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CRPP: "Condemn the Illegal Detention of CPI (Maoist) leaders!

PRESS RELEASE (30/04/2011) --

Condemn the Illegal Detention of Central Committee Members of the CPI (Maoist) Vijay Kumar (Jaspal), Varanasi Subramaniam (Saroj), Jhantu Mukherjee along with Three Villagers by the Bihar Police! 
Demand the Immediate Production of the Six before a Court of Law!

According to media reports, three Central Committee members of the CPI (Maoist) - Vijay Kumar (Jaspal), Varanasi Subramaniam (Saroj) and Jhantu Mukherjee - along with three villagers Shyam Rishi, Aniruddha Rishidev and Mohammad, have been taken into custody after a joint operation by the Special Task Force (STF) of Bihar Police, Andhra Pradesh SIB and central intelligence agencies on 29 April 2009 from Basalgaon, Katihar district. In spite of repeated queries by civil rights activists and journalists, Bihar Police have declined to acknowledge the arrests.

Moreover, even after 24 hours have passed since the arrests, the police have not produced the six persons before a court of law. Bihar Police is therefore guilty of violating the law, which stipulates that any arrested person must be produced before a court within 24 hours. In the context of this denial and blatant flouting of the legal provisions, we at the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners believe that the lives of the six detainees are in danger, given the notorious track record of Bihar Police, AP SIB and central intelligence agencies in treating political prisoners in their custody. There have been reports that detainees and prisoners are routinely subjected to torture, brutalities and beating in the name of 'interrogation' by the police and intelligence agencies, even to the extent of committing custodial killings and fake encounters.

We strongly condemn the illegal detention of Vijay Kumar, Varanasi Subramaniam, Jhantu Mukherjee and the three villagers. We demand that they be produced before a court of law immediately, and be allowed access to lawyers of their choice. We also reiterate that the Indian State need to allow space for political dissent and not criminalise it by invoking draconian laws against dissident voices. CRPP therefore demands the unconditional release of the six political prisoners who are presently in custody of the Bihar Police.

In Solidarity,

Gurusharan Singh         President

Amit Bhattacharyya      Secretary General

SAR Geelani Working President

Rona Wilson                Secretary, Public Relations

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