Wednesday, April 3, 2013

PUDR and CRPP statements on the kidnapping of student leaders from Chandigarh by Andhra police

March 29, 2013

Peoples Union For Democratic Rights (PUDR)
Press statement :: 28-03-2013
Condemning unwarranted arrest and detention of Student activists
While the democratic space for dissident voices is gradually shrinking,itsimmediate brunt is being borne by activists increasingly facing the wrath of police repression for their ‘dangerousness’ to the status quo. Following the logic, two student activists from Chandigarh, were held by the Andhra Pradesh wing of National Investigation Agency for their alleged threat to the public security of the state of Andhra Pradesh. On 9 March, two student leaders Mandeep Singh, of JagrookChhatarMorcha, Haryana, and Pradeep Singh, a student of Punjab Engineering College and a leader of Students for Society, were picked up on gunpoint by the Andhra Police wing of NIA from Chandigarh. The arrest comes in the wake of following the trend of state repression where not just specific actions or offences but also ideological positions are persecuted.Both student leaders have had an active chronicle of political activism, though they claim to be non-aligned to any political party, the organizations they are affiliated to, are radical left.
After being detained for more than a week and subjected to mental torture including repeated threats of encounter, Pradeep Singh was let off in Bhopal while Mandeep Singh was produced before a court in Adilabad district of Andhra on March 16 and booked under Section 8 of the Andhra Public Security Act. Though, Mandeep has been granted bail, he is required to provide two surety bonds and mandated to present himself at the police station, for one day every month.
The arrest of Mandeep Singh raises questions not only of illegality of unwarranted detention which have come to be accepted as a gradual norm, but also indicts NIA of breaching federal principles. NIA has outreached its jurisdiction in the said case and violated Supreme Court guidelines in relation to procedures to be followed in a case of detention involving different layers of federal structure.
PUDR strongly condemns this illegal detention by Andhra Police and demands withdrawal of charges slapped on Mandeep Singh. We also demand probe into the matter which led to the arrest of two spatially distant student activists of Chandigarh in a case of threat to public security of Andhra Pradesh.
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COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS
Condemn the Kidnapping of Student Leaders Mandeep Singh and Pradeep Singh by the lawless AP Police!
Release them Unconditionally!

March 25, 2013
The lawless Andhra Pradesh Special Police in yet another act of impunity have kidnapped Mandeep Singh, a student leader of Jagruk Chatra Morcha, Haryana from Chandigarh. As reported by human rights fraternity from Chandigarh Mr. Mandeep Singh was illegally detained by the Andhra Pradesh Special Police on 9 March 2013 from Chandigarh which is not their jurisdiction. He was kept in illegal detention since 9 March and was produced most probably at the court of Mancherial in Adilabad district, Andhra Pradesh only on the 16 March 2013. A false case was slapped on him under the draconian Andhra Pradesh Public Security Act. This has been the modus operandi of the Andhra Pradesh Special Police to kidnap people from other states and keep them under illegal confinement for days to torture so as to extract confessions from the detained. Given the criminal track record of AP Special Police it was inevitable that Mr. Mandeep Singh would have met with the same fate of the likes of others like Cherukuzhi Rajkumar (@Azad) or Hem Chandra Pandey who were similarly kidnapped and killed in custody. But for the massive protests and cases filed against the acts of impunity of the AP Special Police have to some extent curtailed the beast in them that this time they have decided to create a fanciful story of arrest of Mr. Mandeep Singh in one of the districts in North Telangana.
What had created more concern is the whereabouts of another student Pradeep Singh of Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh who has also been illegally detained by the notorious AP Special Police since 9 March. For some strange reason Pradeep Singh was released to one of his friends at Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. The AP Special Cell is answerable as to whether the law permit them to keep Mr. Pradeep Singh under illegal confinement for more than five days to be released in an intriguing manner at Bhopal to one of his friends. The more desperate fact is that the apex courts in India has time and again raised their concerns about the growing impunity and criminality of the police and paramilitary only to remain silent after that without any course of concrete action to stem the deep rot. Instead the order of the day is the police of all hues going unabated filing false cases and manufacturing evidence flouting all norms and procedures and last but not the least indulging in the worst forms of torture to extract the so-called confessions. Arrests based on third party confessions have become the standard operating procedure of the police with the AP Special Police leading the rest in this trade.
CRPP condemns strongly the lawless, mafia-type conduct of the AP Special Police and demand a judicial probe be conducted into such criminal conduct and the culprits brought to book. Once again the media which sensationalise every criminal act of the police and indulge in blatant media trials towards manufacturing consent to implicate anyone under the garb of fighting ‘terror’ has maintained a criminal silence on this count wherein the role of the police in violating the law is evident. Only the vigilant and freedom loving people can uncompromisingly fight such fascist tendencies of the state and its police when there is already talks going on about the constitution of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) despite several reservations and concerns raised from several quarters about the ravages such a body can create in the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent. Rather the modus operandi of the AP Special Police is a forerunner towards how an NCTC will actually operate at the ground level or even without such a body the notorious AP Special Police has already been performing that role of picking up people from other states not under its jurisdiction, keeping them in torture chambers for days and finally showing them either killed in fake encounters or if the detainee is a bit fortunate in trumped up cases in some of the districts in Telangana or Andhra Pradesh. We need to resolutely fight this!
In Solidarity,
SAR Geelani
President
Amit Bhattacharyya
Secretary General
MN Ravunni
Vice President
Rona Wilson
Secretary, Public Relations