Cultural Activist-Prisoner Hem Mishra’s Letter from Nagpur Jail

Following is the translated (originally in Hindi) text of Hem Mishra’s letter, who is currently lodged in Nagpur Central Jail.

Friends,

Last month, 20th of August marked the completion of a year of my incarceration by the Maharashtra Police. In spite of being a cultural activist and a student of the well-known Jawaharlal Nehru University, I have been booked under several clauses of UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act). I have been imprisoned in the High Security Cell (called Anda Cell) of the Nagpur Jail in extreme segregation. On 6th September my bail petition was rejected in the Gadhchiroli sessions court of Maharashtra. Inside the closed doors of the jail, I had hoped that justice will shine through like a ray of light. But the rejection of my plea, has instead put my hopes to rest.

The court order denies my natural right to breathe in open air and live a free life. Today, through the efforts of many democratic and progressive individuals and organisations, it has been ensured that the process of seeking bail from the court should begin as soon as possible. It has become a burning issue in the country today, that how the powers-that-be find it convenient to prey on dissenters and imprison them in thousands, in various jails of the country. It is due to the efforts of democratic and progressive people that even the Supreme Court has come to the conclusion that the right to seek bail has to be ensured to all prisoners-under-law. From time to time, the Supreme Court has given specific directives to lower courts as well to ensure this. Despite all these the Gadhchiroli Sessions has refused to accept my bail petition and enforced further confinement on a cultural activist.

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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