Aug 12: Mahashweta Devi slams Mamata government on Prisoners

August 12, 2012

http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=771536

Noted writer Mahasweta Devi, an avid supporter of the Trinamool Congress during the Singur and Nandigram movements in West Bengal, today lamented that its promise to ensure speedy trial of prisoners in jail has not been kept as yet.

The Jnanpith award winning Bengali writer sought to know on what grounds 301 prisoners were in jail in the state without trial since the days of the Left front government.

She said in a statement after the new government headed by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee took office it promised to ensure speedy trial and bail in the bailable cases, “But that promise has not been kept as yet.

“The people had wanted change and the change had come not through violence, but through votes. If this is true and off course it is true then for what reason till today 301 persons are in jail in West Bengal?” she asked.

“I appeal to the state government to listen to their grievances. I also request the prisoners to call off their fast,” the writer said.

Inspector General of Correctional Services, Ranvir Kumar, told PTI that 30 prisoners at Alipore and 160 in Presidency were still refusing food.

“Two of them had some problems so they were sent to MR Bangur hospital from Alipore the day before yesterday,” he said.

Doctors were monitoring the health of the hunger-strikers who were taking liquids, he said.

Kumar said he wrote to the courts about the demands of prisoners and also gave a report to the state Human Rights Commission as sought by it.