India: Political Prisoner Saibaba on Hunger Strike for Basic Rights

Press Release

Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners

Condemn The Continuing Incarceration And Violation Of The Rights And Dignity Of Political Prisoner Dr. G N Saibaba!
  • The Case Of Dr. G N Saibaba Exposes The Vindictive Nature Of A Legally Challenged System!
  • Release Dr. G N Saibaba Unconditionally!

 

Image result for Dr. GN Saibaba

Eleven months have passed after Dr. GN Saibaba was abducted from the Delhi University North Campus premises on 09 May 2014 by the Maharashtra police. Dr. Saibaba was produced in the remote far flung Aheri police station in the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border to be charged under several sections of the worst draconian legislation the UAPA. Dr. GN Saibaba, joint secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) and a tireless campaigner against the policies of loot and plunder of the successive governments in India, euphemistically called as Operation Green Hunt (OGH) had become the target of ire of the state with mounting criticism from the opinionated sections of the progressive, liberal middle-class as well as the rising protests of the vast sections of the people against the so-called development policies of the government which would and is resulting in the loss of livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of dalits and adivasis—the poorest of the poor in the subcontinent.

In the last eleven months of his incarceration, Dr. Saibaba has repeatedly brought before the court as well as the jail authorities the pressing need for his grant of bail, not on any humanitarian grounds, but on the merit of law as sanctioned by the provisions that are there for the differently-abled. He has pointed out to the judge in many of the video conferences—as he was produced in the court only once and the rest of the dates of hearing / production have been met through the video conference facility, which is also a grievous infringement of his fundamental right—that the facilities in the Nagpur Central Jail are little or none to meet even the survival requirements of a 90 percent disabled and wheel chair bound person like him. But as we can see, the court preferred to stand by the prosecution, in an atmosphere vitiated by the media which profiled the wheel chair bound activist academic as a dreaded and dangerous demagogue having links with a proscribed organization, the CPI (Maoist). In the due course of his fight for justice through his lawyers, Dr. Saibaba’s plea for bail was twice rejected by the Sessions Court of Gadchiroli and once by the Nagpur bench of the Maharashtra High Court. But the facts can’t be belied. Saibaba’s concern about his fragile health grew larger as he was diagnosed with a bend spinal cord resulting in rib crowding and the lungs getting affected. Being a heart patient the troubles with his heart further compounded and the latest medical report requires him to undergo an angiography the post-recovery of which can be fatal in the prison stay. Further tests showed stones in the gall bladder. Continue reading

India: New Arrest in Kerala Spurs Broad Protests

[Continuing the ever-intensifying state repression of democratic and dissenting activists, the recent arrests in Kerala State of India have brought new waves of angry protest and demands for the release of political prisoners.  See the following statements from the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP), followed by the statement from the Democratic Student Union (DSU).  —  Frontlines ed.]

Release Thusar and Jaison Cooper!

release1Statement by the Committee for the release of Political Prisoners

31 January 2015

Condemn the arrest of Thusar Nirmal Sarathy, Secretary Kerala Chapter, CRPP and Jaison Cooper, People’s Activist.

Release Thusar Nirmal Sarathy and Jaison Cooper Immediately, Unconditionally

Friday, the 30th January turned out to be a day when the Kerala state machinery and its lawless police brazenly demonstrated yet again that they can’t for once uphold the law of the land while dealing with political dissent of any nature. If post-1947 India have demonstrated that successive governments at the centre or the states used its police and the state machinery for targeting political rivals from different political combinations of the day, it is incriminating to note that all the governments that occupied power throughout the last 68 years have been unequivocal in maintaining the state of permanent emergency for tackling political dissent of the people!

On the 30 January 2015, the Kerala police and the special branch arrested Jaison Cooper in Ernakulam from his work place and Adv. Thushar Nirmal Sarathy from Calicut while he was addressing the press about a protest programme to be held there the following day against the increasing violations of the fundamental rights of the people in the state. At the same time, the police raided the residences of Thushar Sarathy, Advocate Manuel Joseph who is a people’s activist, Ms. Jolly Chirayath, convener of the Women’s Collective, and a artist activist. From the residence of Thushar Sarathy the police took away several case files without even bothering to record the list of the ‘seizures’ that they have done. Even the search was conducted without any warrant being shown to the custodians of the residences.

As increasing instances of impunity have become the hallmark of the police and investigating agencies in the Indian subcontinent with the Kerala police refusing to be different, one can only foresee a motivated police out to incriminate, frame those who are critically looking at the policies of the government. For the police, the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the constitution of the largest democracy seemed to, for every practical purpose, remain in permanent suspension, all in the name of ‘national interest’, ‘national security’ and last but not the least that weapon of mass destruction—‘development’.

Continue reading

UK: Human Rights Activists and Lawyers Protest Political Arrest of GN Saibaba in India

[The following letter from British human rights activists and lawyers is an important internationalist act in solidarity with political prisoners in India, and particularly Professor GN Saibaba.  And it is doubly important for coming from the UK, where the repressive system of colonial laws in India was created, and continues under the purportedly “independent” and “democratic” regime in India today.  In 2012, the Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) in India wrote, “…the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) (1967) …. was copied from the Armed Forces Special Powers Ordinance brought by the British in 1942. Today the same law has been revamped with more teeth and implemented. Since the 1950s till date every draconian law that received the gravest wrath of the masses of the people was then rehashed into another law with yet stringent clauses. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that the present UAPA is in a way a clever rehashing of the old MISA, NSA, TADA, POTA etc. rolled into one made more stringent with the worst kind of clauses to stifle all forms of dissent.” — Frontlines ed.]

June 20, 2014
Letter to the Chief Justice : Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC)
http://www.campacc.org.uk

Your Honour,
We the undersigned would like to express our concern over the manner in which the government is increasingly resorting to the indiscriminate use of custody. In particular, the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 2008 (UAPA) is being abused indiscriminately to harass, intimidate and dissenting voices. This is part of the escalating effort to impede free speech and even thought, contrary to the Constitution of India as well as International principles of Human Rights. Such actions become pernicious in the context of the wide-ranging powers and impunity that have been available to the police and paramilitary forces under this Act. This is illustrated by the fact that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has reportedly issued instructions that persons and organizations who raise issues of human rights violations in Maoist areas must be targeted and arrested.
The recent abduction of Dr. G. N. Saibaba was particularly shocking. Dr. G N Saibaba, Asst. Professor with the Department of English, Ram Lal Anand College, Delhi University, was arrested by the Maharashtra Police on 9 May 2014 for his alleged links with Naxal leaders. He has been an active member of the Delhi University community, a very popular and respected teacher, and an important voice on democratic norms within and outside the university. He has been a vocal and important critic of the Indian state’s policies with regard to its paramilitary action in Central and Eastern tribal areas, commonly known as Operation Green Hunt. Along with other intellectuals, he has drawn attention to the blatant human rights violations of the Adivasi peoples of these regions. In particular, he has pointed out the enormous financial stakes in claiming the region for private industrial and commercial development at several national and international forums. Along with other intellectuals, he has criticized such models of “development” and their usefulness for the local populace in any participatory democracy. His sustained critique has earned him the ire of the powers that be. For some time now, they have been looking for a way to silence this very significant voice.
Dr. Saibaba is wheelchair bound, suffers from 90% disability and post-polio residual paralysis of both lower limbs. He poses no flight risk whatsoever. He is also a heart patient with blood pressure issues. Furthermore, he suffers from chronic and intense back pain as a result of the disability and being wheelchair bound. He has always cooperated fully with the investigation and did not need to be arrested. The National Human Rights Commission has already issued notice to the Maharashtra and Delhi police forces for violation of Dr. Saibaba’s rights in the course of the earlier investigation. Continue reading

India: Political Prisoner Advocates Declare Unity with Palestinian Prisoners, Hunger Strikers

CRPP Statement on the struggle of Palestinian prisoners lodged in Israeli prisons

COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

185/3 FOURTH FLOOR, ZAKIR NAGAR, NEW DELHI—110025
12 June 2014

A large number of Palestinians now incarcerated in the Israeli prisons have begun an indefinite hunger strike since 24 April 2014 against the Zionist policy of “administrative detention” of Palestinians fighting for justice, dignity and a separate independent state for the Palestinian people. A group of 120 Palestinian political prisoners started a hunger strike and were later joined by more inmates and the strike has entered its 46th day today. This policy of administrative detention is but imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israel to imprison Palestinians for up to six months initially and then extend it for indefinite periods of time which can go to years together.

The conditions inside prisons are abysmal. According to WAFA Palestinian News & Information Agency, in the face of this hunger strike, Israeli Prison Service, in a mad rage for vengeance, has ordered prison guards to treat the inmates brutally. They have been holding prisoners on hunger-strike in solitary confinement and have also confiscated their belongings, except for their clothes, as a means of exerting pressure over them to end their strike.

According to the Press TV, the health conditions of many of the striking prisoners held in solitary confinement are critical. More than 100 prisoners have been sent to hospital for medical care. “The weight of striking prisoners has gone down by an average of 16 kgs”, said Jawad Bolus, a Palestinian lawyer who visited eight of the hospitalized inmates, according to The Jerusalem Post. Continue reading

Nehru U. Students/Cultural Activists branded “Naxals”, arrested

[Political protests and cultural expressions of oppoosition to the repressive and undemocratic Indian state continue to grow, and the States’ response continues to be: slander the opposition, call all activists “Naxals” or “Maoists”, and round them up for some combination of interrogation, torture, or disappearance–and thereby create a climate of fear for other activists and political opponents.  It is the common method of repressive regimes everywhere, including India. — Frontlines ed.]

  26 August 2013
by Nupur Sonar, Tehelka
JNU Student arrested in Gadhchiroli for alleged Naxal links

August 25, 2013

Hem Mishra, a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and executive
member of Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) was arrested
along with two others by the Gadhchiroli police in Aheri on Friday morning
for having alleged Naxal links. The two others identified as Mahesh Tirki
and Ram Purate belong to Murawala region.

Although reports of his arrest have been rife in some sections of the local
and national media since this morning, the police had neither confirmed nor
denied his arrest. However, speaking to TEHELKA, DIG Ravindra Kadam has now
confirmed the arrest.  “A courier from senior most female Naxal leader
Narmada Akka was recovered from Mishra apart from other ‘incriminating
material’ and he was seen moving around suspiciously in the area for two
days prior to his arrest,” he said. Continue reading

India: Human rights activists urged to unite the struggles to free political prisoners

Release political prisoners unconditionally: CRPP

By Mohd. Ismail Khan, TwoCircles.net

Hyderabad, 24 March 2012: ‘Human rights activists should work together in cooperation, not in competition like different sects’, said well-known writer and human rights activist Arundhati Roy. She was speaking at a meeting organized by the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) A.P. chapter on the occasion of the 80 death anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh.

Two locks opened in 1991 to divide depressed classes

She said, in 1991 two locks were opened in this country, one was the lock of Babri Masjid, and other was of the Indian markets. “The demolition of the Babri Masjid and the opening up of Indian markets were a deliberate attempt to weaken opposition to India becoming an ally of the US,” she said.

Arundhati Roy addressing the CRPP meeting in Hyderbad on 23rd March 2012According to Mrs. Roy those two factors were used by different governments to divide the depressed classes and to isolate them. “Babri Masjid demolition was used to terrorize and demonize Indian Muslim community, whereas 1991 reforms were used against Tribals and to help corporate houses to exploit depressed classes,” she added.

She further said that the US relationship has never benefited any country in the world. She gave the example of turmoil, and civil war kind of situation in Pakistan which according to her is the result of US strategic partnership.

She warned India of same fate if it gets closer to US. “Indo-US relations were a ‘theatrical drama’ enacted to induce India to support the US with a view to isolate Iran on one hand and to help build a cold war situation in China. India had acceded to the US at every stage right from buying nuclear reactors to opening up foreign direct investment. The big investments right now were in the education sector wherein US universities wanted to set up franchises in India. That is why all universities in India were shifting to the semester system of examinations like in the US. It was also not a coincidence that spiritual leader Sri Sri Sri Ravi Shankar insisted that education should be privatized.”

Ending her speech she urged the audience to give up the narrow thinking of political prisoners, and widen its meaning which includes every person who is in jail in any false case, even if the case is so petty like pick pocketing. Continue reading

CRPP slams the designs of the Indian government to silence voices of dissent

COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

185/3, FOURTH FLOOR, ZAKIR NAGAR, NEW DELHI-25

Date: 26/10/10

Condemn strongly fascist designs of the Indian government to silence voices of dissent!

Condemn strongly the move to put Arundhati Roy and Syed Ali Shah Geelani under charges of sedition!

Ever since the historic convention in Delhi titled “Azadi: The Only Way” organised by the CRPP, the media is abuzz with reports of possible cases of ‘sedition’ against some of the main speakers in the convention. The names that are being cited keeps changing with the imagination of the concerned media houses.

The hype has become so high that now rather than discussing the serious issues pertaining to the political aspirations of the people of Jammu & Kashmir that was deliberated by one and all in the convention the issue has got subverted into a conflated, convenient binary of that what is euphemistically called as ‘seditious’ or ‘non-seditious’.

The word ‘sedition’ itself is of colonial descent conveniently used by the British colonisers to prevail upon and browbeat the freedom loving people of the subcontinent into submission. Today the Indian government along with an obliging media and a jingoist communal Sangh Parivar led by BJP on tow is deploying the same words to force through a pigeon hole sense of national chauvinism in the name of the vast sections of the people of this subcontinent. Continue reading