[Reader-list] Appeal For Justice To Prashant Rahi

Asit Das asit1917 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 3 04:36:07 CDT 2014

Appeal For Justice To Prashant Rahi <http://sanhati.com/articles/9031/>

*April 1, 2014*

1. Urgent Appeal for Justice <http://sanhati.com/articles/9031/#1>
2. Sample Letter to be sent to authorities<http://sanhati.com/articles/9031/#2>
3. Prashant Rahi's letter from Nagpur Jail<http://sanhati.com/articles/9031/#3>

Urgent Appeal: 23 March-2014
INDIA: Illegal arrest of Prashant Rahi and his co-accused under Unlawful
Activities Prevention Act [UAPA], 2008 and their continued incarceration at
Central Prison, Nagpur.

ISSUES: Conspiracy of intelligence and police agencies, Arbitrary
detention; Brutal torture, Inhuman and degrading treatment; Police
Impunity; Persecution of political dissents; Harassment.

It is informed that a social activist and journalist Prashant Rahi and his
co-accused Hem Mishra, the J.N.U. student of Chinese, and 3 other most
innocuous adivasi (tribal) youth, were illegally arrested from different
places by Maharashtra police, brutally tortured and treated in the most
inhuman and degrading manner, before being framed under draconian law
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, (UAPA in short) and Indian Penal Code
(IPC in short) for no offence other than their political ideology. It is
also informed that for last 8 to 10 years trends of the
militarization/excess policing in India has led to the incarceration of not
less than 3000 alleged Maoists, an overwhelming majority of them framed
with fabricated charges, brutally tortured and inhumanly treated in police
custody. It is also informed that the districts, particularly, inhabited by
the tribal people, are officially notified as police districts, whereby
usual District Administration, Judiciary and "Development Activities" are
controlled by police officials, who in turn move around in the towns and
roadside villages like an occupation army, enjoying overriding powers to
lord & torment over the populace on their wimps.

Prashant Rahi, a qualified electrical engineer from IIT-BHU in 90's and a
social activist by choice, was living and working in Dehradun since 1991.
There he participated in separate statehood movement for Uttrakhand,
mobilizing to help the farmers displaced by Tehri Dam construction and
worked to uplift people from different walks of life. But his popularity
amongst the masses and his left wing ideas got the ire of the state and on
17th December 2007, Prashant was picked up from a prominent street in broad
daylight, close to Ara Ghar, after being attacked by several men all of a
sudden, manhandled, blindfolded and carried away in a speeding car, first
to a forest in the neighboring Haridwar district, beaten up with sticks all
through the first night, after which he collapsed.

The next day, he was shifted to a Provincial Armed Constabulary campus of
the Uttarakhand Police in Haridwar in a restricted part of Roshanabad,
brought to a "PAC Conference Room", where the blind-folding was first
removed on the 18th night. There, he was tortured and harassed continuously
till the 20th in various devious and inhuman ways, which is being omitted
here to save space and for decency's sake. On the 20th morning, he was
again blindfolded, put into a car and driven several hours to be brought to
Udham Singh Nagar, and hidden in a room of the residential quarters within
the premises of Nankmatta Police Station, some 350 km. to the east of
Dehradun. There, he was tortured by a different set of police personnel,
until they could make up a story to show his arrest on the 22nd under the
IPC Sections 121 (waging war or abetting the waging of war against the
state), 121A (conspiring against the state), 124A (sedition), 153B
(threatening the preservation of the nation's unity and sovereignty), 120B
(committing the above offences as part of a criminal conspiracy), and under
the UAPA Section 20 (member of a terrorist organization). Till the 5 days
and 5 nights that elapsed after he had been picked up and illegally
confined, he had not been allowed even a wink's sleep. After informing his
daughter Shikha Rahi, based in Mumbai, of his arrest on the 22nd evening,
he was produced at a Magistrate's Court on the 23rd Dec.

The arrest story was that he was accosted in the forests near Nankmatta
during a combing/search operation by a police party for a Maoist training
camp, as reported in a F.I.R. lodged on the 20th, around the time he was
brought to the police station premises from Haridwar, which 4 others, who
were with him, fled the scene. Later, he allegedly helped recover a broken
laptop, a pen drive and some printed material from the same forest (which
he had never seen before, nor was he taken out there then), and the IO
wrote out other cock and bull descriptions about an imagined 3-month long
CPI (Maoist) military training camp, and now all the cadres and military
trainers with their equally imaginary arms and ammunitions had vanished -
all except him (who was already in their custody on the date of filing the

The case with Cr. Case No. 3222/2007 was taken up for trial 8 months later,
as S.T. No. 83/2008, and the trial has not yet concluded. Prashant could
get bail only after 3 years and 8 months, that too only because the UAPA
invoked against him and his co-accused was the 2004 version, not the 2008
one, and also due to the dedicated efforts of many social rights
organizations. The others who were subsequently arrested from home, a court
premises and one from a railway station a year or so later, were
respectively, Gopal Bhatt, Dinesh Pandey and Chandrakala, all well-known
social activists of Uttarakhand. 3 others were proclaimed as absconders.
All the 3 who were arrested after him were released first, and he too was
released on bail on August 21, 2011.

Soon after his release on bail, Prashant having realized the horrific
conditions in jails during his own detention and also having realized the
vulnerability and helplessness of the poor political prisoners framed under
UAPA and other draconian laws, languishing in different jails for a long
time, decided to work for the cause of these political prisoners. Due to
his continuous and tireless work (before his second time abduction and
illegal arrest on 1st September 2013), he had been enormously successful,
either in getting a good number of them bailed out or speeding up their
trials, which resulted in their acquittals.

For this very human rights activism of providing legal aid to political
prisoners, Prashant Rahi was abducted on 1st September, 2013 by the
Maharashtra police from Raipur where he had gone to collect some papers
related to a case for which he was engaged professionally as to translating
those papers and to hand it over to a lawyer engaged in filing a Special
Leave Petition in the Apex Court of the country.

Apart from the police story, Prashant Rahi was arrested from Raipur of
Chhattisgarh state in the most innocuous circumstances, far beyond the
State of Maharashtra well before September 2 (the claimed date of his
arrest in Gondia); forcibly thrust into a dark-colored van bearing fake
number plates and shaded glass for its windows; and forced to travel with
his abductors who turned out to be employees of the Maharashtra police.
They had transgressed their specified area of jurisdiction, with orders
from their superiors to facilitate Prashant's fake arrest, in gross
violation of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr. P. C.) and specific
directions on procedure for arrest issued by the Supreme Court of India.
Prashant Rahi was driven over a full day and night, straight to Aheri
police station, having crossed several district and State borders.

At Aheri Prahsant was first produced in a Magistrate Court on precisely
that day, by the Investigating officer (IO) in Cr. Case No.3017/2013, Suhas
Bavache, a Deputy Superintendent of Police. The IO, Suhas Bavache.
hoodwinked the Courts so that cognizance be taken of Prashant's fake arrest
and his allegations against Prashant about a criminal conspiracy (Section
120B, IPC) to commit some unlawful acts (Sec.13,UAPA), as a member of
terrorist organization(Sec. 20, UAPA) and eliciting support for the CPI
(Maoist) (Sec. 39, UAPA).

It is reported that Prashant and his co-accused were badly tortured by the
IO, Suhas Bawache. All of the accused were tortured in the most inhuman
manner. Mr. Bawache personally used brute force against Prashant and the
others, violated their minds and body, abused them, tormented and harassed
them all through the days and nights over several weeks of their PCR, i.e.
Police Custody Remand. Hem Mishra, Pandu Naroti and Mahesh Tirki, who were
actually picked up from different places at Ballarshah in Chandrapur
District of Maharashtra within the railway station premises on August 20,
where badly mauled during 2 days of their illegal custody prior to the
stipulated 24 hour period within which accused persons are required to be
presented before a judicial court.

It is also reported that apart from the Deputy Superintendent of Police,
Suhas Bawache and his subordinates who physically and mentally tortured
Prashant, Hem and the others, senior officials like the Deputy
Inspector-general of Police, Ravindra Kadam; and an Inspector-general who
called himself Anup Kumar were directly responsible for the entire episode
and for implicating Prashant unlawfully and for showing their arrests
incorrectly and falsely.

Again, as reported, none of the accounts of the victims' interrogation
during illegal and legal custody of the police carried by the newspapers
are true and complete. Prashant and his co-accused did not get any
opportunity to freely and sufficiently interact with journalists. There is
not even an iota of truth in the claim that Vijay Tirki from Kanker
District of Chhattisgarh received Prashant at Raipur in that State, and
thereafter escorted him up to a certain Devri-Chichgadh T-junction in
Gondia, Maharashtra, enroute to Abujhmaad.

The fact is that Vijay Tirki was arrested separately, somewhere in Raipur,
and he had no plan to escort Prashant, nor did Prashant approach him to be
escorted to any destination. The first time that Prashant met a person by
this name from Kanker District of Chhattisgarh was several hours after
Prashant was dumped into the Aheri Police Station around midnight of
1st/2nd September 2013, when Vijay Tirki too was thrown inside. As has
already been reported, Prashant was engaged in professionally translating
some case papers for a lawyer; after meeting another lawyer who was his
source for those papers, he was to collect some more papers from him
shortly after the time of Prashant's abduction, and before proceeding to
return to Uttarakhand to be present at an important hearing of his ongoing
trial in Udham Singh Nagar District on September 2, 2013.

It is informed that at the end of November, 2013, around 90 days after
Prashant's arrest, Suhas Bawache submitted an interim report of his
investigations to the learned Court of the Principal District and Sessions
Judge at Gadchiroli, in a successful bid to seek extension by a further 90
days of the period for submitting a charge sheet against him, failing which
he could be entitled automatically for release on bail under section 167,
Cr. P.C. The learned Judge heard Prashant's contention that the
investigation was being delayed deliberately on spurious grounds, his
arguments having been given as written 'Say' filed among the case record.
However, the provisions under Sec. 43 (d) 2 of UAPA gave the IO the right
to prolong his detention over a period of 180 days without being served a

A similar 90 days extension had been permitted by the same Court to submit
a charge-sheet against Hem Mishra and his two alleged escorts, Pandu Naroti
and Mahesh Tirki, residents of a Gadchiroli village, all three having been
shown arrested at Aheri Bus Stand on August 22, 2013. The interim
investigation report submitted to the court by Suhas Bawache in support of
this extension plea was identical, in fact a true copy of that submitted in
Prashant's case a week later.

Thus, effectively, the IO has secured time until February to prepare his
charge-sheet against them, following which, as per the only modicum of
safeguards guaranteed by the UAPA, the sanctioning authorities of the
Maharashtra State Government and/or the Government of India would have to
conduct a review of the investigation, independent of Suhas Bawache and his
superior authorities of or above the rank of Deputy Inspector-general of
Police, before granting sanction in order to prosecute them. Once this
procedure is completed according to the specified process, and a valid Case
Diary is prepared by the IO, recording the procedure followed, even a
higher court would be obliged, as per the 2008 insertion into UAPA under
its Section 43 (d), Sub-section 5 to take an adverse view of their bail

Had he not been framed up in second case, the Uttrakhand case could have
ended in acquittal latest by the end of 2013. So, there would be
calculations and speculations on the part of both the police IOs, and
indeed their superiors, as to how one case could be made use of to lend
weight and credibility to the other.

Please write to the authorities mentioned below demanding immediate release
of Prashant Rahi and his co-accused framed under UAPA and to withdraw the
cases pending against Prashant Rahi in the states of Uttarakhand and
Maharashtra. Join and participate in online signature campaign by Amnesty
International. You may also demand to repeal the UAPA or at least withdraw
its 2008 and 2004 amendments.



Dear ______,

INDIA: Release Prashant Rahi and his co-accuseds' immediately and withdraw
cases pending against Prashant Rahi in the states of Uttarakhand and
Maharashtra. .

Name of the victims
1. Prashant Rahi, a social activist and free lance journalist, Haldwani,
2. Vijay Tirki, a resident of Gadchiroli village, Maharashtra
3. Hem Mishra, a cultural activist and the JNU student of Chinese
4. Mahesh Tirki, a resident of Kanker District of Chhattisgarh
5. Pandu Naroti, a resident of Gadchiroli village, Maharashtra

Name of the alleged perpetrators:
1. Mr. Suhas Bawache, Investigating officer in Criminal. Case No. 3017/2013
registered at the Aheri police station, Gadchiroli, Maharashtra.
2. Mr. Ravindra Kadam, Deputy Inspector-general of Police, Maharashtra.
3. Mr. Anup Kumar, Inspector-general of Police, Maharashtra, who was
directly responsible for the entire episode and for implicating the victims
unlawfully and for showing their arrests incorrectly and falsely.

Date and place of the incident: Since 1st September, 2013 at different
places of Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra States.

I am writing to you with keeping in view the grave concern regarding
illegal arrest, brutal torture, inhuman and degrading treatment as well as
violation of civil and democratic rights of a journalist and social
activist Prashant Rahi, even if for the second time--this time after 10-11
days' mauling of a distantly acquainted, handicapped JNU student and two,
most innocuous, adivasi youth, hours before a third was picked up from yet
another location.

I am also writing to you with keeping in view the consideration that the
many unwarranted dimensions that the police are trying to add in order to
erect an edifice for their fake, tall claim of having busted some huge
"terrorist", "anti-national" conspiracy--in a profane bid to lend veracity
to Prashant's and his co-accuseds' case, and to extend the stipulated
period for submitting the primary charge-sheet from 90 days to 180, as
permitted under the latest UAPA version--so as to deny them bail on the
grounds of detention without charges.

Apart from the prevailing proliferation of pliant, politically prejudiced
police story to comply with the draconian, many-faced state, to defame and
denigrate the nobler, unbending dissenting political stream of which
Prashant considers himself, I am fully aware of his surreptitious
pre-arrest abduction (second arrest) by the Maharashtra Police, far beyond
their jurisdiction and in blatant violation of the law as outlined clearly,
and the inevitable vicious mental and physical torture inflicted upon him.
Keeping in view the grave impunity on the part of the police, Maharashtra
government as well as Indian government is obliged to make some minimum
clarification pertaining to the UAPA which breeds this lawlessness,
undemocratic, conspiratorial or vindictive actions and trends at any level,
both within and without.

I also hold the opinion, keeping in view the grave impunity, that
Maharashtra government as well as Indian government is obliged to make some
minimum clarification pertaining to the Act which breeds this lawlessness,
undemocratic, conspiratorial or vindictive actions and trends at any level,
both within and without.

I have also noted the misreporting by the media or follow-up interrogation
by any of the plethora of investigation agencies--all of whom would
generally tend to distort the facts and circumstances of such cases and the
victim's real version, even to the extent of entirely concocted
cock-and-bull statements and allusions.

I also firmly hold the opinion that it is the responsibility of the
Maharashtra government as well as Indian government to prevent each and
every excess, given the increasingly repressive apparatus, particularly
that following the post-American 9/11 and post-our own 26/11 enactments and
amendments by successive NDA and UPA regimes through some politically
sterile and paranoid parliamentary machinations, in the form of POTA to
begin with, and then the ubiquitous UAPA. The first Act we could
successfully throw out all together, in the course of a regime change. The
second still begs far more discourteous resistance than the cursory
derision or ecclesiastic condemnation we have offered it so far. The real
encumbrance to any pretence of a democracy is the incumbent UAPA regime

I am also aware of the 31st December 2008 amendments in the UAPA is of
serious nature, especially those pertaining to the very definition of
"terrorism" in the Act and the stiff resistance to granting bail, which has
been instituted within the statute book (where the Act is invoked).

I am also aware that in the UAPA of 2004, it was imperative that only such
acts, where" bombs, dynamite or other explosive substances or inflammable
substances, firearms or other lethal weapons or poisons or noxious gases or
other chemicals or by any other substances (whether biological or
otherwise) of a hazardous nature" were used, could be described as
terrorist acts. By this definition, even in such serious cases as
Prashant's no 'terrorist act' can be alleged to have been resorted to. For
there is no allegation of any weapon or substance "of a hazardous nature",
or at least no evidence of such use has been produced.

In addition to the above, I am also informed that by 31st 2008 amendments,
2 very short phrases have been added to lengthy definition of "terrorist
act" under section 15 of UAPA, 2004, which have drastically broadened the
scope of the people, and more importantly, innocent people, who may be
targeted by the state or the police or the ruling government. Now the 2008
amendments adds the phrase "or by any means of whatever nature", which is a
vague and blanket description which can include anything under the sky,
including mere ideological conversations, talks or literature. Meaning
thereby, merely use of vocal means or literary means could be defined as a
"terrorist act", and held the speaker or writer liable for punishment under
section 16, UAPA, which may amount to not less than five years and
extending to a life term.

I, with these concerns, urge you to:

1. Grant Prashant Rahi and his co-accused immediately and withdraw cases
pending against Prashant Rahi in the states of Uttrakhand and Maharashtra.
2. Repeal the U.A.P.A. or at least withdraw its 2008 and 2004 amendments.
3. Ensure speedy trials for all UAPA accused and summon prosecution
witnesses without delay.
4. Ensure freedom of speech and expression of those booked under U.A.P.A.
5. Do not adopt video conferencing as the means to conduct court trials.
Stop this practice forthwith wherever in force.
6. Implement forthwith the provisions of the International Covenants on
Civil and Political Rights, on Prisoners' Right, and on Detention Centres.


Write letter (as given above the sample) to the following authorities:

1. Mr. Sushil Kumar Shinde
Home Minister
Government of India
Ministry of Home Affairs
North Block, New Delhi 110003
Fax: + 91 11 23093750 / 23092763
Email: hm at nic.in

2. Home Minister, Maharashtra
R.R Patil, Home Department
7th Flr, World Trade Centre,
Cuffe Parade, Mumbai 400005
Fax: (via Home Secretary)
+91 22 2215 1733+91 22 2215 1733
022-22027174022-22027174, 22029742
022-23637491022-23637491, 23631505
Email: min.home at maharashtra.gov.in

4. Justice S.R.Bannurmath,
Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission
9, Hazarimal Somani Marg,
Opp. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai 400 001

5. Chairperson
National Human Rights Commission
Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg
New Delhi 110001
Fax: + 91 11 2338 4863
E-mail: _ HYPERLINK "mailto:chairnhrc at nic.in" _chairnhrc at nic.in

6. . The Chief Justice,
Supreme Court of India,
Tilak Marg, New Delhi-110 001 (India)
FAX: +91 11 23381508
Email: e-mail at: supremecourt at nic.in

7. Aheri Sub-divisional Officer of Police
Suhash Bawche
Aheri Police Station
Maharashtra 442705
Fax: (via Gadchiroli Police Station)
+91 7132 222159+91 7132 222159

8. Superintendent of Police
Suvez Haque
Gadchiroli Police Station
Near Telecom Office
Rampuri, Gadchiroli,
Maharashtra 442605
Fax: +91 7132 222159
Email:sp.gadchiroli at mahapolice.gov.in

9. Director General of Police,
Maharashtra State,
Mumbai 91-022-2202667291-022-22026672

10. Superintendent of Police,
Chandrapur 91-07172-25510091-07172-255100

11. Superintendent of Police,
Gondia 91-07182-23629391-07182-236293

12. Superintendent of Police,
Gadchiroli 91-07132-22215191-07132-222151

13. Dr. Rameshwar Oraon
National Commission for Scheduled Tribes
6th Floor, 'B' Wing, Loknayak Bhawan, Khan Market
New Delhi -110003
Fax: +91 11 2462462
Email: chairperson@ ncst.nic.in

14. Honourable V. Kishore Chandra Deo
Union Minister of Tribal Affairs
Sansad Bhwan, Room number 105-A
New Delhi
Fax: +91 11 2307 0577
Email: jk.popli@ nic.in

15. Mr. Arvind Kumar Chugh
Secretary, Government of India
Ministry of Tribal affairs
Shastri Bhawan, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road
New Delhi- 110001
Fax: +91 11 2307 3160


*Letter from Prashant Rahi on Imprisonment and Toruture, and Appeal for
Campaign Against UAPA*
By Prashant Rahi

: shivpsingh at gmail.com
- See more at: http://sanhati.com/articles/9031/#sthash.VgxnEzg9.dpuf
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