Sunday, February 28, 2010

Civil right groups listed on Ghandy's chargesheet

Rupashree Nanda

New Delhi: It's an open war between the Home Ministry and its police establishment on the one hand and Left-leaning intelligentsia on the other.

A chargesheet against alleged Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy states top civil rights groups are engaged in unlawful activities.

The chargesheet also includes top human rights groups, saying that they are helping the Maoists.

Among those named in the chargesheet are:

  • Gautam Navlakha, People's Union for Democratic Rights.
  • Secretary of the committee for the release of Political Prisoners, Rona Wilson.
  • Delhi University professor, GN Saibaba.
  • The Democratic Students Union.
  • Association for the Protection of Democratic Rights.
  • Revolutionary Democratic Front.
  • Anti-Displacement Forum.

Activists and writers insist they have been targeted simply because of their criticism of the government's action against Naxals.

"There is a war going on, there are human rights violations going on ... these are the people who are bringing them out and now there is an attempt to throw a cordon of silence around the theater of war," said author Arundhati Roy.

Human rights activists strongly refute the charge that they engage in unlawful activity and spread CPI Maoist thought. They are asking if this is not a clear attempt to criminalise thought and silence dissent.

The Supreme Court had recently said that those who support the Naxals cannot charged for being Naxals sympathisers. The forum of concerned citizens is also emphasizing the need for talks to find a solution as against an all-out war.

"The only way you can create an atmosphere for talks is by halting Operation Greenhunt, " said Arundhati Roy.

But as operations are on, people ask whether human rights and civil liberties are fast becoming the casualties.

No comments: