The Communist Party of India (CPI) on Friday wrote to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh urging the release of seven human rights activists and intellectuals jailed in the state for being ‘Naxalites’.
CPI General Secretary S Sudhakar Reddy said the seven -- members of the civil society from Telangana -- were on a fact finding mission to Chhattisgarh when they were arrested in Andhra Pradesh in December and subsequently handed over to Chhattisgarh police.
"If they are Naxalites why should they openly announce and go to Chhattisgarh. The allegation is that they met Haribhushan, a Naxalite leader twice in December and were going to meet him again. Why will a Naxalite leader take the risk of meeting some people, who are openly coming to Chhattisgarh," argued Reddy.
"Chhattisgarh police are branding everybody as Naxalites. Journalists, Adivasi leaders, university teachers are being harassed, arrested and concocted cases are filed against them," he said in the letter.
Reddy accused Bastar Inspector General of Police SR Kalluri of "branding" everybody as Naxals and "terrorising people". "The seven from Telangana are also victims to such conspiracies."
"Naxalism cannot be treated as a law and order problem. It is a socio-economic problem and needs a political solution. Chhattisgarh is being ruled by the police. Let democratic civil rights be extended to Chhattisgarh also," he added.
The seven arrested are Bala Ravindranath, an advocate and general secretary of Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP); Chikkudu Prabhaker, also an advocate convener of Telangana Democratic Forum; Durga Prasad, a journalist from Hyderabad; Duddu Prabhakar, President of Andhra Pradesh Caste Annihilation Committee; Rajendra Prasad and Nazeer from Telangana Students Forum and Ramanala Laxmaiyya, Secretary of Adivasi Tudem Dubba.