May 19 2016
Great injustice has been caused to Maoist political prisoner Gour Chakraborty (78) lodged in a West Bengal jail since 2009. He got bail on all cases against him except one at Bankshall Court, Kolkata. Hearing of that case was also finished ages ago. The judge declared date to give her verdict. Everybody was ready and curious to hear the verdict as it was the first UAPA case in the state. It was much before the election date was declared. But much water flowed through the Ganga after that. The day of verdict never came.
The judge announced date after date through months to pronounce the verdict. But finally she left Bankshall Court without giving the verdict on Gour Chakraborty’s case, whose hearing was completed. She left as she has been transferred to some other court. Now, a new judge has taken charge of the case and said she has to hear the case afresh. Two dates have passed. She heard the case afresh. A third date has been fixed. No one can say how many dates she will take to give the judgement. A deep sense of frustration now pervades all the political prisoners including Gour Chakraborty.
Arnab Dam (Bikram)
On May 14, starting from 6 am, Maoist political prisoner Arnab Dam (Bikram) has gone on a hunger strike in Presidency Jail. Arnab had petitioned the jail authority to learn computers while in prison. He was turned down, despite the fact that regular prisoners are trained in computers in jail. The jail authority is unwilling to follow the directives of the Medinipur Court in this case. Arnab is demanding that like other prisoners, he too has to be given the opportunity of learning computers.
Chhatradhar Mahato and others
May 9, 2016
Kolkata High Court has refused to give back Political Prisoner status to CHATRADHAR MAHATO & others. Earlier, Kolkata High Court had granted them Political Prisoner status when they were under-trial prisoners. Now they are refused on the ground that their status has been changed to “Convict” and respective law has been changed by Mamata Banerjee Government.
One year has passed since Chatradhar Mahato & five other popular activists Raja, Prasun, Sukhsanti & Sambhu were convicted with life imprisonment by a trial court of Medinipur. It was decided by all mass organisations & activists jointly to fight the case at High Court. Accordingly an appeal petition has been filed in Kolkata High Court within stipulated date. The court accepted the appeal & asked the government to file affidavit in opposition. Subsequently bail petitions were also filed for all the convicts.
Not a single hearing has happened yet. Reason? Not known. In the meantime Chatradhar, Raja, Prasun, Sukhsanti & Sambhu Soren have completed one year of their life term as convicts and seven years of jail in total. Their political prisoner status has also been snatched. No ray of hope in sight. Kolkata High Court will soon be closed for summer vacation.