Ban on People's March lifted | india | Hindustan Times
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Ban on People's March lifted

india Updated: Nov 16, 2009 13:21 IST
Debdutta Ghosh

Proscribed in February 2008, People's March, the mouthpiece of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) is back in print this month. Its first post-issue has an interview of party head Ganapathi as its lead article.

"The Press Registrar Appellate Board has allowed me to come out with the magazine once again. The first issue has been published in November," said the 63-year old editor P Govinda Kutty from his residence in Kerala's Ernakulam.

The Press Council of India has been assigned, since 1979, the responsibility of functioning as an appellate board for registration of newspapers and magazines. Kutty had appealed to the board against the ban, and after nine months, the board allowed publication of People's March from August 7, 2009.

"But none was ready to print the magazine. It took me more than two months to find an alternative printer. I could bring out the magazine only in November," Kutty said.

"People can now subscribe to the magazine," said Kutty.

Kutty was arrested on December 19, 2007, about two months before the ban on his magazine. The police raided his residence and seized computers, mobile phones and copies of People's March.

But he was released after a few months.

But with the Centre banning CPI (Maoist) from June 2009, doesn't he apprehend another clampdown?

"I am at the mercy of the government. I've been wrongly jailed for 12 years and was even booked under the Unlawful Activity (Prevention) Act. I was on a hunger strike for 68 days on the trot after I was arrested in 2007. But I am not afraid," remarked Kutty.

Earlier Kutty tried to work around the ban by publishing People's Voice when the ban on People's March was on.

While Kutty is publishing People's March once again, Swapan Dasgupta, who published People's March in Kolkata was arrested in the first week of October, a couple of months after the ban was lifted.

Though the government had banned magazines, Maoists have been increasingly switching to the Internet to propagate their message.