15 December 2007


Indian Revolutionary Leaders’ Lives are in Danger!
Free Comrades Som (Sushil Roy) and Tapas (Patitpaban)!

Release Thousands of Political Prisoners
Languishing in Various Prisons Cross the Country!

Comrade Sushil Roy, known to millions of people in India and South Asia as Comrade Som and Barunda, was arrested by the Indian intelligence agencies on 15th May 2005. He has been a leader of the revolutionary masses in the country and a Politburo member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). He was arrested from Konenagar railway station in Hooghly district along with comrade Patitpaban who is popularly known as comrade Tapas. Comrade Tapas is a central committee member and the secretary of the West Bengal State committee of CPI (Maoist).

Comrade Susheel Roy, comrade Patitpaban and other members of CPI (Maoist) were illegally detained and subjected to physical and psychological torture by the West Bengal police under the supervision of the leaders of CPI-Marxist, a leading partner of the ruling left-front coalition government in West Bengal and a major ruling coalition partner in New Delhi. Later, they were produced in a court of law on 24th May in Belpahari in West Midnapur after strong protests came from the people.

Comrades Som and Tapas have been implicated in a number of fabricated criminal cases and are at present incarcerated in a jail in West Midnapur. The arrests of the senior leaders of the CPI (Maoist) were made within a few weeks after the UPA Government formulated a major policy decision about internal security as the main issue of the country. CPI-Marxist is a major partner along with the Congress Party in framing this policy of cold blooded murders and witch-hunting of the revolutionaries in India.

Comrade Barunda (Comrade Som) is a senior leader of the united CPI (Maoist). His political life began with the Working class movement in Kolkata. He played a crucial role in the strike of Jai Engineering Workers (Usha Company) in 1966-67. He also a played an important role in the historical West Bengal Food Movement. Along with Comrade Kanhai Chaterjee, the founder Secretary of the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC), he was one among the first visionaries who propounded the Chinese line under Mao as a suitable one for India. He was part of the Chinta Group and Dakshin Desh from the very beginning. He became the General Secretary of MCC after the martyrdom of Kanhai Chaterjee and was elected as General Secretary in 1989 in its first Conference. He continued in this position till 1996 when he chose not be the General Secretary owing to his ill-health. He played a significant role in merging the MCCI and CPI (ML) Peoples War forming the CPI (Maoist) in 2004. He was elected to the Politburo of the merged Maoist Party.

Comrade Sushil Roy is a great leader of the revolutionary masses of India and South Asia. He has been giving leadership to the toiling masses of India through all periods of ups and downs in the past 40 years. Such veteran Maoist leader is facing danger to his life in the hands of the brutal state mercenary forces of India. Today, it is the responsibility of all democratic forces in India, South Asia and in fact in the entire world to rise to the occasion and save his life.

Comrade Tapas (comrade Patitpaban) associated himself with the MCC since the days of his childhood. He hails from a middle peasant family and played a major role in building the peasant movement in West Bengal. He remained steadfastly with the correct revolutionary politics and gave leadership to the revolutionary cadres and masses in West Bengal for decades. Comrade Chandi Sarkar, another State Committee member of West Bengal unit of CPI (Maoist) has been also incarcerated in the West Bengal jails. He hails from a working class family and worked as the fourth class railway employee before the rise of Naxalbari. As soon the movement started, he became the full-time worker of the CPI (ML) and was jailed in 1970’s. He has been a popular leader of the peasant movement in Nadia District in West Bengal for the last 30 years.

There are many other Maoist leaders, cadres and revolutionary masses in jails in a number of other states. Among the well-known Maoist prisoners are comrade Varara Rao, a revolutionary poet of Andhra Pradesh and comrade G Kalyan Rao, a revolutionary novelist and literary critic from the same state. Comrade Ganti Prasadam otherwise known as Prabhakar, the media Secretary of Andhra Pradesh State unit of CPI (Maoist) has been also languishing in jail. Several state level leaders of the Maoist party in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Bihar have been languishing in various prisons across the country.

Hundreds of Maoists and their supporters have been lynched in extra-judicial killings called falsely ‘encounter killings’ ever since the merger of MCCI and CPI (ML) (Peoples War) and the formation of CPI (Maoist) in September 2004. Thousands of Maoists have been arrested throughout the country following the announcement by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi of a new policy in April 2005 about a perceived threat to the internal security of the country from the Maoists. This is a major shift in the policy of any Union Government at Delhi under any political formation since Naxalbari Movement days for so far all governments put external security, though imaginary again, as a major priority.

With a view to suppress the revolutionary movement, the UPA Government has built up a Joint Operational Command (JOC) comprising the various Special Task Forces, Paramilitary, intelligence forces and the police forces of the major regions in the country - Andhra Pradseh, Bihar, Jharkand, Chattisgargh, Orissa, Maharasthtra, West Bengal, Madha Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh - where the Maoist Party is believed to be strong by the security forces.

The Maoists are generally murdered in cold blood after inhuman and brutal third degree torture methods being employed on them in India when are captured by the state forces. In rare cases they are produced in courts of law. Even in such a context, there are several thousand Maoist leaders, cadres of different levels and revolutionary masses today incarcerated in several high security prisons in India. Invariably all these revolutionaries have been kept in prisons under various draconian legal sections for years together primarily for their political conviction and opposition to the ruling classes in power. Their involvement in the acts of practical armed revolutionary war is basically secondary for they will be immediately released, notwithstanding any number of pending criminal cases against them, if they declare to part with their political conviction.

In West Bengal alone there are more than 2800 prisoners who have been arrested for their political opposition to the ruling left front while 1200 of them belong to the CPI (Maoist). In Orissa about 1000 people are facing cases at present in connection Maoist activities and 400 of then are languishing in various prisons of the state. Similarly, In Andhra Pradesh several hundred Maoists are in prisons. Same is the case in Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

In Kashmir and Northeast too, several hundreds people have been imprisoned for their political opinion and conviction. Again in Gujarat and various other states as well there several hundred Muslims who have been implicated in false cases including under draconian POTA for the only reason that they are Muslims and they have asserted their religious identity.

In these circumstances the need of the hour is that the democrats of this country should voice the rights of these political prisoners. We need to demand the release of all political prisoners in the country for they are continued to be incarcerated in prisons for their political convictions.

To discuss this issue of political prisoners, let us meet in Delhi on 10th December 2005, the international human rights day with a view to form a group of rights activists demanding the release of all political prisoners in the country.


General Secretary



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