An Insult
The 1984 riots that resulted in deaths and rapes of sikh men and women is in the class of the 2002 Gujarat killings and rapes of thousands of muslims, for which Narendra Modi and others are being questioned. Those responsible for committing, facilitating or enabling these mass crimes or shielding the criminals need to be punished after due process of law in India. However, even after 29 years and 11 years, there has been little accountability and less transparency in bringing criminals to justice, forcing directly affected persons and others to look for justice abroad.

Some sikh persons have filed cases in US courts against Parkash Singh Badal and Kamal Nath, and have now moved a US federal court to issue summons to Sonia Gandhi. It is possible that tomorrow, a foreign court would similarly admit a case and issue summons to Narendra Modi or Amit Shah or others. The jurisdiction of foreign courts over Indian citizens accused of committing crimes against Indians in India is highly questionable. India should issue a strong diplomatic note to USA to not admit or quash existing cases of this kind, as it is an insult to the Indian judicial-legal system and Indian sovereignty.
At the same time such cases, and the 1984 and 2002 cases in particular, should be expedited with judicial transparency according to the letter and spirit of Indian law, to retrieve India's lost good name.
S G Vombatkere, Mysore

Stop the war
Having failed miserably in its attempts to overthrow the Syrian government through its jihadist terrorist mercenaries, US is in the final stages of its preparations for a direct military onslaught against the people of Syria. By a concerted campaign, orchestrated by its political and ideological representatives, duly assisted by its gigantic propaganda machine—a veritable host of a TV and radio stations and thousands of newspapers—which spews out non-stop lies about its intended victim, America has built up an unstoppable momentum for yet another unlawful, unjust, bloody and predatory war. In the next few days, the Syrian people will find themselves to be the recipients of 'democracy', 'freedom', 'human rights' and 'rule of law' delivered by cruise missiles and other deadly weapons, which are bound to cause tremendous loss of life and material damage.

The pretext for this barbarous war is the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government against its own people—a charge that cannot withstand the slightest scrutiny. Why would the Syrian government use chemical weap-ons when its forces are inflicting decisive defeats on the bloodthirsty brutes unleashed by imperialism? Even the right-wing Zionist website WND expressed the view that the chemical attack was the work of the Syrian opposition forces.

All the evidence points in the direction of imperialism staging a provocation, through the use by its proxies of sarin and other nerve gases, so as to provide imperialism with an excuse for going to war against Syria with the hope of saving the skin of its surrogates who are on the verge of a complete rout.

From the very beginning of the counter-revolutionary rebellion in Syria, inspired, funded and aided by imperialism, the CPGB-ML has consistently called for the defeat of imperialism and the victory of the Syrian people. "The revolutionary movement in the advanced countries would actually be a sheer fraud if, in their struggle against capital, the workers of Europe and America were not closely and completely united with hundreds upon hundreds of millions of 'colonial' slaves who are oppressed by capital" (Lenin, The Second Congress of the Communist International, 1920).
CPGB-ML, London
29th August, 2013

Silencing Voices
Though the exact date of Hem Mishra's arrest is yet to be ascertained, he was most probably picked up by the police around around 15th August. Prashant Rahi was on the other hand was arrested on the 2nd September. The allegation against both of them is that they were carrying some documents/ literature. Both have been charged under the notorious Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UAPA]. Both are serving a long period of police remand without being provided a lawyer.

Hem Mishra (32 years) had been active with a student organization in Uttarakhand before coming to Delhi, when he obtained admission at the Jawaharlal Nehru University. In the year 2007/08, a number of activists involved in organizing youth and the rural poor in Uttarakhand were arrested on the allegation of Maoist links. So potent was the terror unleashed, that few would dare to question the allegations or meet the arrested persons for fear of being implicated. Hem Mishra, handicapped in one hand, was the person who visited all the arrested in jail and helped them get legal support. One of the arrested at that time was Prashant Rahi.

Prashant Rahi (52 years) worked as a journalist in Uttarakhand. He was also passionately involved with a host of protest movements ranging from issues of forest-dwellers, and of rural labour, to the displacement by the Tehri dam. Arrested in December 2007, alleged to be a most-senior Maoist leader, Prashant was kept in solitary confinement through most his 3 year 8 months stay in the jail. Once released on bail, Prashant took upon himself to visit those imprisoned as Naxalites all over the country and to help them obtain access to a lawyer. To this end, he was travelling extensively across the length and breadth of the country collecting details of cases and reaching the same to lawyers.

That there is no real allegation of any crime against both Hem Mishra and Prashant Rahi, it is evident from the fact that both have been charged solely on the basis of the UAPA.

In addition, the illegal, yet reasonably settled practice of the police of not registering a panchnama at the time of the detention, makes it difficult to ascertain the exact date, time and place of arrest. Such unlawful detention leaves much scope for abuse. It is ironical, in cases where UAPA is applied, courts have been less critical of the blatant violations of procedure, in the name of larger security concerns.

While the alleged "crime" as well as the circumstances of the arrest remain suspect, a vilification campaign has been mounted by the police that masquerades as information in the newspapers.

Another favourite practice of the police has been to foist new cases against accused, especially under the UAPA and its previous incarnations, when those accused are either released on bail or else when acquittal in the existing cases is at hand. In the case against Prashant Rani too, no incriminating evidence has been found against him in Uttarakhand and he would be acquitted soon.
Kranthi Chetanya (APCLC, Andhra Pradesh), Paramjeet Singh (PUDR, Delhi), Parmindar Singh, (AFDR, Punjab), Phulendro Konsam (COHR, Manipur) and Tapas Chakraborty (APDR, West Bengal) (Coordinators of CDRO). Constituent Organisations: Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC); Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR, West Bengal); Bandi Mukti Morcha (West Bengal); Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR, Mumbai); Coordination for Human Rights (COHR, Manipur); Human Rights Forum (HRF, Andhra Pradesh); Manab AdhiKar Sangram Samiti (MASS), Assam; Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR); Organisation for Protection of Democratic Rights (OPDR, Andhra Pradesh); Peoples' Committee for Human Rights (PCHR, Jammu and Kashmir); Peoples Democratic Forum (PDF, Karnataka); Peoples Union For Civil Liberties (PUCL, Chhattisgarh); Peoples Union For Civil Liberties (PUCL, Jharkhand); Peoples Union For Civil Liberties (PUCL, Nagpur); Peoples Union For Civil Liberties (PUCL, Rajasthan); Peoples Union For Democratic Rights (PUDR, Delhi); Peoples Union for Civil Rights (PUCR, Haryana) and Campaign for Peace & Democracy in Manipur (CPDM), Delhi

Vol. 46, No. 12, Sep 29 -Oct 5, 2013

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