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BackYou are here: NewsIndia Is Kalpana asking too much? - UAPA marches on


Is Kalpana asking too much? - UAPA marches on

By Nisha Biswas. Dec 28 2010.

West Bengal police's Special Task Force (STF) claimed to arrest five persons including Sudip Chongdar alias Kanchan, State Secretary of CPI(Maoist), Kalpana Maiti alias Anu, wife of senior Maoist leader Anil Ghosh alias Akash, Barun Sur alias Bidyut, and Anil Ghosh alias Bijoy, all members of state committee. Arrested too is Shankar Mallick alias Buchu, said to be a Maoist linkman. This happened on December 3, 2010, though it is said that they were picked a week before by state police.

All five, so far, have been produced in court four times for extension of police remand, which is now extended till December 31, 2010. This is the longest police remand, 30 days at a stretch, so far awarded to any person arrested under UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act). On all these days of Court production, all of them were brought hand tied and blind folded.

They also had to talk to their lawyer and sign on legal papers like Vakalat - Nama etc., blind folded. They were not even allowed to talk to their lawyer, leaving aside the presence of lawyer during interrogation according to NHRC guidelines. Their family members too are not allowed to meet them. Even Court too has denied them the right to meet their loved ones. Till date they are unable to provide them with additional set of clothes or warm clothes in this cold winter.

In the Court of Chief Metropolitan, all five of them including Kalpana Maiti are huddled together in Court lock-up. This kind of treatment towards a woman accused is unheard of. In Courtrooms where generally there is no separate lock-up for women, women accused are brought separately and are generally made to sit on a bench flanked by women guards. Kalpana Maiti is denied the minimum dignity that a woman commands. One wonders, if this is the kind of treatment Kalpana Maiti is receiving in a public place, what would be happening to her in secrecy in the name of interrogation?

December 27, 2010 was a heart wrenching experience in the Court of Chief Metropolitan. Not able to withstand indignity and torture, Kalpana Maiti sought permission from Court to say something. On not being allowed to speak, she started complaining on her own regarding the ill treatment and torture that she is meeting every moment of police custody. According to her, because of severe spodylitis she cannot sit for ten minutes, whereas in police custody she is made to sit for more than ten hours at a stretch every day. Though doctor has examined her and has prescribed medicine, no medicine is provided. With tears in her eyes and choked voice she complained in front of all that during her menstruation cycle, she is not provided with the sanitary napkins to maintain the necessary hygiene and is forced to suffer extreme indignity. Then her lawyer articulated her complaints before the honorable Court, but no remedy was provided. She was denied a life of dignity.

At a time when we are expressing our deep anguish, concern and anger on murder of justice in the case of Dr Vinayek Sen, Piyush Guha and Narayan Sanyal, it appears state's intolerance to dissent has reached unprecedented heights where basic humanity too is forgotten.