Activists, Parties Petition against Arrests under UAPA
COIMBATORE:Activists from more than 20 outfits, including political parties and civil society groups, under the banner of the Organisation for the Protection of Democratic Rights, petitioned city Police Commissioner A K Viswanathan, against what they perceived to be a witch-hunt by the police against people from disenfranchised communities, for simply supporting subversive ideologies. In their petition, the activists said that since May 2014, 10 persons were booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Following the arrest of five alleged Maoists near Karumathampatty last month, three others were arrested near Pollachi for allegedly inducting a 23-year-old youth into the Maoist movement.
Two more were arrested by Coimbatore city police for allegedly raising slogans in front of the Q Branch office in HUDCO Colony. The petitioners alleged that five of the 10 persons arrested were Dalits, and that the police were misusing the UAPA and clamping down on dissidents. They said that the now defunct preventative detention laws, such as the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) had been used to crack down on the fundamental rights of freedom of speech and expression granted to civilians. The 26/11 bombings in Mumbai had been used to justify the framing and enactment of the UAPA, which still had the repressive and draconian measures from the POTA and TADA Acts, they said.
The laws had been used in the past to unjustly charge and imprison Dalits and people from tribal communities, they alleged. The petition went onto outline the 2004 verdict by the Supreme Court that by simply expressing support to a banned group could not be construed as a criminal offense. The recent verdict of the Kerala High Court, which had again reinforced the verdict of the apex court, in a separate case, was also highlighted. The petitioners alleged that those with political ideas and beliefs, which questioned the authority of the state, were being subjected to arbitrary arrests and that the rights of these arrested people are being crushed by the state apparatus. Responding to the petition, CoP Viswanathan, said that there was no concerted effort to clamp down on any legal organisation.
He said that the two organisations to which the two persons who were arrested by Peelamedu police belonged to, had been given permission in the past to stage protests and other events. He contended that the arrests had been made not because of the ideologies or political affiliations of the two men, but because of their involvement in an unlawful act – the raising of slogans in front of the Q Branch office. The organisation also submitted a copy of the petition to district Superintendent of Police M Sudhakar. ‘Maoist’ Kannan Produced in Court One of the five Maoists arrested from Karumathampatty last month, C Kannan was produced before the Principal District Judge R Pongiappan on Wednesday in connection with a case in the jurisdiction of the Aliyar Police.
Based on a confession by one of the three men arrested a few days ago, police claim that Kannan and the other suspects, had inducted a 23-year-old youth into the Maoist movement. Kannan was produced before the judge, who remanded him to judicial custody till July 2. Kannan claimed before the judge that he was innocent of the charges.
Huge cache of weapons seized
An encounter between security personnel and Maoists in the bordering area of Naxal-affected Palamau and Latehar districts led to recovery of large quantity of detonators and live cartridges. Palamau Superintendent of Police Mayur Patel told PTI that cross-firing from both sides went on during the encounter which began at around 6.00 am on Wednesday at Pagaar-Seldag villages under Maneka police station of Latehar district, bordering the Naxal-affected Panki police station limits of Palamau district.
A large number of detonators, 95 live cartridges, one and half bundle of codex wire, empty can, IED stuffed in a sack, ammunition pouch were recovered during search operation following the encounter, Latehar Superintendent of Police Ajay Linda said. No casualty was reported from the police camp, Mr. Linda said, adding that exact round of firing was yet to be ascertained. Meanwhile, a report from Khunti district said three Maoists were arrested in a raid on Tuesday. Acting on a tip-off that a Maoist squad was active near Sosoguti dam under Arki police station limit, a police team led by the Additional Superintendent of Police P. R. Mishra and Sub-Divisional Police Officer Deepak Sharma rushed to the spot and conducted the raid. Three Maoists were arrested while four others managed to escape, Superintendent of Police Anish Gupta said. An INSAS rifle, which was looted from the CRPF during an encounter in Jorko jungle in 2008, with magazine, two country-made pistols and six live cartridges and other articles including Naxal literature were seized from them. – PTI
Security forces nab Maoist following an encounter
The security forces today arrested a Maoist, Laxmi Singh Kharwar, with weapons following an encounter with the ultras near a village in Bihar’s Rohtas district, a police official said. Acting on a tip-off about congregation of some Maoists, the security forces comprising the CRPF, district police and SAP raided Badalgarh village where they arrested Kharwar following an encounter, the Superintendent of Police (SP) Shivdeep Lande said. The ultras fired about 70-80 rounds on the advancing security forces who retaliated firing about 24 rounds on retreating Maoists in which one of them sustained leg injuries, he said on the basis of revelation by the arrested ultras. The search operation was on to nab the injured Maoist, the SP said adding that empty cartridges of Insas rifle and SLP being used by the Maoists have been recovered from the area.
Re-arrested Maoist sympathiser produced in court
Maoist sympathiser C. Kannan (46) of Madurai, was produced in the court on Wednesday. He was formally re-arrested by the Coimbatore District Police, at Coimbatore Central Prison, on Tuesday for allegedly enrolling a youth of Angalakurichi village, near Aliyar, in the Maoist movement and was produced before the court in connection with this. Kannan entered and left the court raising slogans supporting Maoist movement. He denied his role in the case in which he was booked by the Aliyar Police on Tuesday. Principal District Judge (PDJ) R. Pongiappan directed that Kannan should be under judicial custody till July 2.
He was taken back to the Coimbatore Central Prison where he has been lodged since his arrest along with Maoist leader Roopesh, his wife Shyna and Maoist sympathisers Anoop (31) and C. Veeramani alias Eswaran (60), at an eatery in Karumathampatty at the outskirts of Coimbatore, in the first week of May.
Bail plea filed
Meanwhile, lawyers of People’s Union for Civil Liberties filed a bail plea for Shyna before the PDJ here on Tuesday. The organisation’s State General Secretary, S. Balamurugan, told The Hindu that this plea has been listed for hearing on Friday – June 19.
“Roopesh and Shyna have two daughters, who are now under the custody of Shyna’s mother at Thrissur. Shyna’s presence is socially and economically required for the two girls,” he said and added that there are no cases against Shyna in Tamil Nadu or anywhere else. Roopesh and Shyna are in Kerala where they are being quizzed by the Kerala police in connection with the cases against them there.
Maoists kill Christian pastor in Odisha
The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) cadres killed a Christian pastor, Ramesh Majhi (42), of Puijhari village under the M Rampur Police Station limits in Kalahandi District on June 16, suspecting him to be a Police informer, reports The Pioneer. Locals found Majhi’s body in the Telen Reserve Forest near the village. The Maoists had taken away Majhi from his house in the night of June 16 and subsequently gunned him down, suspecting him of keeping in touch with the Police. A Maoist poster recovered near the body states that Majhi was punished at the Praja Court (Kangaroo court of the Maoists) for working as a Police informer.