Activists couple get life in prison for alleged Naxal connection

LUCKNOW: A local court in Allahabad sentenced Vishwajeet Azad and his wife Seema Azad, to life imprisonment on charges of sedition and waging war against the nation.

The couple, who claimed themselves to be journalists and human right activists, belonged to Allahabad. The two were arrested in 2010 in Kanpur. Banned Maoist literature and large amount of cash was allegedly recovered by the police from their possession. P olice had then claimed that the couple used to brainwash people to become naxal. The couple were booked under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 and the IPC. The case was later transferred to police station, Kotwali, at Allahabad.

The arrest of Seema and Vishwajeet were made by the special task force (STF) but the case was later handed over to the anti-terrorism squad (ATS). The ATS filed a chargesheet in the court after investigation. The couple were accused of being involved in inciting people through CD, laptops and books.

The prosecution witnesses were examined and the court held them guilty of sedition.

After verdict was delivered, Lalji Kaithwas, lawyer of the couple, said that he will challenge their conviction and sentencing in the high court. Seema Azad, 32-year-old, has masters degree from Allahabad University and was the state secretary of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Uttar Pradesh. She was publishing a magazine called Dastak for four years before being arrested. The case against the two was being tried for more than two and half years.

PUCL members has been protesting against the arrest of couple claiming that the two were activists and journalists who worked extensively against land mafias and unfair policies of the government. They had then also made representation to National Human Rights Commission claiming that Seema was a human right worker and not a naxal.


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