their abodes in that area after the Aila natural disaster. Among the protesters  were those who fell victims to this eviction drive initiated by the Mamata Banerjee-led government — men, women and children, as also some activists belonging to different democratic organizations, who thought it just to stand by the side of the victims and join their struggle for rehabilitation. In late evening, all but seven persons were released on PR bond. Among those arrested were Debolina Chakrabarti, Debjani Ghosh, Abhignan Sarkar, Prof. Partha Sarathi Roy, Dr. Siddhartha Gupta, Babun Chattopadhyay and Shamik Chankraborti. They were produced in court next day and all were remanded to police custody till 12th April. On 12th when they were produced, all of them were sent to jail custody till 21st April in the Nonadanga case. Surprisingly, in the evening when lawyers on the side of the accused have left or were about to leave, the CID put up papers in a secretive manner for the police remand of Debolina Chakrabarti in three other cases — two of which are old and allegedly connected with incidents that supposedly took place in Nandigram and Bishnupur.  The magistrate granted the prayer without listening to the response from the side of lawyers who stood by the accused. When it became known, there were protests from the side of other prisoners who took the stand that Debolina should not be taken for police remand and that they would not leave the court for jail unless all seven were taken together. Their resistance continued for some time until Debolina was forcibly taken alone by the CID in a police car to Bhabani Bhawan for interrogation.  The other six prisoners were sent to Alipur Central Jail. Debolina was tagged in a murder case under UAPA. Continue reading

Final Report and Resolution of the Delhi Convention on Kashmir-Azadi the Only Way

The convention on Kashmir that was held on the 21 October 2010 proved to be historic in every aspect given the topicality of the issue. As can be noticed from the title of the convention itself we at the CRPP [Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners] thought it necessary to pose the question directly, as the people of Kashmir in their persistent struggle for their right to self-determination braving the repressive apparatus of the Indian State had dared even in their death.

When people are being killed in hundreds; maimed, tortured, raped and put behind bars in thousands; it is of utmost significance as a responsible body which gives paramount importance to right to life, liberty and equality, right to freedom of speech and movement and last but not the least the fundamental right to raise one’s voice and resist all forms of oppression and exploitation, it was of necessity to stand up for the fundamental right of the people of Jammu &Kashmir—their inalienable right to determine their own future, their Right to Self Determination.

What better way can one make oneself democratic than to be in solidarity with the genuine urge of a people in their relentless struggle for their inalienable Right to Self-Determination. It is this conviction that has given us the strength to organize this convention. And we are confident that this convention would go a long way in the hearts and minds of all freedom loving people—who cherish the word justice—as a definite step in forging the solidarities of all who have been mistreated, discriminated, oppressed and exploited.

The following is a summary of the proceeding of the convention.

S A R Geelani, the Working President of the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) conducted and initiated the proceedings of the Convention on Kashmir titled ‘Azadi: The Only Way’, at the LTG Auditorium, New Delhi on 21 October 2010 by welcoming the chief guest, the speakers and the audience on behalf of CRPP. He recalled that in just the past four months, more than 100 people -mostly teenagers- have been martyred in Kashmir. He recounted how a small boy was brutally beaten to death by the CRPF, which was just one example of the untold atrocities and oppression committed by the occupation forces of India. Thousands have been injured, many have been blinded, raped, maimed and yet many are languishing in prison. Continue reading