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Thursday, February 13, 2014

India—Hunger Strike of Nagpur prison

From Comitato Sostegno GP India,
Feb 12

25th day after ID - International Committee Support People's War calls
...the campaign 'free political prisoners in India' continues in all
countries for all February month!

India - Appeal to support the indefinite Hunger Strike of Nagpur prison
inmates from 30th January onwards

Dear Friends;
Inmates of the Nagpur Central Prison of Maharashtra have begun an indefinite
Hunger Strike from 30th January 2014. At least 177 under-trial prisoners
including 7 women (those charged under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act,
Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act, for murder, etc.) have
participated in the strike. It is a settled principle in law and also
directive of the apex court of this country that "bail is the rule and jail
is an exception". However, despite repeated directives from the Supreme
Court to grant bail at the earliest and that the gravity of the charge
should not be the reason for considering bail, the opposite is implemented
in practice.
The prison population is growing due to an ever increasing number of
under-trial prisoners are languishing in Jail while their families and
friends continue with their futile anxious wait outside. Under trial
prisoners are thus deprived of their constitutional right to bail, physical
attendance in courts and a fair and speedy trial due to indefinite lingering
of bail decisions, procrastinated trials and trial by video conferencing.
The move towards camera trials distances these prisoners further from their
lawyers, the court, their ability to present their own case. It will only
continue their sequestration in prisons. It is for these reasons, we inmates
of the Nagpur prison see no alternative but to go ahead with an indefinite
Hunger Strike till the demands are achieved.
A memorandum including the following demands has been sent to Honorable
Principal Judge of Bombay High Court (Nagpur Bench) and others through The
Superintendent of the Nagpur Central Prison Nagpur on 20th January 2014:
1. The directives of Honorable Supreme Court that "Bail is the rule and Jail
is an exception" should be implemented as a principle regarding bail and
bail should be granted within a definite time period.
2. After a charge sheet is filed, even those under-trials charged with
supposedly serious crimes should also be granted bail.
3. In order to establish the right of fair and speedy trial. The Judgment
should be given within a relatively definite and reasonable time period. If
the case is pending due to some unavoidable reasons then bail should be
granted, especially to those under-trial prisoners whose bails have been
refused earlier.
4. The right to a fair trial cannot be established through Video Conference
(V.C.) method so this should not be an option during trial and an under-trial
prisoner must be physically produced before their respective courts during
trial. Friends, we are committed to sit on an indefinite hunger strike till
our demands achieved. The success of our struggle cannot be achieved without
your solidarity and active support from outside. So we humbly and hopefully
appeal that you kindly extend your support in our favor.
Please send letters and Fax messages to the following authorities urging
them to meet our just and fair demands.

Nagpur Central Prison:
Fax No. 0712-2420679 Registrar, Bombay High Court, Nagpur Bench:
Fax No. 0712- 2560280, Email:
Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission:
Phone & Fax No.: 91 22 22092857
With regards,
1] Sudhir Dhawale
2] Diwakar Jha
3] Gautam Pillewan and other under-trial prisoners of Nagpur Central Prison.

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