|Arbitrary and illegal arrest of Lenin Roy
Lenin Kumar Roy, the editor of Nishan, a Left oriented quarterly
magazine published from Bhuvaneshwar (Orissa) was arrested on 07-12-
2008 around 1-1.30 P.m and sent to jail on charges of writing
provocative literature which as per the police version and the
official report would disturb communal peace and harmony. The police
did not stop here. It also arrested two employees of Sovan Press,
Bhubaneswar, after conducting a raid on it for printing the
book `Dharma naanre Kandhamalre Raktara Nadi' published by Lenin
Kumar. This was done at the Sahid Nagar Police Station. When the
activists came to know of this from Mrs Rumita Kundu, Lenin's wife,
they contacted the officer in-charge of police station in the night
who told them that he had been picked up for verification and he
would be released within one hour or so.
In the meantime, the police was planning something nefarious. They
were writing down documents preparing grounds for his so-
called "Maoist links". The said book was alleged to be `Maoist
literature'. Next day, he was produced in the court and the police
alleged crime under Section 153-A and 295-A of IPC which relate
to `publishing provocative literature which can disturb communal
peace and harmony'. The police cited page 38 to 41 of the above
book. And what do those pages have in them? They produce a letter
allegedly written by the RSS to its members for anti dalit, anti
minority activities and also have some of Lenin's comments on this.
So, in India (and particularly in Orissa) it is a crime to write
anything against the RSS or to produce an RSS letter or to comment
upon it- more so if the government is supported by the BJP!
But the actual reason goes even more deeper. In reality, Lenin had
become a pain in the neck for the Navin Patnaik government which has
completely failed in protecting the minority rights in the Kandhamal
episode and has proved to be blatantly partisan and completely
ineffective on law and order front. Unfortunately, he has been
consistently raising voice of dissent for last one year or so in the
pages of Nissan on all these related matters, a fact that was to
great distaste of the establishment, be it the Chief Minister and
his party or the supporting ally BJP. In August 2008, Nishan was
labeled as a Maoist organ by SP Jagatsinghpur though the editor had
protested this allegation.
This is not the lone instance of the Orissa government coming up
heavily against the dissenting members of the intelligentsia and the
media who are critical about the government's activities. A few
months ago, Rabindra Prasad Panda, a prominent Oriya writer, was
sent to jail by the Orissa government for writing a book, using
similar Sections of the IPC.
Thus as the NDTV has rightly said- "Orissa cops have taken the term
gag order to a new level altogether."
I am never able to understand what does the police force in this
Nation want to prove by arresting people like Lenin Ray. Is it not
completely shameful and highly deplorable and atrocious? What is
Lenin's fault- that he writes Maoist literature, that he speaks the
language of Marxism, Leninism and Communism? Is this a free country
we are living in?
I don't think there can be anything more condemnable than this- to
arrest a magazine's Editor just because he sympathizes for a cause
which every right-minded must be and internally is. I have not seen
any sensitive person in the world who is not sympathetic to the poor
and the downtrodden, who does not want all these differences and
economic disparities and exploitations to end, who wants every
person to be able to live a good life.
While the police force of this country is completely helpless before
the terrorists and the extremists who kill them whenever they feel
like, they never leave a chance to arrest such law-abiding and
righteous persons who have a definite purpose in their life and are
sacrificing it for the common man.
I don't know what will happen to our country where such local
dictators who only want bards and sycophants around them. While it
can be the case with the political persons, how can this be true
also with the intellectuals and the Media? Is this the way our
Constitution makers had envisaged our Chief Ministers and
governments to behave? The Media is known as the fourth estate and
the watchdog of a democratic society. But can any society function
properly if its chosen representatives are so intolerant, biased,
personally stymied and spiteful as to pursue matters on a personal
level and stop any person from expressing his/her views.
Lenin's arrest is a blot on our society and must be resisted by each
one of us as an example of complete dictatorship. Is this a free
Dr Nutan Thakur,
Nutan Satta Pravah,
Dr Binayak Sen and Sri Vishwa Ranjan
Today I read a long interview of Mr Vishwa Ranjan in the Pioneer
where he was all praise for the Chattisgarh police's work in the
field of controlling Naxal movement, which the Pioneer echoes in
equal measure. The newspaper congratulates Sri Vishwa Ranjan for
having done "seminal work" in breaking the "backbone of the
movement". Having done whatever he could, the DGP says that
his "hands were tied" which resulted in not holding "a completely
incident free poll".
Some of his words in this interview would be of interest to all of
us. Along with other things, he called the officers connected with
the Election Commission and the State election office as interfering
whose undue and foolish intervention went against the basic spirit
of administration and policing and resulted in whatever law and
order breakdown took place. He also had some tough words for Ram
Chandra Guha, the historian.
More important, when asked about the showing of the BJP in Naxal
areas, the DGP came with a very interesting answer, saying that he
was not answering this as the DGP but as an individual. And as an
individual he felt that any party which the people felt was able to
control the Naxalism would certainly get the people's nod and this
is exactly what happened here where the people thought that the BJP
had successfully contained Naxalism. He also felt that the election
was a victory for the Salwa Judum.
Though Vishwa Ranjan did not say anything directly about Sri Sen,
but he did say that the relief camp inhabitants and the Salwa Judum
hated civil liberty and human right groups because their perception
was that they were pro-Naxalites. Summing it up, all is well in
Chattisgarh with Raman Singh back in the fold, Binayak Sen in jail,
Salwa Judum on the high and the police on a fly.
I present these facts for your kind perusal just to show how the DGP
of a state does respond, glowing in the aftermath of the resounding
success of the political bosses and comes up with words which a
civil servant is not supposed to tread upon because of the various
rules applicable upon him.
But do big people fear such small deviations?
Dr Nutan Thakur,
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