Statement condemning harassment of released political prisoner

November 26, 2014

Narayan Sanyal, an octogenarian political prisoner, who got released recently after nine years in jail was again detained on his way to Giridih in Jharkhand for a court appearance. On the morning of November 24, Narayan Sanyal flew from Dumdum airport in Kolkata to Ranchi, and then appeared in court in Hazaribagh. While travelling from there to Giridih by road, accompanied by Mrs. Sulochana, president of Dhanbad Domestic Workers Union and Ravindra Yadav, his lawyer’s munshi, he was detained and taken to Dhanwar police station and then to Giridih police station. Narayan Sanyal was released late in the night after several hours of interrogation. The police also beat up Ravindra Yadav, the munshi, without any reason. There were two women in the group but there wasn’t a single policewoman when they were detained by the police.

Rearresting and harassing political prisoners under false charges, even when they are out on bail or acquitted of charges, has become a common phenomenon in India. It is a mockery of justice and democracy that a group of people who are on their way from one court to another to appear in a case can be picked up by the police and detained without any charges. It is clear that the government is giving police and other security agencies free hand in neutralizing all dissenting political voices. It is to be noted that thousands of political prisoners — tribals from Chhattisgarh, Muslim youth from Kashmir, workers from Haryana, academics from Delhi, and people from all walks of life — are languishing in Indian jails for their political beliefs and actions. Many of them are incarcerated for years without trials, many are arrested and tried repeatedly, and finally by the time they are acquitted they have spent decades in prison. The truth is that the ruling one percent want to silence dissenting voices from the society at large because they fear that even a spark somewhere can burn down their reign of exploitation and injustice.

Sanhati condemns such acts and demands

  1. An end to the impunity of police and security forces, which get away with arresting/harassing thousands of people under false charges and then imprisoning them for prolonged periods.
  2. The repeal of the draconian laws that criminalize political dissent.