Maoist letter had pushed for ‘wider demos against draconian’ UAPA

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Sep 2018 08:04:50


 

By Kartik Lokhande,

NAGPUR,

SINCE the nation-wide arrests of some of the ‘activists’ for their Maoist links, many of the organisations sympathising with those arrested have been raising the pitch against ‘draconian’ law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act -- popularly known as UAPA. Interestingly, a Maoist letter dating back to February 10, 2017, also uses the same word for UAPA.


In fact, as per the letter, a copy of which is in possession of ‘The Hitavada’, Central Committee of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) underlined the need ‘to push for wider demonstrations against the draconian law UAPA’. The letter, which forms a part of the annexure submitted to the court by the investigating agencies is written with a pen-name ‘Dada’. It is addressed to ‘Dear comrade Prashant’.


“In the face of powerful repressive, Modi regime and its growing influence among people, there is a need to create wider awareness about this unconstitutional law which is used only to crush dissent. Please convey this to the concerned comrades in Mumbai,” states the letter. Obviously, the language used in the letter is of late being used by certain organisations masquerading as ‘civil society’ and ‘rights groups’, following the arrests of especially the activists namely Naxalite ideologue Varavara Rao, Gautam Navlakha, Sudha Bhardwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, and Arun Ferreira.


For instance, a press release issued by a bunch of these organisations including Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) demanded ‘unconditional repeal’ of UAPA. It also described the use of ‘the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) as an instrument to target political dissent’.


Interestingly, CRPP’s Public Relations Executive Rona Wilson was arrested earlier this year in similar nation-wide action by cops. The Maoist letter mentioned above also has a word about CRPP.

It reads: “Party is concerned about Sai and the present situation of CRPP in Delhi.”The ‘Sai’ mentioned here, according to investigating agencies, is Prof G N Saibaba, who has been convicted for links with Maoists. t may be recalled here that CRPP’s name figured in the list of Maoist front organisations, as provided by R P N Singh, the then Union Minister of State for Home, in early 2014 in response to an unstarred question asked by A T Nana Patil, Member of Parliament.


Another statement issued by a bunch of other organisations in support of the ‘activists’ arrested recently, describes provisions of UAPA as ‘draconian’ and states that those have been used ‘as a tool to stifle political dissent and opposition.’ “The UAPA is a repressive piece of legislation that flies in the face of all democratic norms. It empowers the government to ban ‘unlawful organisations’ and ‘terrorist organisations’ and membership of such organisations, which attracts a punishment of upto life imprisonment. Those charged under it are denied bail for upto six months, and, as lawyers and free speech commentators have said, ‘Section 43D(5) of the UAPA is effectively a warrant for perpetual imprisonment without trial!’,” the statement read.