Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cops find Naxal links: Union leader arrested

DWAIPAYAN GHOSH , TNN, Apr 28, 2010, 06.49am IST

NEW DELHI: The special cell of Delhi Police has arrested a leading trade union activist from east Delhi,and detained his wife and two others,for allegedly being involved in Naxal activities in the capital.The detentions come days after Lodhi Colony police arrested one Ajay for allegedly being involved in Naxal attacks in Bihar.There has been a spate of arrests in the city ever since Kobad Ghandy was arrested in Delhi a few months ago. Which suggests the capital,where anonymity is easy to find,is turning into a shelter for Naxal sympathisers, said a senior home ministry official.

According to allegations by several civil rights organizations,a special cell team detained trade union leaders Gopal Mishra and his wife Anu,along with one Pradip,on April 25 and April 26.Mishra was later arrested.

Earlier,another academic,Sunil Mandiwal,an assistant professor with Delhi Universitys Dayal Singh College,was detained for suspected links with Naxals,including arrested leader Kobad Ghandy.Mandiwal was released after questioning.

Police sources had earlier claimed there were reports that the ultra-left was trying to infiltrate trade unions in the capital.Talking to Times City,a special cell officer claimed the ultras already had an active trade union in the Okhla industrial area.The Naxals,he further alleged,were also trying to bring displaced labourers into their fold.Meanwhile,the NGO Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners claimed Mishra was taken into custody on April 25,from his home in Ramnagar in east Delhi,and that his wife was picked up on Monday.Police,though,claimed they had no information about Anu.Quoting Ritesh Kumar,the owner of the house in which Mishra was staying as a tenant,the CRPP said police reached the house along with Mishra at 11am on Monday and waited till evening for his wife Anu to return.

The house owner was later told by police that they were taking him to the police station.Later,it became clear that along with Mishra,another trade unionist Pradeep was also taken away by police, the CRPP said.The CRPP demanded the unconditional release of the trade union activists and that Anu be given access to lawyers.

The NGO has also shot off a letter to the National Human Rights Commission. We demand that he be given access to a lawyer and that his right to remain silent not be violated by intimidation and torture.According to the law,Mishra and Anu should both be produced before a court immediately.We would urge the immediate and timely intervention of your office in this regard so that the detained can be protected from inhuman torture and any loss of life can be prevented, it said.Meanwhile,talking to Times City,police officials said more and more Naxal leaders are seeking shelter in the city. Naxal sympathisers have a strong base here.They use unauthorized colonies as hideouts.

Delhi Police said Ajay has been taken to Bihar on transit remand. All cases against him are registered there, said an officer.Academic circles in the city,meanwhile,called the police action a witch hunt. The police should remember that the academic circles shun violence.Hence,we want transparency in the police action, said a political science professor from Jawaharlal Nehru University.

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