Certain reports have appeared in a section of the media stating that the professors from the Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Delhi University who visited Bastar, Chattisgarh are being harassed with copies of the false complaints registered against them being sent to the concerned universities. In this context, CPI(M) General Secretary, Sitaram Yechury had addressed a letter to Chief Minister Raman Singh with a copy marked to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
The full text of the letter is being released herewith.
Text of Letter
May 27, 2016
Shri Raman Singh
Government of Chattisgarh
I wish to draw your attention to a serious matter and seek your intervention.
A delegation comprising of Sanjay Parate, Secretary, Chattisgarh State Committee and member of the Central Committee of the CPI(M), Vineet Tiwari, a CPI member belonging to Joshi-Adhikari Institute, New Delhi, Archana Prasad, Prof. JNU and member of All India Democratic Women’s Association and Nandini Sundar, Prof. DU visited Bastar division from 12th 16th May 2016. I need not to remind you that we as a registered and recognized national political party have both constitutional and legal right to visit any part of the country which includes the state of Chattisgarh to interact with the people in order to understand their problems and also to organise them to raise their demands. This delegation visited Nama Kamakoleng and some other villages where people are living through the conflict between the state and Maoists. People complained of harassment both by Police and Maoists and told about their problems and miseries.
However, the local police later on produced a fake complaint in the name of villagers claiming that the delegation instigated the villagers and asked them to support the Maoists. So much so that the district collector of Bastar Mr. Amit Kataria posted the so-called complaint of villagers on his Facebook page without verification. What worries me more than this irresponsible behaviour of Bastar DC is that the police organised rallies with Samajik Ekta type vigilantes in front of Darbha Thana demanding that an FIR be registered against the delegation members. The police have also been cross questioning all those who interacted with the delegation members including the driver of the hired vehicle in order to intimidate them. This amounts to curbing and suppressing opposition political parties and their legitimate political activities by falsely alleging and labeling them as being supportive of the Maoists. Such falsehood cannot be accepted in a democracy like ours.
I am aware of the fact that such intimidating tactics are also being used by Bastar police and administration against journalists, researchers, lawyers and others to prevent them from visiting Bastar and reporting about violation of human and constitutional rights of the people.
The CPI(M) has been working and contesting elections in Chattisgarh for quite a long time. This kind of harassment never occurred. Intimidating political opponents will not help to solve the Maoist problem. What needs to be done is the political isolation of Maoists for which the full play of democracy is an essential pre-requisite.
Therefore all political parties must be allowed to conduct their legitimate political activities in the Bastar region without any fear and journalists must be allowed to report truthfully the ground realities.
Can I hope that you will instruct the Bastar police and administration not to harass and falsely implicate activists of opposition parties, journalists and others.
Copy to: Shri Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister, New Delhi