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27 Apr 2008

23rd April 2008

(1) S. Seshaiah, Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee [APCLC]
(2) Sujato Bhadra,Association for Protection of Democratic Rights [APDR]
(3) P.A. Sebastian,Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights [CPDR]
(4) K. Balagopal, Human Rights Forum [HRF]
(5) Antony Samy,Lokshahi Hakk Sangathana [LHS]
(6) Harish Dhawan / Nagraj,Peoples Union for Democratic Rights [PUDR]

C/o. P.A. Sebastian, 110 YMCA, 12 N. Parekh Marg, Colaba, Mumbai-400 039.

1. Murli @ Ashok Reddy
2. Arun Ferreira
3. Dhanendra Bhurule
4. Naresh Bansode
5. Lata Prakash Gauda
6. Ramu Salame
7. Sanjay Madavi
8. Anil Mamhani
9. Babasaheb Saimote
10. Raoji Tulavi
11. Fagulal Madavi
12. Dayaram Pandhre
13. Vishwanath Kulmethe
Nagpur Central Prison,
Wardha Road, Nagpur.

Dear Murli, Arun, Dhanendra, Naresh, Lata, Ramu, Sanjay,
Babasaheb, Raoji, Fagulal, Dayaram and Vishwanath,

We, the undersigned, are members of civil liberties and democratic rights organizations from different parts of the country, and have been following the events that resulted in your going on a hunger strike on 7th April 2008, and also what has taken place thereafter.

At the outset, we wish to express our solidarity with your demands and unambiguously state our support to the same. We are doing and shall continue to do, singly and jointly, all that we can towards fulfillment of your demands.

Your demands truly reflect the manner in which the state is attempting to suppress dissent and create terror amongst activists and others who are organizing people and exposing state policies for what they are and fighting for peoples’ rights. We are having a meeting of civil liberties and democratic rights organizations in Mumbai on 18th May 2008, especially on the subject of who should fall within the ambit of “political prisoners”, when we shall again be discussing your demands and planning joint action with regards to the same.

What has happened to Jayakka and Mallesh is most contemptible. The practice of the police in immediately arresting under section 110 CrPC those persons acquitted or released of “Naxalite” charges deserves denunciation. As is also the practice of targeting and incarcerating as anti-nationals, activists and social organizations, regardless of their ideology, who have a different view of development of our country from that espoused by the state We condemn this practice in unequivocal terms, and we shall struggle to put an end to it. Keeping in solitary confinement, undertrial Naxalite prisoners, and not allowing them adequate private interviews with their lawyers, and your other demands, we agree, require to be addressed at the earliest. Please know that we shall persist to struggle to create pressure for your demands.

As you know, the above is not going to be an easy task, more particularly in the present political scenario which does not inspire any confidence. Your lives are precious and esteemed by us and the people with whom you work, and your struggles are something we fully believe in. Therefore, we appeal to you to withdraw your fast, so that we can jointly continue to press and struggle for your demands.

Yours faithfully,

Sd/- S. Seshaiah
Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee [APCLC]

Sd/- Sujato Bhadra
Association for Protection ofDemocratic Rights [APDR]

Sd/- P.A. Sebastian
Committee for Protection ofDemocratic Rights [CPDR]

Sd/- K. Balagopal
Human Rights Forum [HRF]

Sd/- Antony Samy
Lokshahi Hakk Sangathana [LHS]

Sd/- Harish Dhawan Sd/- Nagraj,
Peoples Union for Democratic Rights [PUDR]

Letter from Nagpur Prisoners to the Home Minister, Government of Maharashra, giving notice of Indefinite Hunger Strike against the atrocities of State Police and Prison Department