Appeal for release of aged and ailing Mr. Sushil Roy, a Maoist leader
17 September 2012
National Human Rights Commission
New Delhi - 1
Here I want to bring a chronological report on Mr. Sushil Roy, a ‘Maoist’ leader now in All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS)- New Delhi into your notice. This aged and ailing person has spent more than 7 years in prisons of West Bengal and Jharkhand. The report is self explanatory one.
Mr. Sushil Roy, son of Late Sukhendu Bhushan Roy, resident of c/o Dr. Shyamal C. Roy, North Dhalua, Garia, P.S. Sonarpur, Kolkata – 700152, West Bengal, at present lodged in prison; Giridih Mandal Kara, District Giridih, Jharkhand is an ailing senior citizen of India aged 75 years 8 months, he has entered his eighth year of incarceration ever since his arrest in the last week of May, 2005. He is both old and extremely weak; virtually in a crippled condition due to several ailments as of now. It was during this period of incarceration that he experienced a sharp deterioration in his health and overall physical condition. He lost vision in his left eye following a cataract operation, and the other eye was also damaged owing to recurring internal hemorrhage caused by high blood pressure. He has thus been pushed to the edge of the abyss of total blindness during his years in prison. A fall that he had in the toilet of Chaibasa Mandal Kara, where he was lodged earlier, had led to a fracture in the hip joint, after which a steel rod was inserted in place of the broken bone, due to which he still has difficulty in movement, as also in lying down or sitting on the floor or even standing for a while. He can walk around only with the aid of a tripod stick, and cannot attend to nature’s call unless a commode is arranged. He also suffers from an enlargement of the prostrate and from piles, which, due to the usual lack of regular care and attendance characteristic of prisons, often causes the passage of blood along with urine, and swelling and intense pain in the rectal region while passing stools. Apart from these ailments and from high blood pressure, he also suffers from diabetes, cervical spondylitis, and a form of heart disease related to ischemia, accompanied with hypertension. He had been transferred to Rajendra Institute of Medical Science during the last week of August 2012 from Giridih Mandal Kara (Prison), after that on 12th of September he again referred to All India Medical Science; New Delhi, currently where he is getting his treatment.
His custodial history spread over 7 years and two and a half months, a total of 12 cases registered against him in this period; 4 in West Bengal, 6 in West Singhbhum, Jharkhand and 2 in Giridih, Jharkhand. He was first produced before the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Midnapore, West Bengal on May 23, 2005 in the late evening of May 21st 2005, when some unidentified sleuths had literally abducted him; while he was riding a cycle-rickshaw near Konnagar railway station in District Hooghly, West Bengal. So, he was not produced before any judicial magistrate within 24 hours from the arrest.
That of these four cases, he was soon granted release on bail in three, whereas the fourth led to conviction by a fast-track court on March 17, 2006, entailing 5 years’ imprisonment. Ostensibly to serve the sentence, he was transferred from the jail for under-trials at Jhargram in District Midnapur of West Bengal, where he was first lodged in, to the central Presidency Jail in Kolkata. That when he appealed against this sole conviction to the Calcutta High Court, the Hon’ble High Court granted him bail on medical grounds. The sentence was thence rendered suspended until the hearing of the appeal. On October 06, 2006, just on the eve of his release from the Presidency Jail at Kolkata as per a release order issued by the concerned learned court in continuance of the above grant of bail, he was carried away in the most suspicious manner by the West Bengal police to be handed over to the Jharkhand police in district West Singhbhum. Neither he nor any of his relatives or friends was duly informed as per the law of the land about this new episode of cases to be foisted against him in the neighboring state of Jharkhand. It appeared to be a clandestine operation executed with the collaboration of the two state governments of West Bengal and Jharkhand. A series of cases were foisted one after another upon him while he was lodged in Chaibasa Mandal Kara. As he would be granted bail in one case and the release order or an acquittal be issued by the concerned learned court, he would be implicated under another case already registered under one or the other police station of that district; West Singhbhum. In this way, a total of 6 cases were registered against him in West Singhbhum, of which bails were granted and release orders issued in five, whereas an acquittal came in one. That to the best of the knowledge and understanding of Mr. Sushil Roy, his family members and his lawyers at Ranchi and Giridih, these criminal cases were as follows: No. 57/02 registered under P.S. Manoharpur on 19-12-2002, in which he was acquitted of the charges on 08-07-2010; No. 53/02 registered under P.S. Manoharpur on 18-02-2002, in which he was granted bail and the release order; No. 16/04 registered under P.S. Gua on 01-04-2004, in which he was granted bail and the release order; No. 17/04 registered under P.S. Gua on 08-04-2004, in which he was granted bail and the release order; 18/0 under P.S. Gua on 18-09-2005, in which he was granted bail; and No. 61/09 registered under P.S. Chaibasa Sadar, in which he was granted bail. Among the above mentioned cases, four of the bails were granted by the Hon’ble High Court at Ranchi, whereas one of the bails was granted by the learned District and Sessions Court at Chaibasa. In between he spent about five years as an under-trial in the Chaibasa Mandal Kara. When the necessary court-order for his release from Chaibasa prison was about to be served, the police of Jharkhand invoked the National Security Act against him, thus detaining him there for one more year. While the one year’s period of detention under the National Security Act was due to end on August 19, 2011, the Jharkhand police suddenly took him over from Chaibasa Mandal Kara straight to the court at Giridih on the 17th of August, whereupon he was aghast to find himself implicated in two more cases in another part of Jharkhand. The two cases, under which he was now implicated and accused, were No. 26/02 registered under P.S. Peertand and No. 29/03 registered under P.S. Gaawaan in Giridih district of Jharkhand. He has been granted bail by the Hon’ble High Court at Ranchi on July 29, 2012 in the first of the above cases, namely No. 26/02 under P. S. Peertand, whereas he is yet to file an appeal in the Hon’ble High Court against the rejection of his bail application by the District and Sessions’ Court at Giridih in the other case; No. 29/03 under P.S. Gaawaan.
Mr. Sushil Roy is afraid that if bail would be granted by an Hon’ble bench of a higher court in this aforesaid case no. 29/03 registered under P.S. Gaawaan, the police of the state of Jharkhand, or at its instance or with its collaboration, the police of some other state may foist yet another false case against him in order to obstruct his just release after the said prolonged incarceration. He had sent a memorandum in this connection to the Chairman, National Human Rights Commission on April 24, 2012 through the Jail Superintendent, Giridih Mandal Kara, which was numbered as letter no. 663 and dispatched the same day from the prison. Over the elapsed period of over 3 months, however, neither was any of his grievances redressed at the instance of the N.H.R.C., nor was his letter no. 663 dated 24-04-2012 even acknowledged.
In this given condition, I request your Commission for taking necessary arrangement for his early release according to the principle of general amnesty, which is in practice in our country and many received reprieve in accordance to the said practice; however MASUM strongly condemn any act of torture, killing by either state party or non-state actors. As Mr. Sushil Roy made a petition before your Commission, showing his concern on suspicious acts of Jharkhand police to implicate him in subsequent criminal cases; Commission must acknowledge his petition and take corrective measures. Till date the civil society has no information about the fate of his petition from your end.
Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha
National Convenor (PACTI)
Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity
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