Punjab – Statements condemn illegal detention of democratic rights activists

October 13, 2010

Press Statement from People’s Union For Democratic Rights

October 13, 2010

PUDR strongly condemns the picking up and illegal detention of Gurmeet Juj , Punjabi writer and rights activist , and three other activists Harbans Singh, Satish and Raju apparently by the Ferozepur police on the 11th of October . As per information dug out by Gurmeet Juj’s wife with great difficulty, he is being held at the the CIA Staff Police Station for being interrogated by CBI and Punjab CID on his political views concerning Operation Greenhunt.

The illegal detention of the four raises serious questions: What is the crime for which they have been detained? If indeed the police has any such information about criminal activity why haven’t they been arrested and due legal processes followed? If the police has only taken them for questioning on suspicion, why again haven’t the families been informed? The absence of evidence and criminal procedures clearly indicates that they are being detained, harassed and perhaps tortured for their politics, rather than any crimes they have committed. This becomes evident when we consider that Juj is a reputed poet, singer and democratic rights activist whose opposition to Operation Greenhunt is already very much in the public domain as he is a member of the ‘Democratic Front
Against Operation Green Hunt’.

Gurmeet Juj and the other three activists’ detention is part of the concerted efforts of the Punjab government to repress all peoples’ organizations and voices of dissent in the state. In March, 2010 Dr. Darshan Pal of the Peoples’ Democratic Front of India and several other members of BKU were picked up when they were part of large scale protests against the police. Mr. Surjit Singh Phool, President BKU, and Mr. Sanjiv Kumar of Krantikari Pindu Mazdoor Union (KPMU), both organizations working for farmers’ rights were arrested in November, 2009 and May, 2010 respectively. Both were subjected to torture at the Joint Interrogation Center and CIA Staff office, known torture centers the threat of which was also used to terrorise others called for questioning as found by PUDR in a factfinding conducted jointly with AFDR, Punjab.

The illegal detention of the four activists in Punjab not only exposes the fascist nature of a state that muzzles freedom of belief and protest ; but it also once again reveals the blatant violation of rule of law by the very state that claims to uphold it. Moreover it draws attention to the various state agencies that exist and operate with a high level of secrecy and absolute impunity, in direct contradiction to the claims of transparency and democratic functioning being made by that government.

The secret , illegal custody of Gurmeet Juj, Harbans Singh, Satish and Raju raises suspicions about the state’s intentions, and makes us seriously concerned about their safety and well being .

PUDR demands that:

1. Gurmeet Juj, Harbans Singh, Satish and Raju be immediately produced before a magistrate.
2. Their families be informed of immediately informed of their whereabouts.
3. All four be unconditionally released.
4. The officials guilty of illegal detention of the four be immediately prosecuted.
5. The CIA Staff be shut down pending a judicial inquiry into its activities.
6. Freedom of political belief and democratic protest be respected by the state.

Moushumi Basu and Asish Gupta

(Secretaries, PUDR)

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Press Statement by Forum Against War on People (Delhi)

Raising Voice Against Government’s War (Operation Green Hunt) on Adivasis is a Democratic Right of the People

October 12, 2010

Gurmeet Singh Juj, a Punjabi writer and cultural activist of All India League for Revolutionary Culture, AILRC and a State Committee member of ‘Democratic Front Against Operation Green Hunt, Punjab’, and three other persons Harbans Singh, Satish and Raju (all are progressive social activists) were taken into police custody in Ferozepur on 11.10.2010. The police did not inform anyone, about the case or FIR under which they has been arrested or where they have been kept during detention.

After a lot of running around finally Gurmeet Singh’s wife and friends were able to find out that he was being detained in the CIA Staff Police Station. Some police officials told them that he is to be interrogated by the Central Govt’s Intelligence Bureau & Punjab CID officials from Chandigarh about his political views and his activities against Operation Green Hunt. This is clearly another assault on the democratic movement and extension of Operation Green Hunt to the urban areas. The arrests need to be strongly condemned. It is also an attempt to terrorize the intellectuals, to keep them away from supporting the struggles of the people against neo-liberal policies of the rulers.

The Punjab police have arrested these activists with a view to disturb a convention against Operation Green Hunt scheduled for the next week in Jalandhar. The police may torture Gurmeet Singh Juj and implicate him in some false cases. All the democratic and progressive forces should raise voice against these illegal arrests.

We from the Forum Against War on People, Delhi strongly condemn the arrest of the cultural activists who have been consistently raising their democratic voice against the military operation on the people of Central and Eastern India code named Operation Green Hunt with a view to hand over people’s land and mineral resources to the big corporate houses. We demand that the arrested activists should be released immediately and unconditionally, and no false cases should be foisted on them.

SAR Geelani, G N Saibaba, Mrigank
Convenors
Forum against War on People

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Another Assault on Democratic Movement

A Report by N. K. Jeet (Lok Morcha, Punjab)

October 12, 2010

Gurmeet Judge, a Punjabi writer, and member of ‘Democratic Front Against Operation Green Hunt’, was taken in custody by Ferozepur police on 11.10.2010. The police did not inform anyone, about the case or FIR under which he has been arrested or where he was to be kept during detention. After a lot of running here and there, his wife and friends were able to find out that he was being detained in the CIA Staff Police Station. Some police officials told them that he is to be interrogated by the Central Govt’s Intelligence Bureau & Punjab CID officials from Chandigarh about his political views and his activities against Operation Green Hunt. This is clearly another assault on the democratic movement and needs to be strongly condemned. It is also an attempt to terrorize the intellectuals, to keep them away from supporting the struggles of the people against neo-liberal policies of the rulers.