One of the foundational demands of the Civil Liberties and Democratic Rights organisations in India was the demand for release of all Political Prisoners. In contemporary India the demand has acquired a new salience as members/supporters of proscribed/banned organisations are being charged under draconian laws and/or under other IPC sections for their politics.
A large number of people are being imprisoned largely under ordinary laws, just because they happen to live in regions where conflict/movement is going on. People are randomly picked up and booked under various sections of IPC. Many Adivasis and Kasmiri Muslims, democratic rights activists across the country and Northeast are languishing in jails for their activism and political dissent. With the new concept of ‘Production Warrants’ every one there is under perpetual threat of arrest.
With this broader understanding, we are starting a campaign for release of Political Prisoners with the aim to ensure release of as many as possible, eventually to result in release of all. We begin our campaign by taking up cases of six prisoners, each of whom belongs to CPI (Maoist). We intend to include all those political prisoners who by our above understanding have been targeted by the state for their politics. Since this will be an on-going work, we hope to keep raising the profile, so as to keep public memories alive to the issue.