Plight Of Political Prisoners

An Open Letter

Srimati Mamata Banerjee
Hon'ble Chief Minister of West Bengal

Subject : APDR demands : Unconditionally release of all political prisoners in West Bengal and steps against abuse of criminal laws against Chhtradhar Mahato by the state Police.

Hon'ble Madam,
APDR appealed (on January 30, 2015) to you to consider once again the question of unconditional release of political prisoners languishing in WBCHs as a gesture of political good-will and to encourage the spirit of democracy and human rights on the part of your government. Probably your unwritten reply to that appeal came from the fact of wrapping Chhtradhar Mahato in one more 'old case' in Jhargram Adalat on 12th February (last Wednesday) to defer his release on bail. This is done in a situation when Chhtradhar (arrested on 26th September, 2009) got bails in 37 cases out of 38; only one in UAPA case was awaiting. This abuse of discretionary powers of the police in the existing criminal laws unambiguously reflects your government's old intentions to suppress political opposition not by way of justified democratic means but by way of misuse of political power out of vengeance. Such lowly police vindictiveness should stop.

The "justification" of UAPA cases in WB against alleged Maoists may be gauged from the fact of complete acquittal of 7 alleged Maoists accused in UAPA From 'Kanthi' Adalat on 31st January this year due to proved falsity of police accusations. Fate of UAPA Cases against others including Chhatradhar is expected to be the same. So, newly booking Chhtradhar in an old case is sought after five years? This is the question we would like to put before you.

You're expected to change (paribartan) this age-old vindictive traditions of our country's police system and practice. But, you did the very opposite like all other state governments, particularly BJP-led government of Chhattisgarh of Mr Raman Singh. This also exemplifies your secret fear of backlash from the Modi government at the Centre. The BJP as a party and as a government follows the policy of suppressing its opponents everywhere at every level by all means, fair or foul no matter. Are you going to follow it? If not, please think and do otherwise in the interest of democracy, justice and human rights.

Let all political prisoners be unconditionally freed under your initiative. APDR will welcome it.


Dhiraj Sengupta
General Secretary, APDR

Vol. 47, No. 37, Mar 22 - 28, 2015