Act of Solidarity: Treat Arrested Maoists as Political Prisoners, Says Kanam
By Express News Service
(Top) Roopesh, the leader of the Western Ghats Zonal Committee of the CPI (Maoist) and fellow Naxals raise slogans for tribal rights while being brought to the court in Coimbatore on Tuesday. Photos: M. Periasamy, J. Manoharan
KOCHI: Expressing solidarity with the Maoists for taking up the people’s cause, and extending support to the activists who were arrested recently, Communist Party of India (CPI) state general secretary Kanam Rajendran said that the Maoists in police custody should be considered as political prisoners. In what can be called the first voice of support for the Maoists from any mainstream political party in the State, Kanam made it clear that his party would protest against any State oppression under the cover of the Maoists hunt. “We do not support the Maoist method of political work and their means of struggle. But, we stand by the issues they raise because they are genuine,” Kanam Rajendran said at a ‘meet the press’ here on Tuesday.
The Maoist activists, including Roopesh, who were arrested recently should be considered as political prisoners. They are not terrorists or criminals, but were working for the downtrodden and for a political cause.
ADGP Sanker Reddy in a television interview had revealed that the police recovered more than 100 phone numbers from the computer hard disk seized from Roopesh, and that they had started investigation against 30 persons whose mobile numbers are in the list.“If the police attempt to round up political and environmental activists for suspected Maoist link, it would elicit strong reaction,” said the CPI state secretary.
“Reports say that the Q Branch of Tamil Nadu Police had contacted Kerala Police seeking help to question the children of Maoist activists Roopesh and Shyna, which is a deplorable move. We will strongly protest if the police unleash human rights violations under the cover of the investigation,” Kanam warned. “It is the State’s apathy towards people’s issues that gave the Maoists a foothold, especially in tribal areas,” he said.