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BackYou are here: ResistanceStatements April 15 Letter to the NHRC by Mr. Kobad Ghandy

Statements

April 15 Letter to the NHRC by Mr. Kobad Ghandy

COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

We at the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) received a Memorandum addressed to your esteemed office from Mr. Kobad Ghandy-facing trial under UAPA and at present lodged at the Tihar jail-through his lawyer. We believe that the issues he has raised in his letter are of paramount significance especially when we address the question of right to a free and fair trial in a democracy without being prejudiced, intimidated or discriminated.

The question of media trial becomes very important as it has condemned many a political prisoner to many insinuations/charges even before the hon'ble court has taken any decision. We put this letter before you for your perusal and not to say a timely response.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,

Gurusharan Singh (President)
Amit Bhattacharyya (Secretary General)
SAR Geelani (Working President)
Rona Wilson (Secretary Public Relations)

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Kobad Ghandy's Letter

To

The Chairperson,
The National Human Rights Commission,
Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg,
New Delhi 110001

Attempt to tarnish my image in order to curb my basic legal and democratic rights

The Intelligence Agencies have been consistently planting stories in the media as though I am some top leader of the Maoist party even before the case is decided by the court. It is therefore seeking to condemn me even before the trial has begun. The latest such attempt has been the media reports on April 13 and 14of the supposed plan to attack the train I was travelling in from Delhi to Bengal in a supposed escape bid.

Let me put the facts of the case. On April 10th morning I had sent an emergency call to the hospital due to severe loose motions. At 12.00 noon I was informed that I had to go to Bengal (Medinipur) for a case purported to have been put on me. That I have never been to that area in my life is another matter. As my loose motion problem had increased in the afternoon I wrote to the Superintendent of Prison regarding my health condition and inability to travel. I requested a postponement. As I was told to go for a medical check up I put in another emergency call. I explained to the doctor my stomach problems and my inability to travel. But he insisted I was fit and certified accordingly, after giving tablets for the stomach. Now, if the intelligence agencies had merely checked with the prison authorities they would have realised my strong reluctance to travel, let alone plan any escape.

Besides, when I was taken off the train at Allahabad under police escort how were the supposed attackers to know I had disembarked at Allahabad. Yet, no attack took place on the train. So obviously the intelligence reports were wrong. Yet the intelligence agencies sought to publicise the issue in a big way giving the impression of an escape bid. Besides, how could there be an escape plan when I was not aware of the details of my travel? Then how could others know? On 10th evening I requested the DS [Deputy Superintendent] to ring my lawyer to make sure I have some lawyer to represent me in Bengal. And also an hour before boarding the train, with the permission of the Inspector-in-charge, I informed my lawyer to contact the Bengal lawyer to make sure he is present when I am produced.

Also, even in my Punjab case I have been requesting the magistrate from exemption from fortnightly appearances on health grounds. Given my age and deteriorating health condition I have no strength to travel all over for court appearances, let alone think of escape.

The police/intelligence should and must take all precautions rather than sensationalise the issue. And this was not the first time; when I was being brought back from Andhra Pradesh in Dec. 2009, the AP SIB did the same thing. In exactly similar fashion they brought me back by plane. But in this case, even though I had no idea of my travel plans, it was the AP SIB who gave all the details in the press even before I had left AP. It was clearly an attempt to merely defame me in the media, rather than take the necessary precautions. I enclose a letter written to the Times of India.

The methods being adopted by the responsible intelligence agencies in order to psychologically pressurise me, condemn me before trial and to try and deny legal access so that in future I am not able to inform my counsel in time on cases slapped on me in various party of the country.

This denies my basic human rights to fair trial and my right of access to effective legal opinion. I request the Human Rights Commission to stop the media trial and defamation conducted by the Intelligence Agencies. I also request the Commission to allow me proper and timely legal access.

Thanking you,
Yours faithfully,
Sd/
Kobad Ghandy
s/o Adi Ghandy,
Tihar Jail 3, Ward 8
15 April 2010

CC to:

- The Home Ministry,
- Delhi Special Cell,
- DG of prisons, Tihar,
- Union Minister Kamal Nath,br/> - Attorney General GE Vahanvhati
- PUCL, PUDR and other human rights organisations.