Tamil Nadu: Activists of Manithan Publishers Arrested: CPDR-TN Statement

November 9, 2018

COMMITTEE FOR PROTECTION OF DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS – TAMIL NADU
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President                                                                                                       General Secretary
Dr.Nandi Joseph                                                                                                          S. Gopal
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     Press note
CPDR-TN condemns in no uncertain terms the recent arrest of two activists Arivoly and Suresh of Manithan Publishers and a printing press person Ravi by Tamilnadu Police charging them on criminal offences for bringing out the Tamil version of the interview given by Ganapathy,  General Secretary of Proscribed Maoist party CPI(Maoist).
The Manithan Publishers has brought out more then 16 small booklets covering political atmosphere in India from the Marxist Leninist point of view for the last more than 20 years. This interview has already come out in most of English newspaper,  including Times of India in the year as early as 2015
Recent arrest of Gopal, Editor of Nakkeeran evoked massive rebuke from the entire press community.  This was similar to the rebuff they faced in the arrest of cartoonist Bala. Now in the arrest of Arivoly and two others, by the repressive action the state wishes to brand and restrain anyone holding an ideology inconvenient to them, though umpteen Supreme Court and High court judgements have held that subscribing to an ideology of proscribed organization cannot treated as criminal offence and endorsed the same as within framework of freedom of expression  under the constitution.
CPDR-TN considers the arrest of the activists as a blatant violation of the freedom press and also an attack on the freedom of expression. CPDR-TN views this arrest as a continuation of the repressive measures of the Tamilnadu government upon the adversarial reporting of its/centre’s inept governance and anti people measures.
CPDR-TN demands
1) Immediate  release of the arrested activists unconditionally
2) Quash the charges including that of sedition under 124 A foisted upon them.