Thursday, September 28, 2006

Maoist leader in freedom cry - Let India prove it is democratic: Mohan Baidya

Maoist leader in freedom cry - Let India prove it is democratic: Mohan Baidya

Siliguri, Sept. 25: The only way to prove that democracy exists in
India is to withdraw all cases against Mohan Baidya.

At least Baidya himself thinks so. The third-in-command of the
Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) or CPN (Maoists), who was produced
in the court of the additional district and sessions judge in
Jalpaiguri today, said: "It is typical of India, a democratic
country, to pursue legal proceedings against me. The cases under
which I have been booked are false and baseless.

"To prove that there is democracy here, the state and the Centre
should take steps and withdraw the charges that they have levelled
against me, especially when I am fighting for democracy in Nepal,
which the CPM here supports," the politburo member of the CPN
(Maoists) said. After spending two years in jail, Baidya's trial
started today. He had been arrested from a private nursing home here.

Baidya said it was ironic that the dialogues ensued by top CPM
leaders, like Sitaram Yechuri, with the Maoists, including general
secretary Prachanda, in Nepal is not in sync with the action of the
CPM-led Bengal government, which is keeping leaders like him behind
bars. "I don't understand this riddle. We appreciate the initiative
taken by the CPM leaders in India and their support to establish
democracy in the Himalayan kingdom, but simultaneously they should
withdraw the charges that have been levelled against us," he added.

About the Maoist movement in India, the leader admitted that they
have "political relations" with his outfit but said he was unaware of
the current state of affairs. He, however, appeared to be at a loss
when asked to comment on the present status of Nepal.

"We had dreamt of the end of monarchy and the rise of democracy but
the current situation has left me in despair. There are several
issues which need to be addressed to bring about the long-cherished
change in the life of the citizens," Baidya said as he headed for the
prison van.

Clad in a sleeveless sweater and a formal shirt and trousers, Baidya
said: "When the relationship is so cordial among the two nations, why
doesn't the Indian government release me? I am helpless here and
can't do much except for some verbal opposition."

His trial ensued at the court of Subhankar Bhattacharya, the
additional district and sessions judge, Jalpaiguri first court. L.B.
Kumai, the deputy superintendent of police, Darjeeling, and the
police officer who had lodged the FIR at Bhaktinagar police station
on April 4, 2004, appeared as the first witnesses, court sources said.

Anmole Prasad, Baidya's lawyer, said: "He has been booked under
charges like waging war against the state, conspiracy against the
state and some other sections of the IPC. We have requested the court
to expedite the trial process." The next hearing is slated on
November 13-17, Prasad said.

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