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3500 political prisoners in West Bengal: NGO

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 5, 2007

KOLKATA: Nearly 3,500 people are languishing behind bars in the state for political reasons, Bandi Mukti Committee (BMC) general secretary Chhoton Das said in Kolkata on Friday.

The number has increased recently, following the arrest of hundreds of people taking part in agitations against irregular ration supplies, he added.

A large number of Maoists, KLO and SUCI supporters have also been jailed for political reasons. Former BMC chairman and Naxalite leader Ashim Chatterjee said such a large number of arrests for political reasons betrayed the autocratic streak of the Left Front government.

Both BMC and APDR have denied that they were acting in collusion with the Maoists in Nandigram as stated by the chief minister. They feared that now they would be targeted by CPM cadres and police.

BMC and APDR were two separate organisations working to uphold democratic rights, said Das. He claimed that the government was unhappy with APDR because of its role in the Rizwanur Rahman case and for exposing the government’s role in Nandigram.



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