Kerala: Condemn the arrests of civil libertarians, students and others as “Maoists”

January 1, 2013

COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS
185/3, FOURTH FLOOR, ZAKIR NAGAR, NEW DELHI-110025

30 December 2012

Condemn the arrests of civil libertarians, students and others in the garb of Maoists!

Demand their immediate and Unconditional Release!

Stop criminalising all forms of dissent and the right to assemble!

From what appears in the news in Malayalam print media, about seven people were arrested by the Mavelikkara police from a lodge in the said town alleging them as Maoists. It seems they were all arrested in the afternoon of 29 December 2012 and till late night were not produced in the court. From the civil liberties fraternity it has been made clear that all the seven were remanded in police custody and they have been framed under the draconian UAPA. Even before the seven arrested could approach their lawyer the police have already started planting stories in the local print and electronic media saying that all the arrested have accepted that they belong to the Maoist organisations. Yet another usual story of fomenting rumours about the accused in the media so as to prejudice the courts towards buying the story of the police.

That Mr. Gopal a well known civil liberties activist and former scientist in the atomic research centre Mumbai and Kalpakkam is one among the arrested makes the whole story of the police all the more hollow. Gopal has been quite vocal in the Committee for the Protection of Civil Liberties (Tamil Nadu) as well as with the PUCL Tamil Nadu. Most of these activists while at the same time being students or active with various people’s movements—such as the anti-Kudumkulam agitation which saw widespread solidarity from various sections of the people—know each other and had congregated for a get together to discuss their various experiences is a normal and natural thing to happen with every socially sensitive individual. It is through such solidarities and exchange of experiences that people enhance their world view and move forward in their conviction to stand for and join hands with issues that are of immediate significance for the greater common good and well being of the society.

It has become a set pattern for the police to find ‘terror’ and ‘national security threats’ with every possible such gatherings of conscientious people. It is through such arrests that the ‘anti-terrorism’ industry and and their ilk find common cause for ‘national security threats’ so as to reinforce a mindset and the attendant burgeoning capital intensive industry that it sustains. To add to this two sisters—a plus one student Ami and her sister Savera a 5th standard student—are the others who have been alleged of having Maoist links. That both of them happen to be the children of alleged Maoist activists is the deductive logic that we can get from these police officers. The police also claims to the obliging media that one of the arrested Mr. Rajesh Madhavan, himself a student, had been having links with banned organisations. Neither the media nor the police take the trouble to clarify which are these banned
organisations!

It goes without saying that such arrests and the media drill that the police and the investigating agencies indulge in are definitely acts of impunity right from the word go. To cover up an illegal act of detaining/arresting/framing people’s activists and civil libertarians what is called into action are further such acts of impunity—such as the vilification in the media.

The CRPP strongly condemn such acts of impunity to terrorise people as well as to criminalise all forms of dissent as well as the right to assemble, under the garb of ‘national security threat’ not to mention the so-called ‘war against terror’.

We demand the immediate release of all the seven people—Gopal, Ami, Savera, Rajesh Madhavan, Bahuleyan, Shiyaz and Devarajan—immediately and unconditionally! We also demand the repeal of draconian laws such as UAPA and AFSPA with the cover of which the police and the investigating agencies indulge in the worst acts of impunity.

In Solidarity,
Amit Bhattacharyya
Secretary General

SAR Geelani
Working President

Rona Wilson
Secretary, Public Relations

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Press Release
Jan 1, 2013
Chennai

We the undersigned professors, scientists, writers and rights activists are very much shocked to see the Kerala police picturing Mr.Gopal who was arrested at Mavelikara on December 29, 2012 along with six others as an extremist. Gopal was a former scientist in Atomic Research Centers in Kalpakkam and Mumbai. He is a well known civil rights activist in Tamilnadu and is an active member in the Committee for the Protection of Civil Rights (Tamil Nadu).

He was never arrested before and no charges or cases are pending against him. He never went underground and no such look out notice had been issued against him as described by the Kerala police and published in some news papers. We condemn Kerala police for spreading such an abuse against a reputed scientist and social activist.

We understand that out of the seven arrested, five of them are framed under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. We are much worried about the indiscriminate use of such a draconian preventive detention act against activists who have gathered in a hotel room to discuss some political issues of public interest.

We demand that the Kerala police should stop spreading abusive rumors against scientist Gopal and should apologize for having pictured him as an extremist and terrorist. We also demand that all those arrested in Mavelikara on 29th December should be released unconditionally and all the cases against them should be withdrawn. We also feel that a national debate should be initiated about such vindictive usage of UAPA against Human Rights and Social Activists all over India.

Prof.A.Marx, Peoples Union for Human Rights, Tamilnadu Chapter,
Ko.Sugumaran. Federation for Peoples Rights, Puduchery UT,
K. Manoharan (S.V.Rajadurai), Writer and Senior Human Rights Activist, TamilNadu,
Prof. Praba. Kalvimani, Association for the Protection for the Tribal Irulas, Tindivanam,
Prof. Dr. P. Sivakumar, Former Principal, Govt. Arts Colleges, TamilNadu,
V.Natarajan, Former Scientist, Atomic Research Centre, Kalpakkam,
Prof. M. Thirumavalavan, Former Professor of English, Govt. Arts Colleges, Tamilnadu,
Prof. S. Kochadai, Peoples Union for Civil liberties, Karaikudi,
Prabanjan, Eminent Tamil Writer, Chennai,
V. Geetha, Eminent Writer and Scholar, Chennai,
Advocate Rajini, Peoples Union for Human Rights, Madurai,
Advocate Manoharan, High Court, Chennai,
Dr. V. Pugalenthi, Medical Practitioner, Kalpakkam,
Venkat, Scholar, Madras Institute for Developmental studies, Chennai,
Advocate A. Mohamed Yusuff, National Secretary, NCHRO, Madurai,
S.Ramanujam, Writer and Translator, Chennai,