A newly formed Maoist committee for the release of political prisoners in the State has joined the chorus seeking release of the convicts involved in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, who have been behind bars for more than 28 years. The demand was raised in pamphlets that the Reds issued in Tamil, which were accessed by this newspaper.
While the pamphlet of the group stressed that the new committee would work towards achieving its goal, officers in the State police think this move is only to garner support from other fringe elements for the release of its cadre from the jails.
“A good number of Naxal activists in Tamil Nadu are now behind bars. A group within the Maoists outfit have been trying get their comrades released from jail. As their efforts have not fetched the required result, they are now trying to create a movement to garner help from other groups to project the arrested Naxalites as political prisoners,” a senior officer in the State police said, scoffing at the idea of Maoist committee for political prisoners’ release.
As of now over 15 Naxalites are lodged in various prisons in Tamil Nadu.
The handbill says that Vivek, the Maoist who was released from jail a year ago, is the coordinator of the committee. Vivek had been in jail for being part of the ultra left group, while his wife Padma, also a Maoist activist, is still lodged in prison.
The committee not only wanted to recognise imprisoned Naxalites as political prisoners and sought their release, but also pressed for the release of all political prisoners. “All those revolutionary writers, lawyers and human rights activists, who lend voice for the working class, should be released,” said the pamphlet. The handbill also demanded the abolition of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
The new committee is also active on social medial platforms including Facebook.