Sunday, April 3, 2016

India - political prisoners protest in Jharpara Jail

Maoist stir: ADGP Arun Ray visits Jharpara Jail
Bhubaneswar: Additional Director General of Prisons (ADGP) Arun Ray on Sunday visited the Jharapara Special Jail here , where some Maoist prisoners are fasting to press for their demands. Notably, the Odisha State Human Rights Commission had directed the Home Secretary and the ADGP to ensure the Maoists withdraw their fasting.

The Maoists are demanding expediting their trial process, producing them in court within three to six months of their arrest , stopping of re-arrest after being acquitted by the court of law or while they are on bail and granting them political prisoner status.
Ensure prisoners end fast: Rights body tells state govt
Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) on Saturday asked the state government to take action in regard to a petition seeking speedy trial of 12 prisoners, who are in jail for Maoist related activities.
The 12 undertrial prisoners (UTPs) include seven lodged in Jharpada jail, Bhubaneswar and five in the sub-jail at Bhanjanagar.
The seven in Jharpada jail launched a hunger strike in protest against delay in their trials on March 30 while those in Bhanjanagar joined them a day later on March 31.
They are in jail ranging from three to eight years. There are five women among these undertrials.
Responding to a petition filed by human rights campaigners Biswapriya Kanungo and Narendra Mohanty, OHRC chairperson Bira Kishore Mishra directed forwarding of a copy of the petition to home secretary to take appropriate action in the matter.
The rights watchdog said the government must ensure that investigating officers and prosecution witnesses appear before the court on dates fixed and submit an action taken report within two weeks. It also asked the home secretary and DG (prisons) to ensure that the prisoners call off their hunger strike, which otherwise may have a cascading effect.
In their petition, the rights campaigners highlighted that speedy trial is a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
They also cited a Orissa high court direction, which had asked the prosecution agencies to to cooperate for conclusion of the trial in cases of some of these prisoners by 2012.
The petitioners alleged that the prosecution witnesses were not produced on the date fixed for evidence by the trial courts.

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