Please share this everywhere.
Let us show our resolve against black laws and make it a National Movement.
Willing Organisations/people in other cities also can do Candle light demonstration On the same date with the permission of election office.
Do contact us.
Press release will be provided.
Dear IITians and other fellow beings,
Today in the camouflage of our small busy world rarely we ever raise our eyebrows when we hear about those who suffer and are exploited in our social and economic structures. But even so in our self interest based society; there are individuals across nations, religion, color, creed and gender that have dedicated themselves day and night in the service of those downtrodden and weaklings whom this modern world has rejected. Thus they are the torchbearers of love, compassion and therefore humanity. Prashant Rahi is one of these torchbearers who sacrificed the luxuries and lucrative life of an IITian engineer to work for the poor.
Prashant Rahi is an alumnus of IIT-BHU, Electrical Engineering (1982 Batch) who completed his M. Tech from IIT-BHU in 90's. Breaking himself away from the rat race to take jobs in big corporates he opted for social activism and journalism in Uttrakhand state. There he participated in separate statehood movement for Uttrakhand, mobilizing to help the farmers displaced by Tehri Dam construction and worked to uplift people from different walks of life. But his popularity amongst the masses and his left wing ideas got the ire of the state and in a sequence of brutal and well conspired events he was kidnapped, tortured, incarcerated on false charges and kept in solidarity confinement. Here is the account of these events as mentioned by his daughter Shikha Rahi :---- Link to this detail is http://www.countercurrents.
"On December 17, 2007 in Dehradun, I was walking to a friend's house at around 9 am, when I was suddenly attacked by four or five men (not in uniform). They pushed me into a car, blindfolded me and went on beating me all along the way. After a journey that lasted about an hour-and-a-half they pulled me out of the car in a forested area, where they started beating me again. They hit me everywhere," said my father.
I listened to him patiently without letting myself get affected by the brutality he underwent. My father continued, "On the evening of December 18, 2007 these people took me to Haridwar, where the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) conference was being held. Here, they continued to torture me. They brutally hit me all over my body, including my private parts. The officials also threatened to pump kerosene up my anus and tie me to slabs of ice." What is worse, the police also threatened my father to bring me from Mumbai (where I reside and work) and force him to rape me in their presence.
On December 20, 2007, the officials brought my father to Nanak Matta Police Station in Udham Singh Nagar district. He was in pain and disoriented due to the sustained beatings and interrogation of the earlier three days. Though the interrogation continued, the police waited for him to recover somewhat and then, after two days, on December 22, 2007 they made his arrest records, which are absolutely baseless and fictitious. According to my father, the officials who tortured him did not disclose their identity to him, nor were they seen again after those five days of in illegal detention."
After 3 years and 8 months of government apathy, torture and confinement, finally the social rights movement bodies were able to get Prashant Rahi released from prison on bail on 21st Aug. 2011. One such movement was started by IIT-BHU alumni (link :-- http://www.itbhuglobal.org/
and another by his daughter, Shikha Rahi (link:-- http://www.shikharahi.com/).
[sidenote:-- Presently she is bed ridden at her home in Mumbai due to an accident.]
In prison he witnessed similar cases where social activists, journalists and tribals were framed by police and state using loopholes in IPC which is a British era made Law code and amended UAPA which is a draconian act easy to be misused by police so as to get awards, benefits and power. So, he started championing the cause and rights of the political prisoners (social activist, journalists, tribal and rural people who don't have voice and power to fight individually with the State) in India. He was successful and many such political prisoners were given bail.
Pursuing such a case he travelled to Raipur to get some files from the court. Little did Prashant Rahi know that the police (Maharashtra police) and intelligence agencies had conspired a new plot against him as he was getting closer to getting acquital in Uttarakhand 2007 case. Again he was abducted, taken to some other place, beaten, tortured, incarcerated and thrown in jail and that too just before the date when his final hearing for 2007 case was scheduled. Details are given by Prashant Rahi himself in his letter :-- http://sanhati.com/
articles/9031/ (letter is attached
too). A detailed version of appeal by his lawyer is also attached where
all details of these atrocities by police on Prashant Rahi are mentioned.
Che Guevara said "Above all always be capable of feeling deeply any injustice committed anywhere in the world. This is the most important quality of a revolutionary.”
So, dear friends, as citizens of India it is our moral and social duty to uphold the principles of justice, liberty, equality and Love (fraternity) for all. Many organizations have already started campaigning for Prashant’s freedom.
Amnesty International (links :-- http://act.amnesty.org.in/
amnesty_international_india_ is_concerned_that_journalist_ prashant_rahi
http://act.amnesty.org.in/ detained_journalist_at_risk_ of_torture_in_india),
People Union for Democratic Rights (link:-- http://www.pudr.org/?q=
content/arrest-hem-mishra-and- prashant-rahisilencing-voices- questioning-violation- fundamental-rights)
Revolutionary Democratic Front(link :-- http://sanhati.com/
many journalist clubs and others:--
Remember evil doesn't triumph by its strength but because of the silence of the good. So, make the truth triumph.
So. now it is the turn of us IITians, alumni and other humanitarians to help our brother to get JUSTICE. Join the campaign for Prashant Rahi's release.
Social Activist and Visiting Faculty, Departments of Chemical & Mechanical Engineering
IIT, BHU, Varanasi
Ph: 0542 6702702, 2575389, 0522 2347365, e-mail: email@example.com
(For Further details contact :------
Shivprasad(Prashant Rahi's Lawyer)-8303481839
Monish Babbar --8953988126
Ajay Jain -- 9044729514
Nikhil Jain -- 7800345663)
Detailed Appeal By Prashant's Lawyer:
Urgent Appeal: 23 March-2014
INDIA: Illegal arrest of Prashant Rahi and his co-accused under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act [UAPA], 2008 and their continued incarceration at Central Prison, Nagpur.
ISSUES: Conspiracy of intelligence and police agencies, Arbitrary detention; Brutal torture, Inhuman and degrading treatment; Police Impunity; Persecution of political dissents; Harassment.
It is informed that a social activist and journalist Prashant Rahi and his co-accused Hem Mishra, the J.N.U. student of Chinese, and 3 other most innocuous adivasi (tribal) youth, were illegally arrested from different places by Maharashtra police, brutally tortured and treated in the most inhuman and degrading manner, before being framed under draconian law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, (UAPA in short) and Indian Penal Code (IPC in short) for no offence other than their political ideology. It is also informed that for last 8 to 10 years trends of the militarization/excess policing in India has led to the incarceration of not less than 3000 alleged Maoists, an overwhelming majority of them framed with fabricated charges, brutally tortured and inhumanly treated in police custody. It is also informed that the districts, particularly, inhabited by the tribal people, are officially notified as police districts, whereby usual District Administration, Judiciary and "Development Activities" are controlled by police officials, who in turn move around in the towns and roadside villages like an occupation army, enjoying overriding powers to lord & torment over the populace on their wimps.
CASE DETAIL: Prashant Rahi, a qualified electrical engineer from IIT-BHU in 90’s and a social activist by choice, was living and working in Dehradun since 1991. There he participated in separate statehood movement for Uttrakhand, mobilizing to help the farmers displaced by Tehri Dam construction and worked to uplift people from different walks of life. But his popularity amongst the masses and his left wing ideas got the ire of the state and on 17th December 2007, Prashant was picked up from a prominent street in broad daylight, close to Ara Ghar, after being attacked by several men all of a sudden, manhandled, blindfolded and carried away in a speeding car, first to a forest in the neighboring Haridwar district, beaten up with sticks all through the first night, after which he collapsed. The next day, he was shifted to a Provincial Armed Constabulary campus of the Uttarakhand Police in Haridwar in a restricted part of Roshanabad, brought to a “PAC Conference Room”, where the blind-folding was first removed on the 18th night. There, he was tortured and harassed continuously till the 20th in various devious and inhuman ways, which is being omitted here to save space and for decency’s sake. On the 20th morning, he was again blindfolded, put into a car and driven several hours to be brought to Udham Singh Nagar, and hidden in a room of the residential quarters within the premises of Nankmatta Police Station, some 350 km. to the east of Dehradun. There, he was tortured by a different set of police personnel, until they could make up a story to show his arrest on the 22nd under the IPC Sections 121 (waging war or abetting the waging of war against the state), 121A (conspiring against the state), 124A (sedition), 153B (threatening the preservation of the nation’s unity and sovereignty), 120B (committing the above offences as part of a criminal conspiracy), and under the UAPA Section 20 (member of a terrorist organization). Till the 5 days and 5 nights that elapsed after he had been picked up and illegally confined, he had not been allowed even a wink’s sleep. After informing his daughter Shikha Rahi, based in Mumbai, of his arrest on the 22nd evening, he was produced at a Magistrate’s Court on the 23rd Dec.
The arrest story was that he was accosted in the forests near Nankmatta during a combing/search operation by a police party for a Maoist training camp, as reported in a F.I.R. lodged on the 20th, around the time he was brought to the police station premises from Haridwar, which 4 others, who were with him, fled the scene. Later, he allegedly helped recover a broken laptop, a pen drive and some printed material from the same forest (which he had never seen before, nor was he taken out there then), and the IO wrote out other cock and bull descriptions about an imagined 3-month long CPI (Maoist) military training camp, and now all the cadres and military trainers with their equally imaginary arms and ammunitions had vanished – all except him (who was already in their custody on the date of filing the FIR)!
The case with Cr. Case No. 3222/2007 was taken up for trial 8 months later, as S.T. No. 83/2008, and the trial has not yet concluded. Prashant could get bail only after 3 years and 8 months, that too only because the UAPA invoked against him and his co-accused was the 2004 version, not the 2008 one, and also due to the dedicated efforts of many social rights organizations. The others who were subsequently arrested from home, a court premises and one from a railway station a year or so later, were respectively, Gopal Bhatt, Dinesh Pandey and Chandrakala, all well-known social activists of Uttarakhand. 3 others were proclaimed as absconders. All the 3 who were arrested after him were released first, and he too was released on bail on August 21, 2011.
Soon after his release on bail, Prashant having realized the horrific conditions in jails during his own detention and also having realized the vulnerability and helplessness of the poor political prisoners framed under UAPA and other draconian laws, languishing in different jails
for a long time, decided to work for the cause of these political prisoners. Due to his continuous and tireless work (before his second time abduction and illegal arrest on 1st September 2013), he had been enormously successful, either in getting a good number of them bailed out or speeding up their trials, which resulted in their acquittals.
For this very human rights activism of providing legal aid to political prisoners, Prashant Rahi was abducted on 1st September, 2013 by the Maharashtra police from Raipur where he had gone to collect some papers related to a case for which he was engaged professionally as to translating those papers and to hand it over to a lawyer engaged in filing a Special Leave Petition in the Apex Court of the country.
Apart from the police story, Prashant Rahi was arrested from Raipur of Chhattisgarh state in the most innocuous circumstances, far beyond the State of Maharashtra well before September 2 (the claimed date of his arrest in Gondia); forcibly thrust into a dark-colored van bearing fake number plates and shaded glass for its windows; and forced to travel with his abductors who turned out to be employees of the Maharashtra police. They had transgressed their specified area of jurisdiction, with orders from their superiors to facilitate Prashant's fake arrest, in gross violation of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr. P. C.) and specific directions on procedure for arrest issued by the Supreme Court of India. Prashant Rahi was driven over a full day and night, straight to Aheri police station, having crossed several district and State borders.
At Aheri Prahsant was first produced in a Magistrate Court on precisely that day, by the Investigating officer (IO) in Cr. Case No.3017/2013, Suhas Bavache, a Deputy Superintendent of Police. The IO, Suhas Bavache. hoodwinked the Courts so that cognizance be taken of Prashant's fake arrest and his allegations against Prashant about a criminal conspiracy (Section 120B, IPC) to commit some unlawful acts (Sec.13,UAPA), as a member of terrorist organization(Sec. 20, UAPA) and eliciting support for the CPI (Maoist) (Sec. 39, UAPA).
It is reported that Prashant and his co-accused were badly tortured by the IO, Suhas Bawache. All of the accused were tortured in the most inhuman manner. Mr. Bawache personally used brute force against Prashant and the others, violated their minds and body, abused them, tormented and harassed them all through the days and nights over several weeks of their PCR, i.e. Police Custody Remand. Hem Mishra, Pandu Naroti and Mahesh Tirki, who were actually picked up from different places at Ballarshah in Chandrapur District of Maharashtra within the railway station premises on August 20, where badly mauled during 2 days of their illegal custody prior to the stipulated 24 hour period within which accused persons are required to be presented before a judicial court.
It is also reported that apart from the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Suhas Bawache and his subordinates who physically and mentally tortured Prashant, Hem and the others, senior officials like the Deputy Inspector-general of Police, Ravindra Kadam; and an Inspector-general who called himself Anup Kumar were directly responsible for the entire episode and for implicating Prashant unlawfully and for showing their arrests incorrectly and falsely.
Again, as reported, none of the accounts of the victims’ interrogation during illegal and legal custody of the police carried by the newspapers are true and complete. Prashant and his co-accused did not get any opportunity to freely and sufficiently interact with journalists. There is not even an iota of truth in the claim that Vijay Tirki from Kanker District of Chhattisgarh received Prashant at Raipur in that State, and thereafter escorted him up to a certain Devri–Chichgadh T-junction in Gondia, Maharashtra, enroute to Abujhmaad.
The fact is that Vijay Tirki was arrested separately, somewhere in Raipur, and he had no plan to escort Prashant, nor did Prashant approach him to be escorted to any destination. The first time that Prashant met a person by this name from Kanker District of Chhattisgarh was several hours after Prashant was dumped into the Aheri Police Station around midnight of 1st/2nd September 2013, when Vijay Tirki too was thrown inside. As has already been reported, Prashant was engaged in professionally translating some case papers for a lawyer; after meeting another lawyer who was his source for those papers, he was to collect some more papers from him shortly after the time of Prashant’s abduction, and before proceeding to return to Uttarakhand to be present at an important hearing of his ongoing trial in Udham Singh Nagar District on September 2, 2013.
It is informed that at the end of November, 2013, around 90 days after Prashant’s arrest, Suhas Bawache submitted an interim report of his investigations to the learned Court of the Principal District and Sessions Judge at Gadchiroli, in a successful bid to seek extension by a further 90 days of the period for submitting a charge sheet against him, failing which he could be entitled automatically for release on bail under section 167, Cr. P.C. The learned Judge heard Prashant’s contention that the investigation was being delayed deliberately on spurious grounds, his arguments having been given as written ‘Say’ filed among the case record. However, the provisions under Sec. 43 (d) 2 of UAPA gave the IO the right to prolong his detention over a period of 180 days without being served a charge-sheet.
A similar 90 days extension had been permitted by the same Court to submit a charge-sheet against Hem Mishra and his two alleged escorts, Pandu Naroti and Mahesh Tirki, residents of a Gadchiroli village, all three having been shown arrested at Aheri Bus Stand on August 22, 2013. The interim investigation report submitted to the court by Suhas Bawache in support of this extension plea was identical, in fact a true copy of that submitted in Prashant’s case a week later.
Thus, effectively, the IO has secured time until February to prepare his charge-sheet against them, following which, as per the only modicum of safeguards guaranteed by the UAPA, the sanctioning authorities of the Maharashtra State Government and/or the Government of India would have to conduct a review of the investigation, independent of Suhas Bawache and his superior authorities of or above the rank of Deputy Inspector-general of Police, before granting sanction in order to prosecute them. Once this procedure is completed according to the specified process, and a valid Case Diary is prepared by the IO, recording the procedure followed, even a higher court would be obliged, as per the 2008 insertion into UAPA under its Section 43 (d), Sub-section 5 to take an adverse view of their bail petitions.
Had he not been framed up in second case, the Uttrakhand case could have ended in acquittal latest by the end of 2013. So, there would be calculations and speculations on the part of both the police IOs, and indeed their superiors, as to how one case could be made use of to lend weight and credibility to the other.
Please write to the authorities mentioned below demanding immediate release of Prashant Rahi and his co-accused framed under UAPA and to withdraw the cases pending against Prashant Rahi in the states of Uttarakhand and Maharashtra. Join and participate in online signature campaign by Amnesty International. You may also demand to repeal the UAPA or at least withdraw its 2008 and 2004 amendments.
INDIA: Release Prashant Rahi and his co-accuseds’ immediately and withdraw cases pending against Prashant Rahi in the states of Uttarakhand and Maharashtra. .
Name of the victims
1. Prashant Rahi, a social activist and free lance journalist, Haldwani, Uttarakhand
2. Vijay Tirki, a resident of Gadchiroli village, Maharashtra
3. Hem Mishra, a cultural activist and the JNU student of Chinese
4. Mahesh Tirki, a resident of Kanker District of Chhattisgarh
5. Pandu Naroti, a resident of Gadchiroli village, Maharashtra
Name of the alleged perpetrators:
1. Mr. Suhas Bawache, Investigating officer in Criminal. Case No. 3017/2013 registered at the Aheri police station, Gadchiroli, Maharashtra.
2. Mr. Ravindra Kadam, Deputy Inspector-general of Police, Maharashtra.
3. Mr. Anup Kumar, Inspector-general of Police, Maharashtra, who was directly responsible for the entire episode and for implicating the victims unlawfully and for showing their arrests incorrectly and falsely.
Date and place of the incident: Since 1st September, 2013 at different places of Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra States.
I am writing to you with keeping in view the grave concern regarding illegal arrest, brutal torture, inhuman and degrading treatment as well as violation of civil and democratic rights of a journalist and social activist Prashant Rahi, even if for the second time—this time after 10-11 days’ mauling of a distantly acquainted, handicapped JNU student and two, most innocuous, adivasi youth, hours before a third was picked up from yet another location.
I am also writing to you with keeping in view the consideration that the many unwarranted dimensions that the police are trying to add in order to erect an edifice for their fake, tall claim of having busted some huge “terrorist”, “anti-national” conspiracy—in a profane bid to lend veracity to Prashant’s and his co-accuseds’ case, and to extend the stipulated period for submitting the primary charge-sheet from 90 days to 180, as permitted under the latest UAPA version—so as to deny them bail on the grounds of detention without charges.
Apart from the prevailing proliferation of pliant, politically prejudiced police story to comply with the draconian, many-faced state, to defame and denigrate the nobler, unbending dissenting political stream of which Prashant considers himself, I am fully aware of his surreptitious pre-arrest abduction (second arrest) by the Maharashtra Police, far beyond their jurisdiction and in blatant violation of the law as outlined clearly, and the inevitable vicious mental and physical torture inflicted upon him. Keeping in view the grave impunity on the part of the police, Maharashtra government as well as Indian government is obliged to make some minimum clarification pertaining to the UAPA which breeds this lawlessness, undemocratic, conspiratorial or vindictive actions and trends at any level, both within and without.
I also hold the opinion, keeping in view the grave impunity, that Maharashtra government as well as Indian government is obliged to make some minimum clarification pertaining to the Act which breeds this lawlessness, undemocratic, conspiratorial or vindictive actions and trends at any level, both within and without.
I have also noted the misreporting by the media or follow-up interrogation by any of the plethora of investigation agencies—all of whom would generally tend to distort the facts and circumstances of such cases and the victim’s real version, even to the extent of entirely concocted cock-and-bull statements and allusions.
I also firmly hold the opinion that it is the responsibility of the Maharashtra government as well as Indian government to prevent each and every excess, given the increasingly repressive apparatus, particularly that following the post-American 9/11 and post-our own 26/11 enactments and amendments by successive NDA and UPA regimes through some politically sterile and paranoid parliamentary machinations, in the form of POTA to begin with, and then the ubiquitous UAPA. The first Act we could successfully throw out all together, in the course of a regime change. The second still begs far more discourteous resistance than the cursory derision or ecclesiastic condemnation we have offered it so far. The real encumbrance to any pretence of a democracy is the incumbent UAPA regime indeed.
I am also aware of the 31st December 2008 amendments in the UAPA is of serious nature, especially those pertaining to the very definition of “terrorism” in the Act and the stiff resistance to granting bail, which has been instituted within the statute book (where the Act is invoked).
I am also aware that in the UAPA of 2004, it was imperative that only such acts, where” bombs, dynamite or other explosive substances or inflammable substances, firearms or other lethal weapons or poisons or noxious gases or other chemicals or by any other substances (whether biological or otherwise) of a hazardous nature” were used, could be described as terrorist acts. By this definition, even in such serious cases as Prashant’s no ‘terrorist act’ can be alleged to have been resorted to. For there is no allegation of any weapon or substance “of a hazardous nature”, or at least no evidence of such use has been produced.
In addition to the above, I am also informed that by 31st 2008 amendments, 2 very short phrases have been added to lengthy definition of “terrorist act” under section 15 of UAPA, 2004, which have drastically broadened the scope of the people, and more importantly, innocent people, who may be targeted by the state or the police or the ruling government. Now the 2008 amendments adds the phrase “or by any means of whatever nature”, which is a vague and blanket description which can include anything under the sky, including mere ideological conversations, talks or literature. Meaning thereby, merely use of vocal means or literary means could be defined as a “terrorist act”, and held the speaker or writer liable for punishment under section 16, UAPA, which may amount to not less than five years and extending to a life term.
I, with these concerns, urge you to:
1. To grant Prashant Rahi and his co-accused immediately and withdraw cases pending against Prashant Rahi in the states of Uttrakhand and Maharashtra.
2. Repeal the U.A.P.A. or at least withdraw its 2008 and 2004 amendments.
3. Ensure speedy trials for all UAPA accused and summon prosecution witnesses without delay.
4. Ensure freedom of speech and expression of those booked under U.A.P.A.
5. Do not adopt video conferencing as the means to conduct court trials. Stop this practice forthwith wherever in force.
6. Implement forthwith the provisions of the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights, on Prisoners’ Right, and on Detention Centres.
Write letter (as given above the sample) to the following authorities:
1. Mr. Sushil Kumar Shinde
Government of India
Ministry of Home Affairs
North Block, New Delhi 110003
Fax: + 91 11 23093750 / 23092763
2. Home Minister, Maharashtra
R.R Patil, Home Department
7th Flr, World Trade Centre,
Cuffe Parade, Mumbai 400005
Fax: (via Home Secretary)
+91 22 2215 1733
Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission
9, Hazarimal Somani Marg,
Opp. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai 400 001
National Human Rights Commission
Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg
New Delhi 110001
Fax: + 91 11 2338 4863
6. . The Chief Justice,
Supreme Court of India,
Tilak Marg, New Delhi-110 001 (India)
FAX: +91 11 23381508
Email: e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
7. Aheri Sub-divisional Officer of Police
Aheri Police Station
Fax: (via Gadchiroli Police Station)
+91 7132 222159
8. Superintendent of Police
Gadchiroli Police Station
Near Telecom Office
Fax: +91 7132 222159
9. Director General of Police,
10. Superintendent of Police,
11. Superintendent of Police,
12. Superintendent of Police,
13. Dr. Rameshwar Oraon
National Commission for Scheduled Tribes
6th Floor, 'B' Wing, Loknayak Bhawan, Khan Market
New Delhi -110003
Fax: +91 11 2462462
Email: chairperson@ ncst.nic.in
14. Honourable V. Kishore Chandra Deo
Union Minister of Tribal Affairs
Sansad Bhwan, Room number 105-A
Fax: +91 11 2307 0577
Email: jk.popli@ nic.in
15. Mr. Arvind Kumar Chugh
Secretary, Government of India
Ministry of Tribal affairs
Shastri Bhawan, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road
New Delhi- 110001
Fax: +91 11 2307 3160