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06 Jan 2008

People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) condemns the arrest and continued detention of Mr Govindan Kutty, editor of People’s March. People’s March is a legally registered publication that has been appearing for seven years, reporting regularly on various movements taking place in different parts of the country.

Mr Govindan Kutty was taken into custody near Kochi on 19 December, interrogated by the police for an entire day and then sent to judicial custody where he has been on a hunger strike in protest for over two weeks now. He has been detained under charges of sedition and under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, which is simply condemnable.

PUDR has for long held that the suppressing of ideological opinion of whatever variant by the state, whether Left wing or Right, is fundamentally undemocratic and harmful to larger interests of society in the long run. Increasingly, activists in many parts of the country are being detained not for specific actions or crimes, but for their supposed political views. Mr Kutty’s arrest comes in the wake of several dangerous attempts by the central and state governments to suppress democratic voices and organizations in the name of curbing naxalism. PUDR demands the immediate release of Govindan Kutty from jail, that the false charges against him be dropped and that the periodical be allowed to resume without interference or harassment.

Nagraj Adve, Harish Dhawan
Secretaries, People’s Union for Democratic Rights, Delhi

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