Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Nepal Maoists’ Southern Discomfort - Comrade Chandra Prakash Gajurel treacherously re-arrested.
Comrade Azad has rightly said
" The CPI(Marxist) is a party of the Indian ruling classes, representing
the interests of imperialism, feudalism and the CBB in India.
Their aim is the same in both
countries - to pacify the Maoists in India with bullets and do
the same with the Nepalese Maoists with sugarcoated bullets."
Nepal Maoists’ Southern Discomfort
Supporters waited for Chandra Prakash Gajurel’s release but the West Bengal police arrested him inside Chennai jail, say his lawyers
PC Vinoj Kumar
At a time when the Maoists in Nepal are engaged in dialogue, Chandra Prakash Gajurel, one of their Politburo members, remains jailed in Chennai. Gajurel, who completed a three-year sentence in a passport forgery case, and a one-year term under the National Security Act (NSA), was re-arrested by the West Bengal police recently.
Supporters of Gajurel aka Comrade Gaurav, a Politburo member of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), attempted to burn the effigy of Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, when he was brought to a city court on September 25. Members of the Nepalese People’s Right Protection Committee (NPRPC) shouted slogans and demanded that India release Gajurel immediately. “It is a shame that the government led by Buddhadeb should be seeking the arrest of Gajurel, when it should be helping to secure his release,” says Chandra Bahadur, president of the state NPRPC unit.
Gajurel is a Maoist ideologue and specialised in international
affairs for the Maoists.
He was attempting to travel to Europe to gain international
support when arrested.
He was arrested on August 20, 2003 at Chennai airport for attempting to travel to London on a forged passport.
He was arrested for a case registered in West Bengal for planning to wage
war against the Central and state governments.
In April last year, the Madras High Court allowed a European human
rights delegation to meet Gajurel in prison on some conditions.
NPRPC activists have been providing moral support to Gajurel and helped Gajurel’s wife and son during their stay in Chennai. Now their one-point agenda is to secure Gajurel’s release and see him off to Nepal safely. Gajurel was arrested on August 20, 2003 at Chennai airport for attempting to travel to London on a forged passport.
In May this year, a city court sentenced him to three years rigorous imprisonment. Though Gajurel completed the sentence on August 20 this year, the Tamil Nadu government did not release him as it had invoked the NSA against him on September 19, 2005.
Gajurel was expected to be released on September 18. His supporters started assembling outside the Central Prison but he didn’t step out as a free man. He was whisked away under armed escort. Later, his supporters got to know that he had been arrested in another case registered in West Bengal.
The case against Gajurel is that he held secret meetings in some Bengal villages for making plans to wage war against the Central and state governments. His lawyers say Gajurel’s arrest was illegal as it took place inside the prison. He was not shown the warrant issued by the New Jalpaiguri court nor allowed to meet his lawyers.
Gajurel was produced before a Chennai court for obtaining a transit warrant to Jalpaiguri. West Bengal Police Inspector SE Dutta stated that he had arrested Gajurel outside the prison. But lawyers, who were outside the prison, refuted Dutta’s statement, and filed affidavits stating that Gajurel was never seen as a free man outside the prison.
They requested the court not to issue a transit warrant as it would enable the West Bengal police to take custody of Gajurel which goes against theMadras High Court’s interim stay on a warrant relating to the same case in August 2004.
Sengodi, one of Gajurel’s lawyers, filed a habeas corpus petition at the high court. The petitioner sought that till the matter is disposed, Gajurel should “not be taken to West Bengal.” Gajurel’s supporters claim he has not indulged in any subversive activities in India to warrant such harassment.
There is a feeling among his supporters that had Gajurel been treated in accordance with the provisions of Indo-Nepal treaty, he would have got away with a two-year sentence in the passport case. They also say that the Indian government wants to keep Gajurel as a ‘bargaining chip’ for negotiations with the Maoists.
“There is no other justifiable reason for holding back Gajurel, that too when the political environment in Nepal is fast changing. Talk about links between Nepal Maoists and Indian Maoists is rubbish,” says A. Rahul of the Indian Association of Peoples Lawyers, Chennai.