Monthly Archives: September 2013

Condemn Indian State’s Heinous Raid on Activist and Delhi University Prof. G N Saibaba’s Residence

Condemn Indian State’s Heinous Raid on

Activist and Delhi University Prof. G N Saibaba’s Residence

On September 12, in a joint operation in India, a 50 member squad of police personnel – comprising of members of National Investigation Agency (NIA), Delhi police, Special Cell of the Delhi Police and Maharashtra police – barged into the Delhi University staff quarter of Prof. G. N. Saibaba, a noted civil rights activist and professor of English at Ramlal Anand College, University of Delhi. The wheel-chair bound professor is a Joint Secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) and the convener of several forums against ‘Operation Greenhunt’ and the persecution of millions of adivasis and tribal population of Central and Eastern India. He teaches English at Delhi University.

 

During the raid, his house was ransacked by the police on the false pretext of attempting to recover “stolen property”. Saibaba, his wife and daughter were subjected to violent threats and criminal intimidation by the raiding team. They were detained for nearly four hours and were denied access to their lawyer. Their mobile phones were confiscated and his right to contact the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) was completely disregarded. Prof Saibaba’s laptop, hard disks that contain his PhD work and university teaching material, his and his family member’s mobile phones, many valuable books, copies of RDF publications and a DVD of a Hindi version of the Sanjay Kak film, Red Ant Dream, were taken away.

 

The Maharastra police team comprised of Suhas P Bawache who happens to be the Investigating officer of the case in which Hem Mishra, a Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student has recently been shown as arrested in Maharashtra. The allegation of the police was that a micro-chip recovered from Hem Mishra was given to him by Saibaba. Saibaba has denied any knowledge of such micro-chip.

 

Several intellectuals, civil rights organisations and teachers associations have condemned this attack on Prof Saibaba.

 

As reported by the Indian newspaper ‘The Hindu’, academics and activists including noted author Arundhati Roy, condemned this terrifying police raid.
Roy, while commenting on the incident, brought out a larger picture on how “this was a blatant attempt to criminalize even innocuous actions like internet chats that is part of a pattern of state action that was observed in the case of Binayak Sen as well”. Drawing a parallel between the case of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru and Prof. Saibaba, Roy said in that case, too, it all started with a raid and recoveries made were later used to incriminate Guru.

 

The teachers present in the meet said it is a matter of grave concern that a DU employee and a wheelchair-bound person with 90% disability has been subject to this manner of intimidation, invasion of privacy, and violation of civil and human rights.

Karen Gabriel, a professor of English in St Stephen’s College gave a broad account of the incident and the larger context in which it needs to be understood.  Manoranjan Mohanty, retired professor, noted that the search was a clear indication that “Operation Green Hunt was now taking place in the university and in urban areas as well.”

 

Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association, Delhi and other members of the teaching community have condemned the police raid and stand in solidarity with G. N. Saibaba. They further added, “The violence inflicted upon Saibaba and his family shows yet again the high-handedness of the state and its police force and its power to treat human rights activists and other such citizens in such brazen manner.”

 

Nandita Narain president of the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) has condemned the police raid. Stating that the investigation was “baseless” and the charges “outrageous” and “despicable”, Narain  said, “It is a matter of grave concern that an employee of the university and a wheelchair-bound person with 90 per cent disability has been subjected to this manner of intimidation, invasion of privacy, and violation of civil and human rights.”  She also slammed the claim made by Gadchiroli police that “incriminating evidence” had been found against Saibaba.

Nandita wrote to the Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, claiming that the university community is deeply concerned that a pattern of police targeting, thrashing, molesting and otherwise intimidating and bullying university students and teachers, including persons with disabilities, has developed.
It is clearly evident from this development that by targeting activists and intellectuals, the State is trying to suppress voices of dissent that questioned its “so-called development policies” that are resulting in displacement of millions of indigenous people and farmers from their villages and farm lands for making way for setting up of corporate industries such as mining and steel / aluminium projects.

 

We call upon all democratic organisations, intellectuals and progressive minded people across the world to condemn Indian state’s heinous attack on the freedom of Prof Saibaba and all other political and civil liberties activists.

 

Indian Workers Association, Great Briton (iwagb38@gmail.com)

International Campaign for the Freedom of Political Prisoners, London

Press Conference on police attempt to frame Dr G N Saibaba

Press Invitation
Teachers to Participate 
On 12th September 2013, a fifty member team comprising members of the National Investigation Agency, the Central Intelligence Bureau, police force from Aheri in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, the Special Cell of the Delhi Police, Maurice Nagar Police Station and computer specialists, forcibly entered and raided the residence of Dr G N Saibaba.
Dr Saibaba is a professor in Ramlal Anand College, University of Delhi, a political activist and the Joint Secretary of Revolutionary Democratic Front. The charges were that his residence was “used as a place for the deposit of stolen property”.
The raid was carried out coercively. The team confiscated a laptop, hard discs, pen drives, tablet microchip, college documents, books and articles. None of these was stolen articles. He was also threatened with arrest.
Local journalists report that the Gadchiroli Police claim that Hem Mishra has “confessed” that he received a microchip from Saibaba. It is anticipated that, in keeping with an established pattern, Saibaba will be arrested as soon as the police are able to fabricate a case against him. The University community and other members of the intelligentsia are alarmed by these events.
A Press Conference on this matter will be held on Saturday, 14th September 2013 at 3.00 pm at G N Saibaba’s residence (Warden’s House, Gwyer Hall, Delhi University – 110007).
The Press Conference will be addressed by Prof. Ujjwal Kumar (Head, Dept. of Pol. Sc.), Ms. Nandita Narain (President, DUTA), Dr. Shujauddin Siddiqui (former secretary, DUTA), Arundhati Roy, Sumit Chakravartti (Editor, Mainstream), Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty and many others.
Contact persons: P K Vijayan (9871767570), Karen Gabriel (9810567570), Rona Wilson (9810149990), Hany Babu (9811971166)

Arbitrary Raid Of Prof. G.N Saibaba’s House Condemned

Arbitrary Raid Of Prof. G.N Saibaba’s House Condemned

By Committee For The Release Of Political Prisoners

14 September, 2013
Countercurrents.org

In an unprecedented act of terror to terrorise, on the 12 September 2013, around 3 pm, a joint operation of a team from the National Investigation Agency (NIA), 7 members from the Special Cell of the Delhi Police, 15 member police team from the Aheri police station, Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, 7 member police team from the Maurice Nagar Police Station, Delhi University—all put together 50 member squad—barged into the premises of the quarter in which Prof. GN Saibaba was staying with the family. The Aheri police team comprised of Mr. Suhas P Bawache who happens to be the Investigating officer of the case in which Hem Mishra, a JNU student has recently been shown as arrested in Aheri police station limits. Additional SP Shashi Kumar was also part of the team. The NIA team refused to reveal their identity. Sub Inspector Sanjeev Kumar identified himself as part of the Maurice Nagar Station while his colleague Narendra Dubey from the same station refused to reveal his rank. As mentioned before the team comprised of 50 members just to raid the premises of a family comprising of three—Prof. GN Saibaba who moves in a wheel chair with serious disability, his life partner AS Vasantha and their daughter Manjeera in her teens. Undoubtedly it was an act of intimidation, cold and calculative.

Prof. GN Saibaba had just returned from Ramlal Anand College where he teaches in the English department. Sooner than later the marauding team of police/intelligence had seized all the mobiles—Saibaba, his partner AS Vasantha and daughter Manjeera—and confined them to a room. Even his driver was not spared as he was not allowed to leave. The main gate of the premises was locked from inside. The doors of the quarter were locked or manned by the team. No one was allowed to go inside. Whosoever tried was threatened with dire consequences in the form of cases. Prof. GN Saibaba insisted that the warrant for search be shown. The response was outright shouting and blatant threats from the police/intelligence/special cell. After doggedly persisting they finally showed him the warrant which was issued by the First Class Judicial Magistrate from Aheri, NG Vyas, to purportedly recover “stolen property” from the premises of Prof. GN Saibaba under Section 93, 94 of the Cr PC! Prof. GN Saibaba insisted that he be allowed to talk to his lawyer so that the search can happen in his presence. This was ridiculed and ignored as the police insisted they can do anything. Prof. GN Saibaba further added that he wanted to talk to the president of the Delhi University Teacher’s Association as it was a blatant violation of the rights of the faculty as such raids cannot be conducted in the university premises. This was further ridiculed by the Maurice Nagar police as they maintained there is no need for any such permission as they can go anywhere with such a warrant. For three and half hours Prof. GN Saibaba and his family had to undergo the humiliation and intimidation resorted to by the raiding team. They went on ransacking his house making vulgar comments about the voluminous books that were present in his household. Then they pried into his study material that was used for his Ph D and started commenting on that too. Finally when the teachers started gathering before the house and the media got curious the raiding party left after three and half hours taking away his hard discs, laptop, computer, pen-drives, 3 mobile instruments, 2 SIM cards, booklets and magazines, old copies of People’s March which is a registered magazine, booklet on Kishenji after his killing brought out by intellectuals, Arunatara the organ of the Revolutionary Writer’s Association, Andhra Pradesh, most issues of Jan Pratirodh, organ of Revolutionary Democratic Front in which Prof. GN Saibaba is the Joint Secretary.

All the previous addresses of the houses in which Prof. Saibaba had stayed before shifting to this quarter in the North Campus were listed as places from where “stolen property” can be” recovered”! From the wording of the search warrant itself it is evident that since the police doesn’t have any other argument to show for this act of highhandedness they have got this order sanctioned by the magistrate with the lame pretext of seizing “stolen property”. What is the “stolen property” that can be “recovered” from a known academic, public intellectual, who is politically active and is residing in Delhi? And the seizure list that has been mentioned above also reveals the nature of the “stolen property” that was “recovered” from the premises of Prof. GN Saibaba.

If a learned academic of Delhi University can be treated so brazenly with a wonder document like a search warrant to recover “stolen property”, it is high time that tomorrow anyone can be harassed and even framed with a factious document like the above mentioned search warrant that is nothing but the figment of imagination of a criminal police out to incriminate anyone who dares to speak against the state. One need not mention what his teenage daughter might have gone through while the 50-member team run rough shod of their house. One is forcefully reminded of the days of emergency when such acts of terror of the police and the intelligence were the order of the day. One is once again reminded of the plight of the adivasis in deep interiors who have been surrounded of hundreds of thousands of paramilitary as part of raiding their households so as to browbeat them to submission. Increasingly and quite alarmingly this is being re-enacted on a day to day basis in various urban centres on people’s intellectuals/activists as an act to weed out all dissent that is taking shape here amidst increasing desperation of the people who are at the receiving end of policies of a state that has brought increasing miseries for them. As we have mentioned time and again this is the manifestation of the heights of impunity of a penal system teethed with draconian laws trying to tame in desperation the increasing indignation of the people.

CRPP condemns such authoritarian, arbitrary acts of the joint team of NIA-Special Cell-Aheri Police-Local Police on Prof. GN Saibaba and his family. This act which is at best an incriminating one is primarily intended to implicate Saibaba and his family in the case of Hem Mishra. As they don’t have anything to show before the court the desperate police and intelligence agencies are resorting to criminal ways of implicating people who are fearlessly opposing the fascist policies of the Indian state against the most oppressed and exploited in the subcontinent. We call upon all democratic and progressive forces to stand united against such fascist, brazen, anti-people assaults on our freedoms!
In Solidarity,

SAR Geelani,

President

Amit Bhattacharyya

Secretary General

MN Ravunni

Vice President

P Koya

Vice President

N Venuh

Vice President

Rona Wilson

Secretary Public Relations

Hany Babu

Convenor, Delhi Chapter

An Appeal to all Progressive Intellectuals

  • Condemn the arbitrary Raid of  the house of Prof. G.N. Saibaba.
We Nepalese  intellectuals-writers, journalists and university teachers of Nepal condemn the arbitrary raid, a calculated state terror by the Indian Government,  of the house of Dr. G.N Saibaba, asst.Prof.  at Ranm Lal Anand  College, Delhi University. G.N, Saibaba, is disabled and wheelchair-bound and an active intellectual in the People’s Movement in India  for revolutionary rights. He  is also  the joint secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF). Reactionary Governments always frighten with the progressive intellectuals because of their stand on the side of oppressed people. This treatment also indicates the terrified mentality of the Indian reactionaries before the progressive ideas and intellectuals.
We express our  strong solidarity with G.N. Saibaba and with those intellectuals-professors and human right activists,  who have stood against such fascist and  brazen anti-people activities–the naked  state terror.  We call upon  all progressive intellectuals particularly the university teachers of Nepal  to condemn such fascist activities and  unmask the real face of Indian fascist Government.
In Solidarity,
On Behalf of  Revolutionary Intellectuals of Nepal
 Dr. Rishi Raj Baral
Retired Professor : Tribhuwan University, Nepal
September 14, 2013

Press release and teachers’ statement on Hem Mishra

Press release

Today various students’ organizations like DSU, AISA, AISF, SIO, Krantikari Naujawan Sabha, Paribartankami Chhatra Sangh, United Dalit Students’ Forum, All India Backward Students’ Forum,  Revolutionary Cultural Front, Viplab Sanskritik Manch, krantiukari Sanskritik manch, political organizations like CPIML(New Democracy), Inquilabi Majdoor Sangh, and noted journalists from Uttarakhand Suresh Notiwal, Charu Tiwari, poet Ranjit Verma, DU professors Rakesh Ranjan, Ish Mishra, Anirban Kar and various students and activists from Delhi Uttarakhand and Punjab came to gether to protest against the unjust and illegal arrests of Hem Mishra and Prashant Rahi. All the organizations unitedly condemned the arrest and demanded their immediate release. Hem’s father KD MIshra who had visited Hem, informed that Hem was picked up on 20th august from Ballarshah in MAharashtra, the police informed them on 23rd august, produced him in court on 24th august, and shown the arrest from Aheri. Hem was also tortured in the first three days of illegal custody and now he has been booked under UAPA, Section 120 (B) of IPC and sedition charges. The police are still refusing him to meet his lawyer till he is in Police custody.

Sometime between the 20th and the 23rd of August, Hem Mishra, who was till very recently a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and is a member of Democratic Students’ Union (DSU) and Revolutionary Cultural Front (RCF) was illegally arrested and detained by the Maharashtra State Police. At the beginning, the police did not produce him within 24 hours of his arrest. Later after being pressurised by media persons they acknowledged that he has been arrested as a ‘prominent Naxal Courier’. This is a ludicrous claim. Hem is a known students and cultural activist in Uttarakhand and Delhi who has been working for the people by raising social issues since his early days in student activism. He is a physically disabled person.  Being a sensitive activist and having heard a lot about the Lok Biradari Hospital run by Dr. Prakash Amte, where it is said more than 60000 people visit a year, Hem wished to visit this place in Bhamaragrh. Possibly he was also keen to know if there is any treatment for his persistent pain in the left hand where he had undergone two major surgeries from Vellore in Tamil Nadu. At some point in his journey, he was illegally detained on the 20th August 2013 and till his arrest was declared on the 24th August 2013 he was tortured physically and mentally by the police. He was remanded to police custody for ten days during which time he was not allowed access to a lawyer which is a gross violation of his constitutional rights. It was also reported in the media that two adivasi youths, by the name of Mahesh Tirkey and Pandu Narote were simultaneously picked up by police and were also shown as ‘Naxal Couriers’ along with Hem.

On the 2nd September, a freelance journalist and people’s activist in Uttarakhand, Prashant Rahi, was picked up by the police somewhere in Chhattisgarh  and then shown as arrested in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. Prashant Rahi was on his way to visit political prisoners in the various prisons of Chhattisgarh. Media sources and independent civil rights activists confirm that Prashant Rahi was arrested from near by the Raipur Court, Chhattisgarh. He was then produced the next day morning in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra in front of the local magistrate. He has been remanded along with Hem Mishra to police custody for fourteen days. This is a pre-meditated move from the side of the investigating agencies to incriminate both Hem Mishra and Prashant Rahi in a case together. Prashant Rahi a people’s activist was arrested and charged under 121, 121A, 124A, 153B, 120B IPC and section 20 UAPA and was under trial at the Session Court of Rudrapur, Uttarakhand. After languishing in the prison for 3 years and 8 months, he was released on bail on August 21, 2011. Since
then he managed to stay in Rudrapur as his trial was continuing there and
was supposed to conclude this month end. It goes without saying that the
arrest and possible frame-up of Prashant can also prejudice the trial that
is about to conclude. Prashant proclaimed infront of the magistrate that he was abducted by the police in Raipur, Chhattisgarh while the police claimed he was arrested from Maharashtra. The police is spreading virulent false lies to club Hem and Prashant, and trying to implicate them both in false cases.

We strongly condemn the false arrests and framing of student, cultural and democratic rights activists and branding them as ‘maoist’ courier. A memorandum was submitted to the home minister against this. in the coming days we are going o take up various other rprogrammes till Hem and Prashant are released.

 

—-REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRATIC FRONT

 

 

To

Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde

Home Minister,

North Block

New Delhi

 

 

 

05/09/2013

Sub: Against the Arbitrary Arrests and frame up of Hem Mishra and Prashant Rahi

Sometime between the 20th and the 23rd of August, Hem Mishra, who was till very recently a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and is a member of Democratic Students’ Union (DSU) and Revolutionary Cultural Front (RCF) was illegally arrested and detained by the Maharashtra State Police. At the beginning, the police did not produce him within 24 hours of his arrest. Later after being pressurised by media persons they acknowledged that he has been arrested as a ‘prominent Naxal Courier’. This is a ludicrous claim. Hem is a known students and cultural activist in Uttarakhand and Delhi who has been working for the people by raising social issues since his early days in student activism. He is a physically disabled person.  Being a sensitive activist and having heard a lot about the Lok Biradari Hospital run by Dr. Prakash Amte, where it is said more than 60000 people visit a year, Hem wished to visit this place in Bhamaragrh. Possibly he was also keen to know if there is any treatment for his persistent pain in the left hand where he had undergone two major surgeries from Vellore in Tamil Nadu. At some point in his journey, he was illegally detained on the 20th August 2013 and till his arrest was declared on the 24th August 2013 he was tortured physically and mentally by the police. He was remanded to police custody for ten days during which time he was not allowed access to a lawyer which is a gross violation of his constitutional rights. It was also reported in the media that two adivasi youths, by the name of Mahesh Tirkey and Pandu Narote were simultaneously picked up by police and were also shown as ‘Naxal Couriers’ along with Hem.

 

The police are not even disclosing under what charges exactly he has been booked. The only thing that the police have claimed so far is a recovery of an ‘encrypted microchip’ which they have clearly implanted on him. Even on such spurious and baseless grounds he continues to remain incarcerated. Although the police has not officially made it clear what are the charges they have slapped on him, they have informed the local media that a range of cases from several sections under UAPA, sedition, extortion, etc. will be placed on him.

 

Hem is a well-known student leader and cultural activist. By branding him a ‘courier’ for Naxals, the police and the media intend to spread fears among young activists, threaten people’s leaders, and silence all voices of dissent. This illegal arrest of Hem, denying information to his family and finally producing him before a magistrate three days later and denying him lawyer even within police remand, clearly shows the impunity enjoyed by the Maharashtra state police to spread fear of custodial intimidation and possible torture of a known activist.

On the 2nd September, a freelance journalist and people’s activist in Uttarakhand, Prashant Rahi, was picked up by the police somewhere in Chhattisgarh  and then shown as arrested in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. Prashant Rahi was on his way to visit political prisoners in the various prisons of Chhattisgarh. Media sources and independent civil rights activists confirm that Prashant Rahi was arrested from near by the Raipur Court, Chhattisgarh. He was then produced the next day morning in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra in front of the local magistrate. He has been remanded along with Hem Mishra to police custody for fourteen days. This is a pre-meditated move from the side of the investigating agencies to incriminate both Hem Mishra and Prashant Rahi in a case together. Prashant Rahi a people’s activist was arrested and charged under 121, 121A, 124A, 153B, 120B IPC and section 20 UAPA and was under trial at the Session Court of Rudrapur, Uttarakhand. After languishing in the prison for 3 years and 8 months, he was released on bail on August 21, 2011. Since
then he managed to stay in Rudrapur as his trial was continuing there and
was supposed to conclude this month end. It goes without saying that the
arrest and possible frame-up of Prashant can also prejudice the trial that
is about to conclude.

 

The arrests of Hem and Prashant are not isolated cases. The arbitrary and illegal arrests of activists like Jayeeta Das in West Bengal, the arrest of cultural activist Utpal Bashke from Ranchi, the hounding and attack of Kabir Kala Manch activists by the lumpen goons of ABVP, the brutal killing of RDF Vice President Ganti Prasadam in Nellore in July, and the banning of RDF in Andhra Pradesh are all part of the undeclared war on people codenamed Operation Green Hunt taking on an urban avatar where activists, students and intellectuals are targeted for voicing the genuine demands of the people.

 

RDF strongly and unequivocally condemns these arrests and detention of people’s activists on fabricated charges and protests this form of repression by the Maharashtra state police and the Indian state. RDF demands the immediate and unconditional release of Hem Mishra, Prashant Rahi and the two other adivasi youths.

 

_____________________________________

 

 

We, the undersigned teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University strongly condemn the arrest of Hem Mishra and the subsequent framing of him by the Maharashtra Police as a ‘prominent Naxal courier’. Hem was till recently, a student of JNU, in BA Chinese and a known student and cultural activist. He was abducted by the Maharashtra police sometimes around 20th August, kept in illegal custody for some days and then sent to ten days of police remand, which has now been shockingly extended. He was neither produced within 24 hours of his arrest in court, nor was his family informed about the arrest. We are appalled to know that he was not even allowed to meet his lawyer in custody and that bolsters the possibility of him being physically and mentally tortured in custody. The police have not been able to produce any evidence against Hem for his alleged crime and yet they continue to keep him behind bars.

Arbitrary arrests and framing of democratic rights and cultural activists is nothing new. The intolerance of the state is exemplified by the fact that any voice of dissent or protest is being consistently met with similar repression, slapping of bogus charges and incarcerations. We strongly condemn such false framing of activists and demand Hem’s immediate release.

Prof. Ayesha Kidwai, SLL&CS, JNU

Prof. T.G. Suresh, SSS, JNU

Dr. Tahir Asghar, SIS, JNU

Dr. D.K. Lobiyal, SCSS, JNU

Dr. Moushumi Basu, SIS, JNU

Dr. Pradip Shinde, SSS, JNU

Dr. Ajay Gudavarty, SSS, JNU

Dr. M.N. Thakur, SSS, JNU

Dr. Vivek Kumar, SSS, JNU

Dr. Y.S. Alone, SAA, JNU

Dr. Sangeeta Dasgupta, SSS, JNU

Dr. Y.C. Rao, SSS, JNU

Dr. S. K. Kejriwal, SSS, JNU

Dr. Renuka Singh, SSS, JNU

Dr. Avinash Kumar, SSS, JNU

 

Signed/

Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy, SIS, JNU

Prof. Nivedita Menon, SIS, JNU

Prof. Chamanlal, (retd.) SLL&CS, JNU

Prof. Avijit Pathak, SSS, JNU

Prof. C.P Chandrashekhar, SSS, JNU

Prof. K.J. Mukherjee, SBT, JNU

Prof. Mohan Rao, SSS, JNU

Prof. Arun Kumar, SSS, JNU

Prof. A.K. Ramakrishnan, SIS, JNU

Prof. Tanika Sarkar, SSS, JNU

Prof. G.Srinivas, SSS, JNU

Prof. Supriya Verma, SSS, JNU

Prof. Rohan D’Souza, SSS, JNU

Prof. Arun Kumar, SSS, JNU

Prof. Deepak Kumar, SSS, JNU

Prof. M.S.S. Pandian, SSS, JNU