Kolkata – CRPP statement on the unlawful arrest of Jayeeta Das

August 6, 2013

Statement for Kolkata Press Meet on August 07

The COMMITTEE FOR RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS[CRPP], West Bengal(Preparatory Committee) expresses its deep concern over the arrest by the STF of one of the prominent women activists of democratic movements , Jayeeta Das, on August 1, 2013, and over the charges under various sections of Indian Penal Code that were slapped on her. The government is also trying to book her under UAPA, the most draconian piece of legislation ever since Rowlatt Act , which is violative of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s own promise of not using the act in West Bengal.

Procedures not followed

1. She was picked up by plain clothes sleuths from the street near Charu Market of south Kolkata. It is patently illegal and absolute violation of Supreme Court’s directives of 1996 , set out in the famous D.K.Basu case, which stipulates that at the time of arrest, insignia and designation of the arresting police personnel must be prominently displayed. The apex court did not provide any exception to any kind of investing agency.

2. It is mandatory, since the above-noted judgment of Supreme Court and after 2006, under section 50A of Criminal procedure, [Cr. P.c.], to prepare the memo of arrest , and also Inspection memo in connection with the arrest made ; as because Jayeeta was picked from the street ,the arresting agency was duty-bound to inform her nearest kin – husband, father or mother — immediately after the arrest. That was deliberately flouted. Hence, she was held incommunicado for hours together.

3. As because no memo of arrest was prepared at the time of arrest, no signature of on-the –spot witnesses [i.e. shop owner, passer-by ] were taken . The signature of the arrestee was also not taken at the spot. Hence, we have reason to say that the memo of arrest, which was supposed to be produced before the learned magistrate was false and fabricated evidence.

No inspection memo [regarding health condition, and external injury on the person of the arrestee, if any, etc] was also not prepared and no copy was given to the arrestee. Both are complete violations of the Supreme Court Order.


Jayeeta’s house was raided without any search warrant which again is a blatant violation of the law of the land. It is reported that the father of Jayeeta was forced to sign a paper which was blank. And even after such illegal and sudden search, no ‘indiscriminating document(s)’ were reportedly found. One voter ID card is among the seized materials which not only proves that she is a bonafide voter, but also proves that she acts openly, has been exercising her fundamental constitutional right of freedom of expression as a citizen. In the court, the police failed to exhibit/submit any material that can be termed illegal.

False Charges

Yet the police charged her with serious sections of the Indian Penal Code with the prayer to the court to book her under various sections of UAPA. However, it is clear from several versions of the police, as appeared in the media, her ‘offences’ do not attract any kind of penal section.

If we analyze police versions, we can prepare a list of the so-called “CRIMES“ alleged to have been committed by Jayeeta Das:

1. “SHE IS VERY ACTIVE. Is it an offence under any Indian law?

2. “Active participant in Nonadanga “movement and in Kamdhuni in recent past.” To participate in a democratic movement and make protest in a lawful manner is no offence at all in the Indian Penal Code.

3. Previously, “she was active in Nandigram’. Who was not? The present Chief Minister and a large number of social activists were active participants in Nandigram in support of agitators. If their participation is no offence, then how can Jayeeta’s participation be treated as an activity against the State? If it is so, why not then the present CM and others should also not be charged under the same sections of Indian Penal Code? Why was Jayeeta singled out then?

4. Jayeeta has been accused of visiting Chandi Sarkar’s house. What is the harm in it, we wonder. Chandi Sarkar is very much at home, not an absconder at all, as the STF again want to make people believe in order to create a social legitimacy to curb all dissident voices. Do the West Bengal government and its Special task Force mean to say that they would dictate to the citizens whose house should one visit or not? Is it a crime to visit Chandi Sarkar’s place at his daughter’s wedding? Such obnoxious and fascistic attempts can only deserve universal condemnation.


We have reasons to believe that , even after having full knowledge of her open activities through regular fascistic surveillance, the police arrested her under false charges to please their political boss, the Chief Minister of West Bengal with intent to prove the CM’s statement that some “ Maoists were present in Kamdhuni” correct . Had she been attached to underground organization, she would not have been spared so long. The previous Left Front government earned much notoriety and public hatred in pursuing this policy of witch-hunting. Now this new state government is toeing the same policy resulting in illegal, criminal arrests of social and democratic activists with longstanding record of standing actively by the side of the people. It is pertinent to recall that in last two years a quite good number of social activists in rural and urban areas including Debolina Chakraborty, Partho Sarathi Roy, Abhigyan Sarkar and many others had been routinely rounded up. Sabyasachi Goswami and Zakir Hussain had been picked up and tortured in new cooked-up cases again even after being acquitted in another cooked-up case after spending 6-7 years in prison. Very recently, according to media reports, Chandi Sarkar, who had also been acquitted in another case after being in prison for 6-7 years, is being threatened to be booked under new false charges. We are deeply concerned at these authoritarian tendencies, besides many others, to create a police raj on the part of the newly formed WB government.

Our Demands:

* We hold that this policy of stamping democratic activists as “Maoists” is an assault on democracy and we in unequivocal terms condemn this policy of government and demand UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE OF JAYEETA AND WITHDRAWAL of ALL CASES AGAINST HER.
* Jayeeta’s lawyer must be allowed to be present at the time of interrogation at regular intervals, as permissible under SC’s directives in DK Basu case.
* In the name of interrogation, Jayeeta must not be subjected to deprivation of sleep, continuous interrogation for 8-9 hours, physical and mental torture; adequate rest must be provided as per international human rights norms for prisoners.
* We also maintain that the WB government should immediately stop intimidating country’s citizens like Chandi Sarkar and come to their senses. It is a pity that a government that had been formed with people’s support is trampling underfoot the constitutional rights of its citizens.
* We also condemn police atrocities on Gorkhaland activists and demand release of all activists, stop arresting activists by reviving old cases and demand for dialogue with the stakeholders.


* Unconditional release of all political prisoners languishing in correctional homes for years together.
* There must not be any change/amendment relating to Section 24 of West Bengal Correctional Services Act, 1992 which deals with the criteria for the status of political prisoners. We also demand that the proposed amendment bill, scheduled to be placed in the assembly on August 25, 2013, be withdrawn.
* The Government should honour its own promise of not implementing UAPA in West Bengal. We demand that all the arrestees booked under UAPA since 2009, must be released.

Date: 7th August 2013

Press Club of Kolkata

Sujato Bhadra
Amit Bhattacharyya
Sukhendu Bhattacharyya
Guru Prasad Kar
Arun Chakraborty
Ipsita Samanta






Once again the Special Task Force (STF) West Bengal have flouted every norms as they picked up Jayeeta Das, a people’s activist who has been active in the democratic and people’s movements in Kolkata, from the Charu market area around 2 pm on Friday August 2013. Later in the evening on the same day the STF raided and ransacked her house without any warrant and intimidated her family members. While all this intimidation was on the family members were kept in the dark about the arrest of Jayeeta Das. The STF further intimidated and forced the family to sign on blank papers. Only through the media did the family come to know that Jayeeta Das has been arrested.

A cursory look into the conduct of STF and similar intelligence agencies in West Bengal and elsewhere in the subcontinent proves beyond doubt the utter disdain for norms and procedures by these agencies. The right to see the warrant as well as the information for the family about the arrest of Jayeeta are fundamental. These norms
and procedures are crucial for the detained/arrested as well as her kith and kin as the only way to safeguard oneself from torture, mistreatment let alone to much needed and timely access to a lawyer of her choice. To deny all this and to keep the family members in the dark about her arrest is premeditated from the side of the
intelligence agencies so as to force the family (as they were forced to sign blank papers) and the detained into some kind of confession that suits so as to incriminate them.

This is not the first time that such acts of impunity have been committed by the intelligence agencies. On the contrary this has been the set pattern of the modus operandi of these agencies. That too despite several times the highest courts in the subcontinent having taken exception to such criminal conducts of the agencies.

The CRPP strongly condemn such acts of impunity of the STF of West Bengal and demand the unconditional release of Jayeeta Das. We demand that pending her release she be given access to the lawyer of her choice and be produced at the earliest before the court.

In Solidarity,

SAR Geelani (President)

Amit Bhattacharyya (Secretary General)

Rona Wilson (Secretary, Public Relations)